New Zealand High Commission Canberra, Australia

Fashion labels reinforce image of creative excellence

New Zealand is being represented at this year’s L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival (LMFF) by three labels – Karen Walker and Zambezi from Auckland and Nom*D from Dunedin. The three labels are participating with assistance from the New Zealand Consulate-General in Melbourne, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Public Diplomacy Fund.

The Melbourne festival, held March 14-21, is the first of two major annual Australian fashion festivals, the other being in Sydney in May. It attracts a strong interest from the fashion centres of Europe and North America.

The state government’s claim that Victoria is the leading fashion state is supported by Melbourne’s RMIT University that offers Australia's most prestigious courses in fashion and related disciplines.

New Zealand fashion houses have participated in the Melbourne festival for several years, using the exposure gained as a stepping-stone to global recognition.

This recognition was confirmed most recently by the National Gallery of Victoria’s current Together Alone exhibition. The exhibition’s purpose is to highlight “the dynamic practices of eight leading Australian and New Zealand fashion houses … resisting dominant fashion trends, these designers have developed their own aesthetics and have garnered attention locally at Australian and New Zealand fashion weeks and on the global stage in London, Paris and New York”.

The Ministry’s Consul-General in Melbourne, Rob Hole, says the combined efforts of the New Zealand labels in Melbourne are reinforcing an image of New Zealand as a centre of creative excellence.

“This image, borne of the achievements of the film and music industries, extends to science, technology and business solutions where the New Zealand input into the innovation cycle is particularly strong at the initial, creative step.”


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