Gisbone Herald

BLAZING: Lou Tyson models a kimono wrap dress from Gisborne designer Julie Puddick's MASAMI colection at the inaugural Tiki Ahua contemporary Maori fashion show in Rotorua last weekend. Accessories by Nerida Johnstone of Henare jewellery. Picture supplied.

MASAMI has launched

Gisborne designer Julie Puddick debuted new label MASAMI to a sell-out crowd of more than 450 at Rotorua’s inaugural Tiki Ahua contemporary Maori fashion show last weekend.

The designer, who works out of the Aviary, in the Poverty Bay Club building on Childers Road, launched the collection alongside 21 designers from across New Zealand.

“The event was an amazing production that ran like clockwork,” said Puddick, whose earlier label Rubies Design was a forerunner to MASAMI.

“It was spectacular in its presentation and surroundings, a true masterpiece in fashion parades.”

While Puddick’s collection was glamorous, luxurious and bold, show collections ranged immensely, from streetwear to the avant-garde.

Traditional Maori art featured throughout, with new interpretations of pounamu, bone carvings, and ta moko tattooing.

The show, titled Ka Mura (set alight), was inspired by the Maori goddesses of fire.

Entertainment was provided by hip hop artist Che Fu and Auckland musician Seth Haapu.

Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick was impressed with the inaugural show. She said she believed Tiki Ahua had the potential to develop into a festival similar to the original World of Wearable Arts show in Nelson.

“It has surprised and delighted the audience, it’s a bit cheeky and very slick and I don’t think it was what anyone was expecting. It’s just incredible,” she said.

A strong East Coast presence featured at the inaugural festival, including former Gisborne-born Reremoana Sheridan of Reremoana and Rongowhaakata woman Adrienne Whitewood of Adrienne Whitewood Clothing.

Puddick’s collection was embellished with jewellery designed by former Gisborne woman Nerida Johnstone of Henare jewellery.

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