National | Fashion

Kahuria - New Zealand Fashion Week - returns post-Covid in emotional ceremony

NZ Fashion Week now has a Māori name, Kahuria, which means ‘to adorn’. It was gifted by Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei, and the organisers say it marks their partnership with the iwi and their intention to weave Māori language and culture into the event.

Ngāti Whatua today welcomed members of its new partnership with NZ Fashion Week, and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei chair, Marama Royal explained the name. Kahuria is also the name of a cloak presented to Fashion Week general manager Yasmin Farry.

“We’ve got such beautiful designers and creators within the fashion world and it’s a time for us to show our aroha, manaaki to this organisation to this group of people that really take on the responsibility of showcasing what Māori designers can do in the fashion world and that it is unique to the rest of the world,” Royal says.

“It was created by my sister Beronia, who is a very talented weaver, and what she’s done is she’s used old piupiu strands from piupiu that have been well worn over the years, and she’s also created new piupiu strands to bring the old and the new together, and it was really around showcasing the re-purposing of sustainability,” she says.

Farry says she aims to ensure a solid foundation of tikanga Māori weaved into the fabric of the event this year after the emotional ceremony.

“It was a beautiful, beautiful feeling. I felt my own ancestors with me. I am actually really emotional about it because it was such an incredible experience and one I’ve never ever had before,” she says.

Bobby Luke of Ngāti Ruanui is one of the designers who’ll be showing his clothing label, Campbell Luke.

“I think we reflect ourselves on what we’ve said on the ātea (courtyard) on the pae (orators’ bench) today, and it’s about looking back into the past for our future to come, and if we can forecast what was said today and view that throughout the industry, I think we’ve done something successful and not something that’s just lip service,” Luke says.

Kahuria begins tomorrow at the Viaduct Events Centre, starting with a showcase by designer Kiri Nathan (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Maru and Ngāti Hauā).