New Zealand Fashion Week

Ready to Rock Fashion Week

(Rotorua Daily Post) Tipped as the "one to watch", Rotorua designer Adrienne Whitewood admits she's a bit nervous ahead of New Zealand Fashion Week.

Fashion Week starts in Auckland on Monday, with Ms Whitewood's pig leather inspired collection forms part of the Miromoda show on Friday, after she won the supreme award at this year's Miromoda Maori Fashion Awards.

Showing in the same show will be Rotorua's Leanne Mulcahy and Leilani Rickard, whose Weather the Storm rainwear collection took out the Miromoda Avant Garde category.

If you think the world of fashion is all about glamour, think again - Ms Whitewood said backstage before a fashion show is chaos. "It's just boom, boom, boom," she said.

Models' body shapes may have changed since their fittings meaning last minute alterations, while some models just don't show up at all. Fancy hairdos have to be maneuvered into the clothes and make-up smears cleaned off garments, she said.

It's Ms Whitewood's third time at New Zealand Fashion Week, but this year there's a bit more hype surrounding her. She will be followed by Maori Television's Native Affairs while Australasian website Concrete Playground yesterday named Ms Whitewood the "number one designer to watch this year" placing her above established designers such as Andrea Moore, Trelise Cooper and Zambesi.

"It's nerve-wracking because it's a lot to live up to," she said.

It's a hectic time for the 25-year-old. As well as putting the finishing touches to her designs and preparing promotional materials for the worldwide media attending, she plans to relaunch her website next week. She's also preparing to open her own store in Rotorua next month. Currently her designs take up one corner at The Living Room Collective on Eruera St. She is also fitting in study at Waiariki Institute of Technology.

Meanwhile, Ms Rickard said she and Ms Mulcahy were "ready to rock and roll" after a busy few months.

She is delighted with the pair's capes, raincoats and umbrellas, which are printed with microscopic images of the cellular walls of harakeke (flax). "It's going to be quite amazing to see people's reactions," she said. "The story behind the images is what people will be gobsmacked by."

Taupo's Mitchell Vincentwill also be part of the Miromoda show.