Interwoven Dress Cultures of New Zealand
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The aim of this thesis is to analyse, design and produce a trans-seasonal daywear collection of women's contemporary fashion garments that reflect aspects of Aotearoa. Specific influence has been drawn from an investigation of wahine in relation to their acceptance and subsequent adaptation of European dress, during the transitional period of 1800-1900 in Aotearoa. Interwoven within the contextual framework, this exegesis supports the creative body of work by exploring two main aspects. Firstly there are the theoretical, historical and cultural issues surrounding the relationship of dress and social belonging together with the association of adornment and Maori identity. Secondly there is the notion of accessing and using the community as research and knowledge sources, material suppliers and as individual collaborative contributors to the project. The project sits within the paradigm of creative research and not only encompasses heuristic methodology within the studio environment, but leading up to that stage of the project, utilises resources from within the community as a framework for research enquiry. Identifying the potential for dress with a fusion of ideas and cross-cultural exchange, between Victorian European and Maori dress, a range of key design criteria relating to the inspired innovative designs has been identified. This has provided the opportunity for an eclectic mix of contemporary materials and fibres, to be used to design and create a trans-seasonal garment collection, informed by the resulting analysis of the interwoven issues explored in the exegesis.