The return of iD, 27 March – 2 April 2023

Niamh Dobson, Eton Mess, this year’s iD signature image, courtesy of iD. Photographer George Hood @Georgeshood

The sign that the community welcomed the 2023 return of a full iD Dunedin Fashion Week in 2023 was the speed with which tickets to the iD show on 1 April sold out. The second show added to meet demand was at last glance a few seats shy of capacity. Never mind the rugby or Rod Stewart, iD at the Railway Station was always the coolest show in town, and now it’s back there, once again in autumn, it appears that everyone wants to go again. Which is great.

More than two decades since it began, iD has reinvented aspects of itself throughout. The Emerging Designers show shifted from being the second string to being the hot ticket. They brought out fabulous guests, among them the dazzling Zandra Rhodes. The event moved from the Railway Station to the Town Hall and the Regent, and were working on rearranging the presentation yet again when Covid stepped in, requiring the 2020 Emerging Designers awards to go online, which did work. But it turns out that there’s nothing like getting back to basics, with designer collections, emerging designers, and oh, did I mention the Railway Station (accept no imitations).

This year’s events will show about 50 collections. No iD would be complete without representation by the Godmothers, as the clutch of founding designers are known: Donna Tulloch (Mild-Red), Tanya Carlson (Carlson), Sara Munro (Company of Strangers), Charmaine Reveley, and Margarita Robertson (NOM*d). Other regulars showing are Zambesi, whose founder Elisabeth Findlay will speak about the label at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery on Friday 31 March: we anticipate a stylish turnout for this.

The Emerging Designer finalists this year come from as close as Otago Polytechnic and as far as Manchester, with a large showing from Melbourne and Sydney. Larger than life images from their collections have been showing at Otago Museum since February, and the judges and award winners will speak at the museum on the Saturday morning after the awards are announced.

Throughout the week, there’s a strong emphasis on sustainability. A midweek panel at the museum will discuss ‘a sustainable fashion future in Aotearoa’, while other events include vintage shows and sales, fabric shows and sales, sewing workshops. There will also be popup shops for featured designers who don’t have local distribution.

On the non-retail side, the Eden Hore collection is back in town, with some of the recent large-scale photography on display during the week at boutique hotel, Fable. Dunedin City Library is once more offering its tours of the fashion stacks, and Otago Museum is similarly hosting tours of the fashion collections, led by Moira White.

If you can’t get there, the Friday show will be livestreamed by the NZ Herald’s Viva site. The iD website has everything you need to know about the programme and more images from the collections being shown: And for further teasers on this year’s event, Stuff’s featured 5 Dunedin brands while the ODT has profiled the career of new iD governing board member Tara Viggo. It’s going to be a busy week down here.

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Symposium programme announcement

It’s countdown time – around six weeks now until the CTANZ community frocks* up to Oamaru to celebrate the organisation’s old-fashioned coming of age (aka twenty-first) with a symposium entitled Tradition: observance or departure. It’s time to get organised, so to make it easier for you, the provisional programme is now available on the symposium page. So you can check your timing (registration from 10am on Friday 5 May, finishing 3ish on Sunday), and start looking at who’s talking about what and tell all your friends! You can even download and print yourself a poster to remind you of the dates and location. Early bird registration closes soon and we are as always looking forward to seeing familiar faces and making new friends.

In other news: if you look to the right of this page you will see that we have extended our social media reach by adding an Instagram account to our popular Facebook page and our Twitter feed. It’s early days yet, but as Dinah Vincent has kindly volunteered to manage our social accounts, the least we can do is show our appreciation by following the CTANZ accounts and interacting with them.

*Sorry. Ish.

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Tamaki Makarau exhibition crawl

Batik by Rozana Lee, image courtesy of Te Uru

After a good start to the year, Auckland is continuing to provide the costume and textile community with reasons to hit the galleries. This weekend – 18 March – is a good one for a gallery crawl if you’re looking for a way to spend your Saturday. At Masterworks, it’s the last chance to see Kathryn Tsui’s redwhiteblue while the doors at Objectspace are opening for Octavia Cook and Georgina May Young, and the Rozana Lee exhibition over at Te Uru includes her batik work.

Closing this weekend, redwhiteblue features Kathryn Tsui’s reflections on and of the colours and plaid patterns of Hong Kong market bags in woven and beaded objects: bags, samplers, necklaces. The elegance and intricacy of her craft honours the cheap everyday bags and the domestic work they signify. Although the pictures indicate that this exhibition is beautifully presented at Masterworks, the works can still be viewed in the online catalogue:

Over at Objectspace, Ōtepoti Dunedin has come north, with the exhibitions (closing 14 May, so you have a bit of time) by jeweller Octavia Cook and embroiderer Georgina May Young, both now based in the south.

Cook’s distinctive work has been around a few years now. She uses modern materials to make strong, vibrant shapes, traditional and less so. This survey exhibition, Cook & company includes both her earlier work and her latest ventures:

Georgina May Young’s work has been increasingly visible over the past five years and it’s simply lovely. Her embroidery speciality is layered, sculptural representations of plants that echo the colours and textures of gardens. Pūtoi: as we gather our branches showcases this specialisation:

Over at Te Uru, Rozana Lee’s Sekali pendatang, tetap pendatang explores her Chinese-Indonesian heritage in a number of mediums that speak to her family’s story, not least installations that use ‘fabric as a site to forge a visual language of meaning’ (Kirsty Baker). Sometimes the fabric contains its own stories connected to Lee’s family, while in her batik work she adapts the traditional techniques to use wax as a drawing medium, which remains on the fabric. The March issue of North & South includes an inspiring short feature on Lee’s work, showing her surrounded by fabric and art tools and speaking more to the practicalities of her practice. The exhibition is on until 30 July, and Lee will talk at the gallery on 25 March at 3pm.

One final mention goes to Tautai, whose exhibition of the Tui Emma Gillies and Sulieti Fieme’a Burrows tapa, The last kai, was rescheduled by Auckland’s summer storms. There’s tradition and subversion in this gender recast of the last supper and Christ on the cross. It’s not the first time these female-friendly versions of religious iconograpy have been exhibited, we can only hope it’s not the last, but meanwhile, there’s an online gallery of some excellent images from the exhibition:

Posted in Artists, Auckland, Embroidery, Exhibitions, Jewellery | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Symposium registrations open

We’re excited to advise that registrations are now open for the next CTANZ symposium, which will take place in Ōamaru, Friday 5 May – Sunday 7 May 2023, with a theme of Tradition.

The keynote speaker will be Dr Patricia Wallace, distinguished scholar of Māori traditional textiles, and CTANZ stalwart. Which is particularly fitting given that this year marks the organisation’s 21st birthday, so there will be cake, as well as the wedding-cake Victoriana of the Ōamaru Opera House. The symposium dinner will be at the Loan & Merc, another building that highlights the town’s heritage reputation. And there’ll also be a special textile exhibition alongside the symposium, featuring work by CTANZ’s talented members.

More information on the symposium page, including a link to registration and useful information about getting to Ōamaru and accommodation options. The programme is on its way; we’ll keep you posted.

The summer edition of Context has now been delivered, and with it a reminder about paying your subs – membership gets you your own copies of Context and a discount at the symposium. Please renew your membership if you haven’t already done so.

And after 21 years, we’re still looking forward. Some of you may have completed our survey on what CTANZ’s past, present, and potential members might expect from us: after an extension, it’s the last chance to submit your thoughts via our confidential survey, definitely closing 15 February.

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Some things to see and do, January 2023

Night sky of white and gold on blue, handpainted on dupion silk by Jane Growsky
Star Dome – dupion silk handpainted by Jane Growsky, image supplied by Masterworks Gallery.

January has whizzed past and many of us are back at the day job, but it’s still summer and there’s still time to catch a few of the summer seasonal shows. Starting overhead, in Auckland, it’s the last week of the Masterworks Raumati/ Summer Salon (until 28 January) exhibition, featuring a range of media including textiles, among them Jane Groufsky’s glorious handpainted cushions, and embroidery by May Trubohovich, Alice Alva and Alison Leauanae. For those of us outside Auckland, you can admire the work through the Salon’s online catalogue.

There’s quite a bit happening in the Wairarapa-Wellington area. Masterton’s Aratoi gallery is hosting two textile exhibitions that end 12 February. Ngahere – The Bush of Aotearoa is an exhibition of more than 45 artworks presented by the Professional Weavers Network of NZ Inc. The weavers have explored aspects of native bush and bush experiences across a wide range of techniques and interpretations, including hand woven textured and gauze fabrics, tapestries, floor rugs and cushions. Alongside this, the gallery is showing Land Girl, Leah Craven’s juxtaposition of the traditional wool industry with modern fibres and techniques, abstract forms and a non-representative colour palette.

Also nearing the end of its time at the Dowse is Wharenui Harikoa, closing 19 February. Lissy Robinson-Cole and Rudi Robinson’s fluoro crochet installation has travelled from Auckland ahead of a Matariki launch this year, and a subsequent national tour to share the delights of the ‘House of Joy’.

The big (monumental, in fact) news in Wellington is Te Papa Tongarewa’s Mataaho Collective: Te Puni Aroaro, which opened in late 2022 and will run for most of 2023. Mataaho don’t think small, and these six installations include their largest ever, created especially for this showing at Te Papa. The other works on display include Kiko Moana, here seen in Aotearoa for the first time. Get a feel for the scale of the new work at and read a bit more about the exhibition as a whole here

You can see a more modest Mataaho installation, Tīkawe, in the foyer of the Christchurch Art Gallery: Tikawe is about looking up and to the light; through in the Brett Graham exhibition Tai Moana Tai Tangata there’s a very different – but similarly monumental – textile work on display that will have you looking down into the darkness. Among the large scale sculptures and video works in the exhibition, Purutapu Pōuriuri (Black Shroud) carves an 18000 x 3000 mm velvet and damask pathway that represents the emblems of the British regiments that fought in the New Zealand Wars, with textures of mourning Victoriana. Tai Moana Tai Tangata closes in Christchurch on 19 February. You can read about this magnificent piece on Graham’s website: but see it if you get the chance.

Further south still, Alexandra’s Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery is winding up its summer exhibition and programme. They take their wool seriously in Central, highlighting it with the annual WoolOn Creative Fashion Awards (entries now open for the 2023 event); now the local gallery has been displaying some highlights of past competitions. The Cromwell Craft Group is also holding classes for children and adults until 27 January.

Not a bad start to the year. Among things to look forward to, May’s CTANZ symposium, 21st birthday version, will have an accompanying exhibition. We’re getting very close to releasing more information and registrations, so keep an eye out for details. Happy new year from CTANZ and we look forward to seeing a bunch of new and familiar faces in Oamaru.

Posted in Artists, Auckland, Awards, Christchurch, CTANZ people, Exhibitions, History, Maori, sculpture, Weaving, Wellington, wool | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Katherine Mansfield 1888-1923

One of the most lauded and influential of New Zealand writers, Katherine Mansfield died in France on 9 January 1923, of tuberculosis. Although only 34, she left behind a legacy of short fiction that continues to inspire. A century after her birth, the Katherine Mansfield Birthplace Society restored the listed house on Wellington’s Tinakori Road in which she spent her early life, and opened it to the public as a museum for Mansfield and an example of the home of a wealthy colonial family of the late Victorian era.

The Katherine Mansfield House & Garden has created and is managing a project to mark the centenary of Mansfield’s death: includes details of events and coverage both locally and internationally.

Suggestions for DIY events include a dressing up party, which is not just a random suggestion for an excuse to frock up like it’s the early 1920s: Mansfield was very much attuned to dress. Her stories often feature details of costume and appearance: an old fur, a checked bowtie, a white dress worn with green stockings and shoes. Her own outfits were also often remarked upon, from her earlier life as a member of Wellington society to her later life in British literary and artistic circles.

Stockings (English or French), c1910. Silk, machine knit. KMBS0506.15 – Gift of David McDougall.

In 2022 the Katherine Mansfield House hosted a special exhibition curated by costumier and fashion and textile historian Leimomi Oakes, showcasing textiles from the House’s collections of women’s dress contemporary to Mansfield’s life in Wellington. Although now packed away, Meet the Making is available as an online exhibition, including links to other discussion on Mansfield’s fashion sense and also a curatorial talk. There will, no doubt, be other activities during the year that touch on Mansfield’s style, but this exhibition provides an insight into the fashion of the smart set of the Victorian-Edwardian age and is small and stylish, just like Mansfield’s prose.

Exhibition photographs by Stephen A’Court, reproduced courtesy of the Katherine Mansfield Birthplace.

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Here comes summer

Season’s greetings to CTANZ members and followers. After another long and disrupted year, we hope that you have reached the festive season healthy, in the company of those you care about, and with some time to settle back and gaze at the stars of the midsummer sky.

CTANZ has had a quiet, disrupted 2022. But while we reluctantly postponed the symposium, we were delighted by the response to the online sessions that we hosted from March to June, with a range of speakers and topics. It’s now about 20 weeks, give or take, until the Oamaru symposium and we look forward to sharing details on the programme and registration in the new year.

Also coming in the new year is the brand new Context, which the team have been working hard to get to the printer for summer reading. It’s now on course for delivery around the middle of January, thanks to Linda, Jennifer and Bronwyn for all their work on editing, production and distribution, and to our many contributors.

But as 2022 ends, we start again in 2023. The committee wants to know what our members and former members and potential members think about CTANZ activities and what else our community might like to see in the mix. Anyone with an interest in our work is invited to complete the online survey.

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Cultural regeneration fund feedback sought

The pandemic years have seen a number of initiatives to support arts and cultural initiatives, among them the Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage Regeneration Fund. This fund has included an invitation for feedback on grant applications, particularly from ‘people or organisations that will benefit from a particular proposal – or those with recognised and relevant expertise’.

Among the 240 proposals for consideration are a couple that fall into the dress line. Our friends from the New Zealand Fashion Museum Charitable Trust are working on My Museum, a free interactive online portal that will increase accessibility, expand the archive and share it more widely. You can read more about the proposal and submit feedback online here:

Meanwhile, Tina Thomas Costume Limited’s The Costume Storeroom is looking to develop an online catalogue of their large costume collection. The link for this project is

Submissions close 11.59pm on 13 November. The response rate to date has ‘flooded in’, For a full list of projects, see

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Textile exhibitions: one in Dunedin, one on the road!

Life is a Gas is part of the Art+Science series, exploring air. If you’re in or near Dunedin before 8 October, visit the Dunedin Community Gallery at 26 Princess Street.

The opening is Friday 30 September at 11,00am, then open daily 10am to 3pm, except Sundays.

You’ll see works from textile artists including Christine Keller, Stella Lange and Pam McKinlay.

Further north, Ngahere, The Bush of Aotearoa is on at the Chamber Gallery in Rangiora until 6 October.

The exhibition from the Professional Weavers Association of New Zealand then tours to Nelson, Masterton, Stratford, Morrinsville, Napier and Porirua over the next 12 months. We’ll keep you up to date on venues.

The Nelson venue is Refinery Artspace, so be sure to visit in October/November.

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Call for papers: Ara Honohono/Connecting Pathways

 The International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI) Conference is in Dunedin next year, April 2023.

Otago Polytechnic is partnering with mana whenua Ngai Tahu in Ōtepoti Dunedin, to host the conference in Aotearoa New Zealand for the first time.

The kaupapa (theme or philosophy) of the 25th Annual IFFTI conference is Ara Honohono / Connecting Pathways.

Abstracts for papers, developmental papers, creative practice, posters and workshops are due by 3 October 2022, with full papers due by 11 December 2022. Find out more about the formats and themes here:

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