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CM’s Moana Currents: Dressing Aotearoa Now

Tangelo Mama dress by Papa Clothing (Keva Rands), Doily Daisy Chain lei by Fran Allison. Photo: Mara Sommer.

Press Release: Pacific-inspired Fashion Exhibition Comes To Canterbury, Canterbury Museum, 18 February 2020

Award-winning garments by a talented Christchurch teen will be among the Pacific-inspired looks on show at Canterbury Museum’s new exhibition, opening on Saturday, 22 February.

Moana Currents: Dressing Aotearoa Now features a linen top and neoprene trousers by emerging designer Natasha Senior. In 2018, when Natasha was 14, the look won top prize at the YMCA Walk The Line catwalk, part of New Zealand Fashion Week.

Natasha’s work will be displayed alongside garments from established designers like Trelise Cooper and Adrienne Whitewood.

Developed by the New Zealand Fashion Museum, Moana Currents: Dressing Aotearoa Now looks through the lens of fashion at how Aotearoa New Zealand’s identity is shaped by our place in the Pacific Ocean (Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa).

Co-curators Doris de Pont and Dan Ahwa have selected garments and jewellery by New Zealand designers to showcase the influence of the Pacific on who we are and what we wear.

Garments in the exhibition range from streetwear by Bill Urale’s (aka King Kapisi) Overstayer label, which sold at Farmers in the early 2000s, to a merino wool wrap that is reminiscent of a muka kaitaka (flax fibre cloak) created by Emilia Wickstead in collaboration with Woolmark in 2019.

Canterbury Museum is the first South Island venue to exhibit Moana Currents; it showed at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery in Auckland late last year.

Canterbury Museum Director Anthony Wright says the exhibition is a terrific showcase for the extraordinary work of Aotearoa New Zealand’s fashion designers and the pride we have in the way Pacific cultures have influenced our Kiwi sense of style.\

“What we wear really does reflect who we are as individuals and as a nation. We think this exhibition will be very popular with both our local and international visitors.”

New Zealand Fashion Museum Director and Moana Currents co-curator Doris de Pont says she’s thrilled to be bringing the exhibition to Canterbury.

Moana Currents shows how our history of migration and cultural exchange is visible in what we wear and how we adorn ourselves. Aotearoa New Zealand’s identity has evolved over time as generations of people migrated here. Who we are and how we dress is a reflection of those journeys both past and present and an expression of our aspirations and how we want to be seen.”

Doris de Pont will give a floor talk in the exhibition on Saturday – see Canterbury Museum’s website for details and to book a place.

Moana Currents: Dressing Aotearoa Now runs from 22 February to 14 June at Canterbury Museum.

Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2020
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