20 February 2013
by Niamh Tuft
On the 17th floor of New Zealand House the London skyline presented a stunning backdrop to Kiri Nathan's designs. Kiri brought her new collection to London to represent New Zealand in the International Fashion Showcase for the first time.
Her work combines Maori techniques such as Raranga weaving with romantic European silhouettes paying homage to her roots in both cultures. Think Holly Hunter in The Piano combined with ancient Maori wisdom and craftsmanship all underpinned by intricate hand-techniques.
Kiri collaborated with David K. Shields (who has shot for French Vogue, Dazed and Confused and GQ) to produce a series of images within the atmospheric coastline of New Zealand which she showed alongside the garments. She also works with her husband to produce Pounamu (Authentic New Zealand Greenstone) accessories. This rare and cherised material is especially meaningful within Maori culture and is a reminder of the senstivity and deep respect of the landscape that is so prevalent within New Zealand.
The label itself is only in its third year and Kiri spoke about both the commerical and creative benefits of taking part in the showcase. Travelling to London was an opportunity not only to show her work on an international platform but to seek out work of other designers to develop her own creative processes. All of the designers eagerness to collaborate and share their work with each other, and indeed the public, has been particularly noticeable this year. The convergence of these talents in London and the conversations and collaborations that grow from those meetings give us plenty to look forward to even as this year's showcase draws to a close.