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Toilet paper dress designer eyes fashion industry
Tue, 04 Sep 2012 10:55p.m.
By Jenny Suo
Three young designers got the chance to prove they could cut it at Fashion Week tonight, albeit using a rather unusual material.
The trio were competing to create the best toilet paper dress, but only one could claim the throne.
The 15 rolls of toilet paper never looked so good. Sitting in the front row, the dress’ very coy designer, at only 19 years old, Kapi Fonua was too shocked for words.
“I’m quite happy with it and it’s everything I wanted and everything I dreamed it to be in Fashion Week,” says Mr Fonua.
In all, three toilet paper frocks were paraded down the runway. The designers they belong to are all students at New Zealand Fashion Tech.
They knew the first dress out was the winner for the competition run by Kleenex, with the highest number of public votes.
Fonua's dress took a month to design and a week-and-a-half to put together. His design was inspired by his childhood after moving to New Zealand from Tonga.
“Every Christmas we go to the beach, there was one particular tree that I would climb. It was the pohutukawa tree. And so I wanted to add the leaves of the tree to the dress.”
Mr Fonua's dress will now be sold on Trade Me, but winning the competition could be just the beginning.
Last year's winner is back at Fashion Week, this time working for Ruby and Liam.
She says the competition gave her a foot in the door.
“I think it’s definitely given me a boost to sort of pursue being in the industry and chasing a career,” says Juvena Worsfold. “It just got me excited about it and just got my name out there and I met new people in the industry.”
The industry is where Mr Fonua wants to be too. His family says he was born for the catwalk.
“He'd wear some weird, bright-coloured clothes and we said ‘hey what's going on’, and he said ‘well I’m just trying to make some fashion for myself’, and he said ‘watch this space!’” says sister Ofeina Fonua.
We certainly will.
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