to fashion

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to fashion shifts the framing of the fashion word from a noun to a verb, fashion as action. For this project the museum steps back and instead asks twelve diverse individuals to fashion their own personal appearance in a way that expresses their identity, their culture, and their truth. Championing the approach of participant as curator, their process has been recorded and filmed by Robert George and The Raro Dog team and their outcomes have been beautifully documented in a series of full size portraits by award-winning Samoan/New Zealand photographer Edith Amituanai.

to fashion was initiated to make visible what we have learned so far; that we construct, create, and express our identity through what we choose to wear. As a museum without a building and without a physical collection the New Zealand Fashion Museum's approach has always been unconventional and to mark our twelfth anniversary we invited twelve distinctive individuals to present themselves through what they wear. They are of varying ages, sizes, ethnicities, and genders to reflect the true character of our people and our times in order to open out the fashion conversation, to engage new audiences and to widening the parameters of fashion so that it is inclusive of the increasingly diverse demographic that is contemporary Aotearoa.

The intention of this project is to stimulate and challenge the existing framing of what is meant by the word fashion and to take our thinking beyond what is shown on the runways of the world and in the High Street shop windows and to demonstrate a more inclusive model that recognises the wearer's agency in fashioning themselves through what they wear.

We all fashion our identity every day through what we choose to wear, how we do our hair, how we smell and how we adorn our bodies.

When & where

28th November 2022 - 14th April 2023

Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts
Waikato University


Thurs 10 March - Wednesday 6 April 2023

The Pavilions
Te Ara Tahuhu Walkway
Auckland Central