Villa Maria Cult Couture Preview Night

As one of the thrilling perks of working under an arts directorate, I scored free tickets to the annual Cult Couture awards - a sort of mash-up between wearable art and couture displays you might see at fashion week. Despite the opening night glitches that had the stage manager in me cringing (and that were mutually bitched about by our performing arts director and I), the show provided an opening for many amateur fashion designers to get their names out there in a very public way. The quality of the entries were pretty spectacular, and I've chosen a few of my favourites to share with you guys. Two entries that I loved unfortunately did not photograph well under the harsh light - a black dress with stunning sparkly detail did not agree with the lighting, and the jacket with fantail inspired train had a similar disagreement because of the sheen of the material.
Number 1 - simple black jersey material, beautifully draped and even more beautifully modelled. This dress could have so easily have fallen into the amorphous blob category but instead the model carried it off like a regal Grecian! Can I be her?
Number 2 - cross culture! A wonderful evening gown combining both Maori and Japanese elements. I particularly love the sunset coloured obi!
Number 3 - very natural and earthy, and I love the unexpected hood to the outfit! She looks like an ethereal dryad, in the best possible way.
Number 4 - a different take on the bubble skirt. I think the haphazard draping of the skirt gave the model more shape. I'm not usually a fan of the bubble skirt but this I like.
Number 5 - I'm such a red girl and I love the print on this skirt. I would have preferred the skirt to flow rather than gather, but nonetheless it's still spectacular.
Number 6 - this particular model has an incredible tattooed sleeve running down her arm. She seemed to get some of the more intriguing outfits of the show, including a pirate-inspired minidress in the "Flight of Fancy" category and a punk gothic outfit. I like how this dress shows how tattoos are just as "at home" in formal evening wear.
Number 7 - this outfit is hot and this model is even hotter. Permission to eat him?
Number 8 - the winner of the "Matrimonial Bliss" category and also the supreme winner of the competition. The dress is completely hand woven out of flax and painted with Tatau designs. So much effort must have gone into this!

The entertainment between categories was amazing too - aerobatic tap dancers, beautiful singers and a cross-dressing Tina Turner! Couldn't have asked for a better night :D


  1. Wow, what amazing designs! Sounds like you had an awesome night, lovely one! :)

  2. Thanks luv! I have more pictures in an album on Facebook - have a look!

  3. Lucky girl! I particularly like #4, totally wearable for a fancy night out.

  4. I am a tremendously lucky girl - I also have freebie tickets to a comedy show next Friday night! Definitely agree with you Sarah that #4 is infinitely wearable :D