And so the curtain closes on another incredible show — Trash Fashion Kaikoura is over for another year.
While members of the Lions Club of Seaward Kaikoura can breathe a sigh of relief and designers and models come back down to earth, the talk on the street remains focused on the costumes, performances and incredible skill involved which made the weekend the success it was.
The biennial show is testament to the dedication of those behind the scenes as well as the plethora of hidden talent in the district, which was particularly apparent this year with so many entries coming from Kaikoura.
With 45 outstanding costumes and models to pore over, the judges this year had the unenviable task of picking the winners
for each category, and with such a range of styles and outlandish ideas, their job was made all the more tricky. Lions Club of Seaward Kaikoura president Philippa Holstein said she was incredibly pleased with the result, which was the culmination of many hours' hard work from all the club's members over many months.
She had only received positive feedback so far, and said the costumes this year were of a very high standard. She was particu-larly impressed by the local schools' efforts, she said, which made for an excellent Kids' Art category. And with a full house on both the Friday and Saturday nights she could not have asked for more.
"People have stopped me in the street and said how well-run it is, and that's thanks to our members who all contribute," she said. "Thanks also to our local community for their sponsorship and to all those who entered - without them the show would not be possible."
Kaikoura seamstress and craftsperson extraordinaire Linda Bennett was crowned this year's Supreme Winner for her Bird's Eye View creation in the Colour, Seaward — Where Blue Meets Green category. She was "absolutely elated" at winning, she said.
"I am really, really proud and happy, it's really great. My beautiful, beautiful model [Harriet Edgard] made my frock sing, it wouldn't have been anything without her, she was just marvellous."
Linda said she was stunned to have won the grand prize because the level of the other entries was superb, although she was of course pleased that the many months of work had paid off for her. The winning dress depicted an albatross's view of Kaikoura, and while it looked like a seamless dress made from felt, upon closer inspection the detailed work became clear.
"My concern was that it looked like material, but in actual fact it was different colours of different materials I liked all layered on top of each other with a clear fabric on top so the colours showed through. There were pieces of dressing gowns, ballgowns, blankets, all sorts of different things.
I wanted it to be a seamless dress. I just quilted them and free-stitched them together." There was a reference on the back to the giant squid found in Kaikoura, and chocolate wrappers were used to represent the Kaikoura mountains in the distance, which may have accounted for the fact she won the most user-friendly award too.
The overall effect was a stunning piece of fashion. "I wanted to showcase everything I could about the Kaikoura area. I just adore the colours of this coast."
Linda also painstakingly hand-stitched 1500 bottle tops to her second creation, modelled by Eilish Smith, entitled Cheers — You Wanna Live Where Everyone Knows Your Name.
Linda is a supporter of Innovative Waste Kaikoura, this year's principal sponsor. She wanted to use the bottle tops because they pose a danger to Kaikoura's albatross and the ecosystem in general.
The blue/ green creation came easily because she loved the colours and was keen to create with them. She is thinking about branching out with her new-found technique.
"I love the process so much I am actually going to start a business."
The profits from this year's show will be donated to the new Kaikoura Hospital project, with a final figure yet to be announced.
- The Marlborough Express
Is the region better served by having multiple events over one weekend or spread out throughout the year?Related story: (See story)