Lucie's passion for fashion pays off
When Lucilla Gray was 12 she made blue and white gingham pyjama pants that became favourites.
Now at 22 she has been selected as a finalist in the iD International Emerging Designer Awards, with winners showing their collections at the iD Dunedin Fashion Show in April.
Her collection, Hyper-Floralis, still features blue and white but with 3D effects in the vibrant digital textile prints she has created, involving considerably more work than that first foray into design at her Tapu Bay home near Kaiteriteri.
Lucilla, known to friends as Lucie, showed her passion for fashion at 17 when she created a collection inspired by street art then took it to Auckland for a fashion shoot with photographer Robin Smith just so she could experience a collection from creation to finish.
The former Motueka High School student went on to Massey University in Wellington completing her four-year Bachelor of Design (honours) fashion programme last year.
It was an intensive year involving long hours, spending weekends and and late nights on her graduate collection.
"It's a massive project, you want it to be good so you put in a lot of effort," she said.
The hard work paid off and she excelled, finishing at Massey with three awards and earning an eight-week internship with Kate Sylvester in Auckland where she is now, and will get to work on an outfit to be photographed for a fashion magazine.
She is excited at being selected as an awards finalist from nearly 100 entries from nine countries, and is looking forward to meeting with the other finalists.
She wants to start her own label and isn't deterred by the challenges. "Sometimes you've got to be a bit naive and just go for it," she said.
She attributes her creativity and innovation to her family. Her mother, Karen, who used to be a menswear fashion buyer in London is now a floral designer and her father, Paul, has started an eco fishing equipment business.
The family moved from Lincolnshire to New Zealand when Lucie was 7, a move she believes has enhanced her creative skills. "New Zealand is open and creative. In the UK it is more academic, being in New Zealand has allowed me to be more creative."