Taranaki dress on show at Emmys

17:00, Aug 13 2014
Mandy Cordobes
STITCH IN TIME: Keri Wanoa makes some adjustments to the gown she has designed for Mandy Cordobes, who is off to the Emmy awards in Los Angeles today.

Mandy Cordobes has come up trumps in her quest for an Emmys dress, finding not one - but two - with a Taranaki style.

Cordobes threw down the gauntlet to the region's designers to fashion a red carpet showstopper with a distinctive Maori vibe, and a raft of hopefuls took up her challenge.

Ann Thompson and Keri Wanoa had their sewing machine pedals to the metal and custom-made a gown each from scratch.

The pair were fine-tuning and making last minute alterations to their creations until Cordobes left for Auckland before flying to Los Angeles today.

In Los Angeles Mandy will meet up with her husband, Richie Cordobes, who is over the moon about his nomination for an Emmy in the Outstanding Special and Visual Effects in a Supporting Role category for the television series Mob City episode A Guy Walks into a Bar.

Mandy says he is the closest she's got to a celebrity stylist and his advice will hold the greatest sway.


" He will be sporting a traditional tux. And I want to look stunning on his arm and showcase Keri or Ann's talent," she said.

Mandy was impressed by Wanoa's jewellery and edgy day-to-night wear, and asked her to create a formal gown.

Wanoa put her heavy workload on hold to craft a sleek black-and-white number from satin and silk chiffon. Her signature patterns form the bespoke panelling and the garment's classic, clean lines create an elegant silhouette.

"I knew I'd only have a week or so to do it . . . Taranaki is so isolated when it comes to the fashion world and it will be a massive opportunity to get my work out there," Wanoa said.

Self-taught dressmaker Thompson tailored a formal full-length black satin-and-chiffon gown and is rapt it fits her like a glove.

She customised blood-red koru motifs and triangular panels that sheen under a subtle layer of black chiffon. The gown's contoured bodice with a low-cut back adds to its sultry style.

A personal invite by Television Academy governor Kevin Pike for the couple to sit at his table during the after-function ball could mean double the media glare for the lucky dress.

Taranaki Daily News