He really knows what women want to wear

The winner of the Art Deco Weekend's Sew Be It competition Caleb Hoare has been designing clothes for just on a year.

However, Gillian Marshall, his textiles teacher at Tamatea High School, says the 15-year-old already ranks among her top students.

"He already seems to know what women want to wear."

For Sew Be It, a competition sponsored by EIT's School of Arts and Design and open only to students attending Hawke's Bay secondary schools, Caleb designed a floral playsuit, bandana and over-jacket to be modelled by his friend Natasha Harris.

The jaunty sportswear was "inspired by summer wear of the '30s and '40s," he says, "and the colours blue, purple, pink and green. My fabric choice is cotton because it is light, breathable and has that summer feel about it."

Not surprisingly, the Year 11 student is looking ahead to a career in the fashion world. After leaving school, he says he will probably study fashion design at EIT, and would eventually love to work - like his favourite designer Audrey Kitching - in the United States.

Entrants in the competition were required to submit story boards and target their designs at a specific Art Deco Weekend event,

Natasha modelled Caleb's outfit at Friday night's Opening Soiree and again in the following day's Costumes & Coiffure competition, staged at the Sound Shell.

One of the judges for Sew Be It, EIT tutor Cheryl Downey made a pattern from the design and sewed up the garment, which she says is quite true to the spirit of the age.

"The Art Deco period that gave rise to the word playsuit as an all-in-one garment worn by women and based on shorts and a top. It is interesting that the winning entry was designed by a young man and for a sports-oriented event."

Starting textile studies last year, Caleb told his teacher he was going to win all the competitions he entered.

"He was also second runner-up at last year's Edible Arts, held at the Hawke's Bay Opera House," Gillian said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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