Art with community designs at annual Runway extravaganza

By Lindy Laird

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Zoe Stonnex
Zoe Stonnex

Art, heart and local design will come together again in the third annual Runway extravaganza at Whangarei Art Museum tomorrow for the benefit of community groups.

After successful charity fashion events in 2012 and 2013, the museum is again working with designers, fashion students and local businesses to stage the show.

The title for tomorrow's event is Lost in Space. As well as a nod to the forward focus of fashion, the theme hitches itself to the star of New Zealand kinetic art sculpture, the late Len Lye. Whangarei Art Museum is showing Lost In Space, a selective survey of early Len Lye works.

The Runway show's music will include a New Zealand Symphony Orchestra recording of a sci-fi opera based on Lye's unfinished, 1932 London futuristic ballet Quicksilver.

This year's profits will again go to the 2013 recipients, Whangarei's women's refuge centres Tryphina House and Te Puna O Te Aroha Maori, who each received $2155 as a result of that show.

Runway director Andrea McKay said it was an easy choice to again support the women's refuges which played such a vital role for many local women and children.

The compere will be Ian Pritchard, a founding member of Opera North who has had leading roles in various local productions. The show will be officially opened by Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai, and the evening's entertainment will include a band playing as guests arrive.

Some of the clothes designed for the event will be for sale afterwards, and raffle prizes will include a coat by designer Julz Pyle and a "sound package" donated by sound technician Tim Bell.

"Every Runway event has been sold out and designers now use the shows to launch new ranges which is brilliant affirmation," museum director Scott Pothan said.

The Runway Shows For Charity saw the art museum named a finalist in the Museums Aotearoa New Zealand Awards 2013 for Public Programmes. The citation described it as "an outstanding new museum programme that contributes to best practice in the sector and demonstrates community engagement, responsiveness and collaboration".

- Northern Advocate

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