A Tauranga team of Creative Fibre New Zealand members are taking part in a Fashion Runway Challenge and have created a fashion outfit inspired by gold.

Their final garment will be shown on the catwalk during the 50th anniversary festival of Creative Fibre New Zealand in Palmerston North in April.

Creative Fibre is the umbrella group of the more than 3000 weavers, felters and spinners from all New Zealand. The team will compete against 13 other creative fibre teams for top honours and a prize of $1000 of education workshops.

The team comprises nine textile artists who bring a diverse range of skills to the table, including felting, weaving, spinning, embroidery, crocheting and textile dying.


Team leader Kris Batten said she was honoured to be surrounded by such a talented group of women and it had been fun and inspiring to see the group interact, develop the garment theme, and create sample after sample before working on the final pieces.

Batten said the challenge was based on the Project Runway TV show. Each team must create a complete outfit that is suitable for both the runway and high street fashion based around the single theme of gold.

Each team must also present a visual diary that documents their design journey.

After Batten's team, named "The Gold Divas", brainstormed on many gold-related topics, they settled on an Egyptian based theme – think Nefertiti meets Tutankhamun.

The team's fashion outfit comprises three main parts: a headpiece inspired by a hat worn by Nefertiti, a felt collar inspired by drawings of Tutankhamun and an elegant full-length dress handwoven in Tencel.

Tencel is a modern environmentally friendly yarn created from renewable sources and produced with near zero waste.

The hat and collar are statement pieces, and both are felted, stitched and beaded.

The woven dress has been designed to complement the statement pieces and to be worn alone. Its simple contemporary elegant lines and deep V back would make this dress at home on the high street fashion runway or at any gala event.


The Gold Divas' outfit will be finished off with wrist bands and a small purse crocheted in gold yarn. The purse will carry something that neither Nefertiti or Tutankhamun would have ever carried; a cell phone.

Tauranga team
Sue Lee – Pyes Pa Tauranga
Ineke Riley – Whakamaramara
Marcia Peebles -Tauranga
Jan Wild – Mount Maunganui
Karan Thompson – Otumoetai Tauranga
Rene Corder Evans- Tanners Point
Joy Radford – Bethlehem Tauranga
Elaine Howard – Mount Maunganui
Kris Batten – Bethlehem Tauranga