From winning a trip to India to putting her award-winning design on stage, student Susan Colton is on a stylish roll.

Susan Colton mastered sewing at the age of 11 when she made a kite.

Now, nearly 10 years on, her world-class skills have earned her the opportunity to have her work seen by thousands of fashion-savvy eyes.

The young fashion student's design will be the first to hit the Resene Designer Runway at New Zealand Fashion Week later this month.


The 20-year-old has taken out the Resene NZ Fashion Tech Colour of Fashion competition, beating 36 other diploma students from the Institute of Fashion Technology.

"Its just amazing," said Colton whose prize included tickets to some of the hottest shows at Fashion Week and a personalised tailors form - an essential tool for her career.

Colton's sassy jumpsuit with a difference won her a spot at Fashion Week.
Colton's sassy jumpsuit with a difference won her a spot at Fashion Week.

The Wellingtonian said her winning silk jumpsuit and coat, which has a plunging neckline, lace and eyelet detailing and embossing, was based on memories and how they shape our lives.

"What I designed was who I really want to be as a designer and it's just amazing that other people can see it, too. Obviously the win and the publicity and being in India have given me so much inspiration and knowledge," said Colton.

Colton has spent almost six weeks in India after winning a Prime Minister's Scholarship for Asia. The learning experience saw her recreate her garments from locally sourced silk for a fashion show hosted by the Bannari Amman Institute of Technology in Sathyamangalam.

To enter the Resene competition, students had to create silk garments in a Resene colour.

Judges selected 16 finalists, including an overall winner, to present at Fashion Week, which runs from August 22 to 28.