A towed car, cancelled sponsor and missing goodie bags were not enough to hinder Rotorua designer Kharl WiRepa who says his New Zealand Fashion Week show was a "marvellous success".

The local fashion designer, who is best known for his glamorous evening wear, showcased his collection yesterday in front of a full house as part of New Zealand Fashion Week.

The former Waiariki Institute of Technology fashion student has fast become a staple in the New Zealand Fashion Week scene, having showcased his creations last year and previously as part of the indigenous designers' collection show, Miromoda.

Mr WiRepa said there were several mishaps the day before his show but he was not prepared to let them get in his way.


"I saw my car get towed and I just thought to myself, 'no, this is not going to happen' so I tapped on the window of the tow truck and got him to give my car back. We also had our champagne sponsor pull out from our VIP champagne lunch and had some goodie bags go missing.

"Luckily on the day of the show everything was perfect, it was a marvellous success. Everything ran smoothly and to the highest standard."

Mr WiRepa said his collection represented who he was - his imagination and soul.

"My inspiration really comes from inside me. My collection is all about timeless classic pieces that last forever."

His show was a mix of both ready-to-wear and evening wear pieces.

"I wanted to show that I have the ability to be more commercial - show my range and capability."

22 Mar, 2017 7:00am
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Kharl WiRepa with Ashley Emiko, 15, (left) and Sarangi Lim. Clothes by Kharl WiRepa, jewellery by Anita Lewis. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER
Kharl WiRepa with Ashley Emiko, 15, (left) and Sarangi Lim. Clothes by Kharl WiRepa, jewellery by Anita Lewis. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER

Mr WiRepa had Rotorua models accompany him down the catwalk as he wanted this year's show to be not just about him, but the town he comes from.

"These girls have been supporting me since the beginning so I wanted it to be just as much about them as it was about my collection. I had Salon St Bruno doing the girls' hair as well. This year it was all about giving light to the world talent Rotorua has to offer."

Jessica Tyson, who is taking part in Miss International New Zealand 2016, flaunted Mr WiRepa's final piece.

"I never decide the order or who is wearing each piece until the final moment. When I saw Jess with her jewellery and hair done up and that dress on, I knew it would be the one I showed last."

Mr WiRepa put his success down to the support of his community and said he would not have been able to do it alone.

Miss Tyson said she had an amazing time modelling for the show.

"It was all a bit of a rush but Kharl was so calm, he was amazing. I felt very lucky to be the last walker and being able to walk down the catwalk beside him - he treats me like a queen.

"I never imagined myself being a catwalk model because I have a bit more curves so to have the opportunity to walk in one of Kharl's best shows was a real honour."

Miss Tyson said she loved the piece she wore, right down to the Swarovski crystals sewn in.

"It was all a great success. I love working with Kharl and will definitely be modelling for him in the future."

Local label Natura Aura was part of yesterday's Miromoda show.