The children's area at the Rotorua Library is a place for imagination so it was fitting for fashion designers to bring to life their creations in that space.

Three designers paraded their creations on a makeshift catwalk in the children's corner at Thursday night's Matariki Fashion Show.

Adrienne Whitewood, Leilani Rickard and Totaea Rendell showcased their new collections to a packed audience. People watched through bookshelves and from the first floor.

"It's not your usual venue for a catwalk and high heels," said organiser Karisma Vala, the Rotorua Library programmes co-ordinator. "We're bringing a bit of glamour to the place and highlighting that we're more than about borrowing books."


The show formed part of the city's Matariki celebrations organised by the library and Rotorua Lakes Council.

Ms Vala said next year they hoped to build on the celebrations to make it a "uniquely Rotorua" occasion.

Miss Whitewood, who was schooled in Rotorua and owns fashion retail store Ahu as well as her own label, said she loved being part of the event and even went so far as to design a Matariki tiki print for the occasion.

She showed her spring and summer collection.

"I used to come here as a little girl and read the books in the children's section," she said.

"To come back and be part of an event is pretty awesome. It's about being involved in the community. Being asked to help celebrate Matariki is awesome."

As well as the fashion there was live music from young Rotorua musicians, including children's librarian Te Aroha Rangi.

"This is the first time we've made a concerted effort for Matariki," Ms Vala said. "But now we've formed a group we are going to do Matariki events annually. I hope it's the beginning of a new trend for Rotorua."