Campbell Luke put on a spectacular runway show presentation during this season of New Zealand Fashion Week 2019. Filled with emotional, personal touches and a strong kaupapa Māori ethos, designer Bobby Luke (Ngāti Ruanui) presented his first solo show with the historically-inspired collection called “Kakahu Hau,” which means breathing life into clothes. The range, filled with strong feminist undertones, was extra beautiful set against the show backdrop of the Auckland Town Hall’s Concert Chamber.
“The collection draws from colonial silhouettes, something that has always attracted me as a designer. At the time of New Zealand being colonised, Māori were incredible adaptors – in good cases and in bad cases,” the designer told Fashion Quarterly. “My tīpuna (ancestors) Tohu Kākahi and Te Whiti o Rongomai during this time sought to work alongside Pākehā and not against them, which still had an incredibly sad and destructive outcome that has left so much trauma – not just as a country but throughout the whole of Te Moana-Nui-A-kiwa (the Pacific Ocean).”
“The outcome of the narratives that discuss this are subtle references of the time from the silhouettes in the collection – direct aspects such as high collars, ruffles, puffy sleeves, all inspired by colonial photos of Māori women during the 1800s,” the designer added.
The pride and celebration can be felt in each and every look.