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LOVE FOR FASHION angie shares the story of her passion for the fashion industry and the challenges it brings

Photographs Kelly Peteru Words Angela Kitchener & Kelly Peteru

My name is Angie Kitchener and I’m 20 years old, (almost 21 - hooray!). I am studying fashion design at the Universal College of Learning in Wanganui. I moved to Palmerston North about a year ago from the town I was born and raised in, Levin. I’m a small town girl but I have big ambitions! I have been creatively minded for as long as I can remember. At primary school, I loved participating in design projects. When I reached high school, I got my first taste for textile design. I loved taking a simple piece of material and making it into something that could be worn fashionably. During this time, I learnt how to apply the appropriate sewing techniques and learnt patterns. Once I finished high school, I had a gap year where I worked at a supermarket. Of course I didn’t want to be stuck working a minimum wage job and so weighed up my options. I started thinking seriously about my passions and in 2010 decided I would lay out a path towards fashion design. I enrolled at the Palmerston North School of Design and completed a level four course covering the basics of graphic design and illustration. I had a lot of fun there and made a lot of awesome friends.

I moved to Palmerston North in 2011 and began the long drives back and forth to Wanganui heading towards a Bachelor in Fashion. It teaches you drawing, pattern making, business studies and everything in between! I am just over half way through the course and absolutely loving it. The people and the atmosphere are great. If you are thinking of pursuing a career in fashion design then definitely consider UCOL. Whenever we are handed a new assignment, we have to apply rules that would be relevant in the industry. I have had my fair share of challenges that I’ve had to face. Sewing is something that usually can’t be perfected the first time round. You will always get it wrong before you get it right - but that’s okay! It’s all apart of it and as the saying goes; you learn from your mistakes. Throughout the course we practice pattern drafting, this is my second year of it and I am still jumping hurdles. My advice is to just keep going until you get it right, be persistent. Practice makes perfect!

I’m not really good with names. I don’t know an awful lot of fashion designers but the ones that stand out the most for me are Versace and McQueen. They have a lot of class but can also be spontaneous and knock out some really quirky designs that I love. Everyone has someone or something that keeps them going and pushes them to be the best that they can be. My long term boyfriend Ben does this for me. He is a full time student studying finance so he knows what it’s like to be under stress. He encourages me to keep going and is my rock. I tend to try and live in the moment and not think too much about the future but if I were to imagine myself in five to ten years time my wildest dream would ultimately be to open up my own fashion label in New York City. Realistically, I hope to either be in one of the big-little cities of New Zealand, Auckland or Wellington and progress from there.

I have designed quite a few items of clothing and am slowly beginning to build a collection. I find the easiest pieces to make are skirts, the patterns are quite simple and because of this, they are my favourite items to design. Creating collars can be quite challenging, the sewing and back stitching can be quite complex at times so I don’t tend to enjoy that as much but there is still a bittersweet love for it! The main fashion advice I can give is work with the colour of your eyes, sounds cliche right? But I’m serious! For example, people with brown eyes can really work the colour orange to their advantage. My mum told me this and I will always remember it; make the most of being young! Things you can wear now, you won’t be able to in twenty years time, so be fun, outgoing and mix it up!

Love For Fashion  

*Not a real magazine publication* Covers the story of Angela Kitchener, a young aspiring fashion designer.