Meet Finalist 1: Kapi Fonua and his Pohutukawa dress
Kapi Fonua of Auckland who has defied gravity by making pohutukawa leaf-shaped lace out oftoilet paper, and sewing it into the bodice of a whisper-light, fashion-forward dress which softly cascades into a profusion of petals.
Born in Tonga, Kapi remembers admiring the intricacy and symmetry of the lace in the white dresses he saw at church on Sundays. After moving with his family to New Zealand as an 11 year old, one of his fondest memories is going to the beach at Christmas where he would climb among the pohutukawa trees.
Both memories are now stitched into Kapi’s work of art and he’s glad he followed the advice of his Year 11 Dean at Aorere College who told him to “do what you really want to do.”