The fashion teacher
3 April, 2018, 12:00 am
They are known as Nic’s 6Pack, a loveable bunch of fledgling emerging designers.
Laisiasa Davetawalu, Jackie Whippy, Rosie Isaac, Jofus Turaga, Alice Timbal, Kess Baleirara thrown together by their passion for fashion.
Little did they know the effect it would have on their lives when in walked Nicholas Charles Huxley with nearly 40 years as head teacher of teaching design and illustration at the Fashion Design Studio, TAFE, internationally known as the premier Fashion Design Institute in Australia.
Nicholas is currently teaching in a five-series fashion workshop on a monthly basis from January to May preparing his 6Pack Design team for Fiji Fashion Week 2018.
Nic’s 6Pack Design team is learning the elements and principles of design and how to use them when researching for an eventual collection. Teaching illustration helps the students understand the use of colour, texture and fabrication, balance, proportion and detailing which go hand in hand with designing a collection, putting the elements and principles into an artistic two- dimensional project.
The 6Pack team is so excited as Jackie Whippy said: “Words cannot describe how much I have learned from Nicholas since January. There’s nothing new in what he is teaching us, but it’s his ability to make us think outside the box and look at things differently; the techniques he has shown us has opened up our creative channels and I now look at what is available locally in such a different way that I may have never known.”
Laisiasa, the winner of the Student Designers Award in 2016, who has since completed the APTC Certificate 3 in Applied Fashion Design and Technology and Certificate 4 in Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising said: “Being taught by Nicholas has been one of the best experiences I have had so far due to the amazing detailed knowledge he shares so willingly with us. His lectures are fun, creative and he leads by example whipping pieces up on the sewing machine. I now understand why most of his Australian students are the best in their field. I too want to be a global brand and I know through Nicholas I can be.”
Nicholas first attended Fiji Fashion Week as a VIP guest in 2015 where he saw the work of the local designers. His general comment was, “whilst there was talent on the runway, a lot of technical issues had to be urgently addressed if our designers were to attract international orders.”
The comment that hit home to Ellen Whippy-Knight, managing director of Fiji Fashion Week and her comment was, “how can you have a fashion week without a fashion school, you have got the cart before the horse, it’s the graduates that should be walking this runway!”
Meanwhile, the eminent Australian fashion teacher Nicholas said: “What an enormous pleasure it is to be working with such a diverse talented group of new designers. With professional ethics these designers have excelled in their creative approach to being an integral part of Fiji Fashion Week 2018.”
Lai has proven to be a force to be reckoned with. He has a refreshing attitude to design and looks at this exciting adventure with a designer’s eye for classic tones of beige, charcoal, mint and white and his play on layering and asymmetric. His collection is highlighted by an interesting use of detailing.
Jackie loves the shirtdress and with that her ‘Shirt Connection’ collection gives us a fascinating extension of timeless classic featuring an interesting mix of prints -floral, tribal and graphic. Highly flattering and with an exclusivity, the collection feels very special.
Rosie Isaac, a hardworking mother of four young daughters, has opened her heart to design with bold colours and print choices which feature strongly accented swimwear and cover-ups and an array of co-ordinated pieces that highlight her understanding of a collection and how it all comes together.
For Kess, paying a fun homage to the 80s’ is very evident in this vivacious designer’s first professional collection. Kess has a fun-loving delightful nature and this shows in all her co-ordinated pieces, playfulness is evident with her bold stripes, large splashy and floral prints combined with classic highly wearable shapes.
Alice’s quiet nature couldn’t be more opposite to the eclectic collection, powerful structured silhouette, combined with soft flowing georgettes which make for a highly interesting design aesthetic. She features a very feminine approach to dressing with a very sexy nightclub underplay which will have the audience intrigued.
Jofe, is a former sales assistant from Tappoos, who is presenting a menswear collection with a simply refreshing look at how to take a basic shirt and sulu and reinvent this classic look. Beautiful cotton floral shirts and layered printed sulu also feature masculine details that highlight the many possibilities one can include when taking a basic and making it versatile. Jo’s humorous and bold nature is very much on show in his delightful runway looks.
Nicholas himself is a front-rower at every Australian fashion event and is known as Australia’s most famous fashion educator, who has been instrumental in helping launch the careers of many notable Australian designers such as current Australian fashion laureate winner Dion Lee now based in New York, Zimmerman, Akira Isogawa, Romance Was Born, Alex Perry, to name a few including Yousuf Akbar, who has recently dressed Chrissy Teigen, wife of Johnny Legend, Kelly Rowland and actress Bella Thorne.
His honest and direct approach and no-nonsense attitude tends to conflict with the sometimes superficial air kissing fashion arena. Flip the coin and there is a fun-loving, compassionate and authentic ‘something’ year-old who just wants to share his experience and skills.
With all of that he still found time to design costumes for film and television working for famous actor Nicole Kidman, wings spread over many areas of creative, as an artist, interior decorating, styling, events co-ordination.
He will also co-produce Fiji Fashion Week 2018 with managing director Whippy-Knight.
“Nicholas’s contribution has simply elevated the look and feel of Fiji Fashion Week 2018; such a great mix of business and entertainment; I just can’t wait to share this show with Fiji,” Whippy-Knight said.