When I first met Kharl Wirepa, it was just before a fashion show, and I was photographing one of his models. Kharl created this hat, (photo below) in what seemed under a minute, for the runway. His designs for me, were the highlight of the show.
The next time I saw Kharl, it was after a fashion show, and he was giving a speech. He talked about how beautiful our Maori women are, and how glamorous they can be, how our youth don't need to follow the American street lifestyle as we have our own strong culture that we can represent and proud of. They way he said it wasn't putting anyone down, but rather inspiring our people to make the most of who they are. I left the fashion show thinking, 'that fashion designer spoke well'.
Fast forward around 12 months, and I have a giggle at one of his social media posts. This is not word for word, but the gist was, put some thought into what you are going to wear, because if you die that day, it will be your ghost outfit forever.
Fast forward a few more months and I get to photograph Kharl, and that quote became my inspiration point for the shoot. Even on a hot summers day when a Fashionista bathes to cool down, he is still glamorous and fabulous.
Here are a few highlights, but I have my fave 5 which I will be using in my summer black and white series.
Thank you Robyn for the use of your outdoor bathtub.
Thank you Kharl for being my muse for the day, and for being a support, and a visionary.
For those interested in Kharl Wirepa Fashion, here is some references from the facebook page:
"Dramatic, theatrical, and fierce individual style. Kharl WiRepa Fashion specialises
in Glamour Dressing.....Taking the modern fashionista into a wardrobe of timeless
Modern cuts, romantic silhouettes, and clever pop-culture references are
components that run through the design lines of each collection."