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Girls WOWed by Fifi Colston

May 10, 2018 at 3:18 PM

The senior students at the Girls’ School were most fortunate to spend time with Fifi Colston this morning - a woman of many talents, Fifi is an award winning junior fiction novelist, children’s book illustrator, non-fiction author and a long-standing presenter of arts and crafts on firstly, TVNZ’s ‘What Now’ and then, ‘The Good Morning Show’.

Fifi is also a veritable veteran of Wearable Arts and this morning, she came to share her creative process for preparing an entry for the show.

Over the last 21 years, she has created 23 Wearable Arts entries. Her work has been exhibited many times in Nelson’s World of Wearable Art Museum and her piece ‘Lady Curiosity’ is currently touring internationally. Her most recent entry, ‘The Organ Donor,’ was last year’s winner. She has also worked with Richard Taylor’s Weta Workshop, Peter Jackson’s Stone Street Studios, Pukeko Pictures and The Production Shed as a costumier, puppet maker, illustrator and crafts expert.

With plenty of illustrations and samples to show, she talked the girls through the design to production process of two very different pieces, explaining the sources of inspiration, she initially drafts them as sketches, with the idea then mocked up on a doll-size mannequin. Once happy with her concept, she starts work on pulling the whole piece together, being mindful of the needs of the model, those doing the dressing and the logistics of transportation and storage – and staying in budget! The process requires a constant need to problem solve; a skill she told the girls, along with digital/technological literacy, that will stand them in good stead for future years.

We offer our thanks to Fifi for sharing her time and insight with us this morning. There are undoubtedly a number of girls now thinking ahead to what they too could achieve with needle, thread, cable ties, foam, fabric and imagination!

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