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Local vet WOWs fashion judges2 min read

Oct 11, 2023 2 min

Local vet WOWs fashion judges2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Sen no hida (1000 Folds) by mother and daughter, Joelle March and Carolyn Gibson (photo supplied)

Onehunga resident and veterinarian, Joelle March, WOWed the judges and came second overall in the Avant-garde section of the prestigious 2023 World of Wearable (WOW) Art competition.

Described as “a fusion of folds and funky fashion,” by the WOW judges, her creation ‘Sen no hida (1000 Folds)’ was produced in collaboration with her mother, Carolyn Gibson, and showcased Joelle’s love of the art of paper folding.

Carolyn, a milliner by trade, built the frame while Joelle did all the work with the paper and the final design.

Related to origami, paper folding involves much larger, more complex architectural and even structural elements.

In keeping with the tradition of using unusual materials for WOW garments, Joelle chose wallpaper as her primary fabric, as it was the texture she wanted. It then took her more than 40 hours of folding, “with plenty of trial and error” to complete the final entry.

Joelle first entered WOW six years ago, but did not get past the preliminary stages. However, Carolyn, who has been a regular WOW competitor since 2015, did not let her dwell on the disappointment, and kept pushing Joelle to re-enter. Joelle entered last year as an assistant to her mum, but this year, her name was added to the entry.

Joelle admits she entered this year to “partly please mum”, however she is now hooked, and is already thinking about next year’s competition. “That thrill of just getting in to the main competition is a huge accomplishment.”

She credits her mum with inspiring her love of art from an early age. Joelle even considered a career as an artist, but chose to study veterinary science instead, which she hastens to add she also loves.

Her art is now her favourite way to relax and maintain a positive life balance. In addition to paper folding, she also works with ceramics and tutors classes at the Auckland Society of Potters.