His latest collection, “He Oranga Ngākau,” showcased at New Zealand Fashion Week, once again demonstrates his immense talent and his ability to challenge conventional fashion thinking and practices.
Bobby Luke takes immense pride in promoting Kaupapa Māori-led designs. His strong connection to his iwi, hapu, and the broader landscapes of Aotearoa is evident in the collection’s essence and message.
The immaculate pieces within the show reflect a strong desire and thoughtfulness toward sustainability and longevity. In his collection, Luke focuses on using high-quality natural materials such as linens and natural fibre fabrics, and Luke’s design expertise truly shines through in his careful layering of textures, incorporation of delicate prints and use of crochet. The flowing silhouettes and volumise sleeves combine to create a mesmerising and romantic aesthetic. The juxtaposition of different materials, such as smooth linens, delicate crochet, and luxurious knits, creates a harmonious and unique interplay.
Beyond his designs, Bobby Luke’s mission also encompasses raising awareness and understanding of Indigenous design culture. This is achieved through not only the creation of his collection but also by the way he curated his show and the incorporation of moving image and photography, which together created a powerful visual language.
The show transcended what we would normally think of as a fashion runway event; it was an experience that was felt deeply by many, both those who were part of the show and the audience. It’s a complex one to try and explain and is a representation of the deeply emotional and heartbreaking journey of the creator who has dedicated the collection to his beloved brother, who has passed. The way Luke communicates and weaves emotion and storytelling into his collections, combined with his skill as a designer, make him one of New Zealand’s most notable designers at this time.
It is most certainly an NZ Fashion Week show that will stick in the minds of many and will be known as one of the most poignant and special shows in the history of NZ Fashion Week.