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YMCA North Shore: News

The 4th Annual YMCA Walk the Line Young Designers Show

YMCA’s ‘Walk the Line’ young designers fashion held as part of NZ Fashion Week for the third successive year and exceeded all expectations. The youth focused event was run by Raise Up, the YMCA’s youth development programme and included teen designers from all over Auckland. The show drew an audience of 700 and the response from participants and audience was overwhelming.
The overall winner – Andrew Abrau from Massey High School, entered a Wearable Art garment made of 8000 hand cut scales from V cans, painted gold. Very impressive! Raise up Crew member Hannah Schwartfeger from Birkenhead College won the Open Design category with a grey dress, undercoated with a bright orange graff-art inspired explosion. Jessica Greetham won the Cultural Category with a brilliant red – yellow dress called ‘Sun’. Brendan Lee from Rangitoto College won the High Fashion category with a male garment, black and grey with a front zip.
Working on the show were 47 designers, all but seven from the North Shore, 36 models, 18 hair and make-up stylists, three presenters, five
back stage team members, 15 other volunteers, four photographers… all young people.
The show was very polished and professional with some Fashion Week personnel commenting that the garments were of the same quality of other Fashion Week designers, if not better. Some designers were approached to sell their garments.
Also impressed by the talent on show in the event were the judges – popular street fashion bloggers FOUREYES. The four judges wrote:
“The four of us thoroughly enjoyed judging the Walk the Line show this year and being involved in an event that showcases the work of some very talented young designers in New Zealand. We had to make some very difficult decisions as we were blown away by the time and effort the designers had put into the pieces that we saw. We hope that being part of the event encourages the participants to continue to express themselves through design and that it inspired the audience as much as it did us”.
Although there could only be one winner, the overall standard of the designs in Walk the Line and the response from the judges and audience suggests that there is an enormous pool of fashion talent amongst young people in Auckland and on the Shore in particular.

Encore Alley 2012

Raise up has been running a talent quest/youth showcase since it started on the North Shore in 2006.
The very first event had 25 performances and over 400 in attendance. This year we decided to rebrand the product to Encore Alley, and overhaul the feeling/look of the event from amateur to something more professional!

Our youth showcase is a very important event on the Raise up youth calendar. We feel strongly about music and drama as an outlet for youth emotion and wish to increase the opportunities provided to local youth by encouraging just that. We also feel that inter-school events not only expand networks but encourage further competition, motivating youth to continue improving their chosen talent.
It also provides an opportunity for family and friends to witness the passion and talent of the performers, which hopefully leads to appreciation and inspiration.
The Corelli School of Performing Arts in Browns Bay played host to 30 artists, entertaining the crowd over a two hour period – the quality of the talent was phenomenal! Two dance acts, three bands and 11 amazing voices set the bar high this year. We even had Raise up crew members adding some variety with poems and juggling!
The overall winner, Alex Bright performed an original song while also playing the piano – an amazing talent and a name that should be remembered! One judge, Joshua Cesan best known for his work with the V Motion project said “ The talent at the show was outstanding it was so surprising to see such talent and originality. I truly enjoyed judging!”
The Raise up crew ran an excellent event and feedback from the performers was very positive; the atmosphere was electric – a great night all round!
Keep your eye out for this exciting event again next year.

If you have any questions or comments please contact Ben or Karyn, Raise up Coordinators at YMCA North Shore at

by Channel Editorial