How the renovation of his parents’ house inspired this young fashion designer

Jordan Tay, the king of the castle at 6, in what would become his parents' bedroom


Jordan Tay, the king of the castle at 6, in what would become his parents’ bedroom

Jordan Tay was just 6 when his parents remodeled their Western Springs home.

“My parents demolished over half of our house and then rebuilt it,” said Whitecliffe’s fashion technology student.

Two decades later, the process inspired Tay as a fashion designer – he just won the 2021 Resene Color of Fashion top prize for a deconstructed red silk suit.

Jordan Tay with his award winning design.


Jordan Tay with his award winning design.

Like her parents’ house, her winning garment shows off her “good bones” with an apparent structure over one shoulder. “This is what I based my design on,” he said.

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“I wanted a garment that was structural rather than fluid. Silk is normally very fluid and draped. But I wanted to do the opposite with something a little more rigid. “

The Tay family home was built in 1910, so there were always renovations going on.

A 2001 renovation added a second floor to the house. The work fascinated Tay, who previously believed that only the rich lived in two-story houses.

“I always ran to the second floor and danced in what is now my parents’ room, as it overlooked the courtyard.

“I guess that was probably the best memory of the renovation, because I felt like the king of the castle.”

Jordan Tay's winning garment in Smashing Red.


Jordan Tay’s winning garment in Smashing Red.

The contest asked participants to design an item of clothing based on a color chosen at random. Tay a Smashing Red.

“It’s another inspiration behind the garment, the demolition of our house to be rebuilt,” said Tay, 26. “It’s a really good color.”

Although he admits that red is usually not his favorite color to work with, when he saw it it made him think of “something pretty powerful” so he chose to make a costume. rather than a dress.

Judges for the 2021 award included Dame Pieter Stewart, Founder of NZ Fashion Week, and Karen Warman, Marketing Manager of Resene. They were looking for fresh and current designs.

They said Tay’s design was the synthesis of fashion and architecture, “combined with a whimsical touch”.

The garment will be showcased during a Fashion Week postponed to 2022 and at the Whitecliffe Fashion Tech graduates parade in December, if the pandemic permits.


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