Based in Christchurch Kristy Bedi is an artist and designer whose work typically draws on culture, identity, hybridity and whakapapa genealogy. With qualifications in both Māori Visual Arts and Political Science, Bedi works in the field of iwi and arts development and her passions lie in textiles and design.
She is now learning as much industry knowledge as she can while developing her fashion and lifestyle label, Aho.
Aho Manawa is the first collection from the label to show at New Zealand Fashion Week. Aho manawa, meaning the heart line in Māori, is inspired by kōwhaiwhai, the elegant and often complex patterns that adorn the rafters of wharenui, the focal point of a marae. Typically united by one continuous line the kōwhaiwhai patterns are underpinned by systems of symmetry. Bedi likens this central line to an umbilical cord, tying whakapapa to the formation of life itself, to Te Kore, Te Po and Te Ao Marama.
Employing the devoré burnout technique, in which chemicals are applied to a mixed-fibre textile and cause some of the fibres to dissolve, Bedi etches kōwhaiwhai designs into the fibres of fabric before hand dying each piece. She uses rich colours and detailed designs with simple silhouettes to design for the urban woman who requires effortless, elegant and authentic garments. Weaving culture and identity into clothing’s everyday function Aho is a modern label steeped in rich Māori heritage.
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