Lauren Millar studied Costume Design and Management with Unitec, and her studies thrust her into the start of a promising career. “As far back as I can remember I have loved clothes, although I’m not sure I’d call my kindergarten outfits high fashion. My favourite outfit as a four-year-old was a yellow cardigan with matching yellow shorts,” shared Millar. The designer has come a long way since childish fashion faux pas, as she was one of 250 designers around the world selected to display a piece of her work for the Innovative Costume of the 21st Century: The Next Generation exhibition in Moscow. Her look was inspired by the 1952 film The Greatest Show on Earth and was her central project during her final year of studies. “I worked very hard of it right through the initial pattern drafting and toiling to hand stitching on each spike, carefully placing and hand stitching all the ribbon onto the bodice. I recovered the boots and made the hat and necklace from scratch. I am incredibly proud of how it has turned out,” explained Millar. The designer expressed that she is most proud of how unique her work appeared, setting it apart from the other designs in the showcase.
Following this incredible opportunity, Millar mentioned her eagerness to continue making waves in the industry. “I plan on continuing to work hard and create as many costumes as I can, I love being part of a creative team. Even when it’s a small role I feel like I am contributing to something big.” Millar relies on both her creative spirit as well as the knowledge she has acquired during her time with Unitec to carry her into the next phase of her career. “To be able to hone my craft in a safe, supportive and creative environment was an amazing experience and I would not change it for the world, I learnt so much, and I know I would not be where I am now if I hadn’t got it.” Costuming is such an immense category of design, and Millar expressed the array of opportunities at designers’ fingertips. From film, theatre and festivals to art and dance, costuming is a broad world for any creative mind. “Not many things can become fashion, but anything can become a costume,” she concluded.