This year at New Zealand Fashion Week, Resene is opening the Designer Runway show with 80 metres of silk in 16 new colours designed by New Zealand's newest fashion design talent. The 2017 Resene Fashion Tech Colour of Fashion project is an education-meets-colour collaboration that is staged every year in the lead-up to fashion week. This year the project saw a total of 36 students from NZ Fashion Tech campuses in Auckland and Wellington be inspired by fashion capitals of the world.

Fifteen students were selected to travel to India and 16 were chosen to show at New Zealand Fashion Week; however, only seven students were selected for both. Two students, Aimee Hallen and Dominique Hopson, were awarded Prime Minister's Scholarships for Asia and travelled to India. Their garments were influenced by their personal stories.

Hopson said she was first inspired by Resene Jalapeno. "It took me to Mexico and then to Frida Kahlo, who had always been an inspiration to me not only creatively but also as a woman wanting to be heard," Hopson added. Hopson was also inspired by Kahlo's use of art as a platform to raise issues of social justive as well as inequalities within her culture. "A woman who wears this dress represents what Frida stood for."

Hallen's great-grandmother was a furrier in the 1920s and grandmother was a skilled seamstress in the '40s. "My love for fashion started at a young age. We played dress-ups with some of my family’s favourite items, collected over a century. Some of the pieces have found a home in my wardrobe. The women in my family have a long history of working in the New Zealand fashion industry. Growing up in the eras that they did, sewing was a skill that was a necessity," explained Hallen. The pattern Hallen carried in her suitcase to India had special significance as her grandad had passed hundreds of beautiful patterns down to her which were used by her grandmother and great-grandmother. Hallen's garment was a blue silk similar to Resene Cruising and used panels to sculpt the fabric to show contours of the female body. "Through the use of draping I was able to create shapes and lines to frame the figure."

This is the fourth consecutive year Resene has teamed up with NZ Fashion Tech to create this unique collaboration which allows emerging talent to showcase their designs.