Tess Norquay’s brand is as new as it possibly could be. Fresh out of university, Norquay is excited to show her collection for the first time at New Zealand Fashion Week. “I’m shaking in my boots,” she said. As a one-woman band, Norquay explained that someone once emailed her with “Dear staff of Ms. Norquay,” and although she cackled, she was quite flattered that someone thought she could possibly have staff. “However, the other two former students showing in the graduate show, Shannen and Yoshino, are persistently helpful sounding boards. They’ve stopped me from making some very stupid decisions.”

A highlight in her collection is the calf-length jacket with three tiers of ruffles. “It took twelve metres of fabric, and is too heavy to take as carry-on on a plane.”

At NZFW, she is showcasing an expansion of her graduate collection titled Please Like Me which was her response to the way everyday language objectifies women; such as ‘cheap’, ‘upgrade’, damaged goods’ and ‘the like’. Her new work is very much in the same spirit, but is even more over the top and theatrical, which Norquay didn’t think was possible. “It’s been an excellent excuse to try some new things that I would have been nervous of this time last year.”