After learning the art of fashion design at UCOL Te Pūkenga, Amie Romine is now ready to pass on her knowledge to a new generation.
"I have always loved the creative industries, but my life's journey has been such that it has taken me into adulthood before I was in a position to be able to pursue a career in the creative industries," says Amie.
When the time came for Amie to start an art and design qualification, it was an easy decision for her to enroll at UCOL Te Pūkenga Whanganui.
"Whanganui has a reputation for being a creative center and the home of artists. UCOL and the courses they provide add to the vibrant creative atmosphere here in Whanganui. I chose the Bachelor of Design and Arts because it offers a wide variety of creative pursuits from glass to digital design to fashion and textiles."
The Bachelor of Design and Arts has three majors for learners to choose from — visual arts, design media, and textile/fashion design. Having previously worked as an upholsterer, Amie chose to major in textile/fashion design, which covers garment construction, textile art, fabric printing, and fashion photography.
Amie says her lecturers were extremely supportive and encouraged her to push herself creatively.
"The lecturers continued to challenge me and challenged my process which ultimately led to better designs."
During the final year of her degree, Amie designed a collection of clothing based on the research question, "How can fashion be used to display or mask identity?" Amie combined soft, light garments representing the wearer's internal self along with adornments made from fine porcelain, which represent limited freedom of movement and feeling the weight of the world.
While at UCOL Te Pūkenga, Amie received two scholarships to assist her with study and living costs. The Whanganui campus awards tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships each year thanks to support from local donors.
As part of her programme, Amie completed an internship at Whanganui Girls' College. She assisted with the year 10 and 11 textile classes, sharing knowledge and skills she had learned in UCOL's fashion design studio. This was a valuable experience for Amie, who had her sights set on becoming a textiles teacher.
After graduating from UCOL Te Pūkenga, Amie completed the Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching (Secondary) at Massey University. She then secured a Fashion and Design teaching position at Whanganui Girls' College.
"Studying at UCOL prepared me for the classroom. I gained the skills needed for pattern drafting, textiles design, and construction. I'm excited to take these skills and share them with my future students."
"Staying in Whanganui is important to me — it's where I've built a life with my family and friends. I can see myself teaching through the school year while spending my holidays exploring and further developing my own creative pursuits, staying relevant. You will see my designs on the World of Wearable Art stage one day."