A budding Hamilton fashion designer with a flair for fancy dress is the Wintec Gordon Chesterman scholarship recipient for 2017.
Brydie Senior, a second year Wintec student studying the Bachelor of Media Arts in Fashion Design, is the winner of the annual scholarship.
The 27-year-old, who is from Matakana but relocated to Hamilton when she began studying, originally set her sights on a career in arts therapy.
However, after completing an occupational therapy degree in Auckland, Brydie didn’t believe she’d found her fit and a trip overseas proved to be the pivotal turning point for her career change.
“Occupational therapy just wasn’t quite for me – I wanted to do something creative. I went travelling with my husband overseas and met a lot of people who had studied textile design and fashion design and their stories really inspired me.”
She’d always been interested in the creative industries and says her interest in fashion design was first sparked when her younger sister took it as a subject at high school and Brydie would admire all of her creations.
Her passion was later cemented when she received a sewing machine for her 21st birthday and went on to complete a beginner’s dressmaking class.
In 2016 Brydie took the plunge and enrolled in the three year degree at Wintec.
In her 18 months of studying she’s been the recipient of numerous Wintec awards, has interned for top New Zealand designer Trelise Cooper and been involved in fashion shows like Fashion for a Cure – while still finding the time to volunteer at the Hamilton Operatic Society costume shop.
She says she has always liked the idea of costuming and originally believed that would be the industry avenue she would take.
“I have never been a really fashionable person – I was the girl at school on mufti day who wore dress-ups.”
But since starting the degree she’s had a taste of other areas of fashion and is starting to get an idea of just how broad the industry is, which she finds exciting.
“The world is so big, the industry is so huge. There’s so many opportunities.”
The scholarship, worth up to $15,000, is offered in recognition of the significant contribution made by former Wintec chair, Gordon Chesterman and is awarded on the basis of academic merit, personal character and community involvement.
All students enrolled in Wintec’s School of Media Arts or Centre for Business, IT and Enterprise are eligible to apply.