Neon Bloom - Pia Boutique

Hot off the heels from an impressive debut at this year’s New Zealand Fashion Week, Pia Boutique has launched their full Spring 2012/Summer 2013 collection ‘Neon Bloom’. Extending on what was teased during the NZFW Miromoda show, designer Pia Naera last week launched her full summer line of womenswear in a showcase that was as bold as it was beautiful. Steven Fernandez was there and managed to pull Pia aside to catch up on what has been an incredible year… Steven Fernandez: Tell us about what it was like showing your collection at the Miromoda show during this year’s New Zealand Fashion Week. How did that come about? Pia Naera: The response from viewers was incredible and inspiring.  I had only launched Pia Boutique in May this year, so having the opportunity to showcase at the Miromoda show with only months under my belt just blew me away. It came about because I entered the Miromoda fashion design awards earlier this year and managed to come runner up, which secured me a spot at New Zealand Fashion Week.  SF: Did you get to see any other shows at Fashion Week? What was your favourite? PN: With all the madness of the week, I only managed to get along to the Blak showcase.  I’m in love with their collection, so I adored seeing their structured pants and shirts come out.  I also caught the Designer Selection Show, which was also amazing to see other upcoming designers. SF: Tell us about your new S/S 12/13 collection ‘Neon Bloom’.  PN: This collection is very vibrant, fun & feminine.  There are bold Aztec-styled prints along with big floral and hints of neon.  The styles of these garments are very floaty, frilly and comfortable. SF: What is the inspiration for ‘Neon Bloom’ and the Pia Boutique in general?  PN: Before I design each collection I do a lot of research and figure out what the coming trends are.  From this, I put my own Pia Boutique spin on it to create something that is fresh, relevant and beautiful.  Often I find myself inspired by the creativity and vibrancy of nature. SF: How did you get into designing? When did you decide to try your hand at fashion and why?  PN: I’ve always loved designing and decided to study it. I looked into the relationship between graphic design and fashion for my last assignment at University. From that I designed three printed dresses that had an overwhelming response.  So I thought I would dedicate this year to developing Pia Boutique and so far I have had an amazing response. SF: What’s different about the Pia Boutique?  PN: Pia Boutique is unique in the process that I take to design each garment.  I personally design all my own textiles and fabrics.  Everything is proudly made in New Zealand.  Each dress and the print is pre-determined so that when it is sewn together everything matches up perfectly.  This is a process that makes my label very unique.  There aren’t many designers that do this in New Zealand and there certainly aren’t many who dare to use such extreme neon and heavy hues in their collections! SF: What other brands and designers inspire you both locally and internationally? PN: I love prints obviously! So naturally Cybele, Mary Katrantzou and Mara Hoffman are my top three designers.  Also, the masculine yet feminine approach that Karen Walker takes with her apparel and accessories always catches my eye. The bold yet soft and delicate ‘floatiness’ of some of Andrea Moore’s collection always grabs by eye when I walk past her window. SF: You’re on Facebook, Twitter and you have a blog. How do you think social media helps amateur designers get their stuff out there? What websites or blogs do you check out for inspiration?  PN: Social media is crucial!  It’s a free source to get your label out there!  Our generation is so involved in the Internet, so it’s really important to harness this marketing tool.  Everybody has a blog these days and they’re all different and somewhat inspirational.  Creating a point of difference can be tough work, so it’s important to keep all social media up to date, relevant, creative, and consistent. SF: Tell us your favourite and least favourite fashion trends at the moment?   PN: I will always be a sucker for prints, but I have noticed my eye drawn toward more basic constructs lately.  I love the ‘nude’, ‘blush’ and basic bold pastel highlights that designers are harnessing within their collections.  I’m not too keen on heavy trench coats and overly masculine garments for girls. SF: Outside of designing, what do you get up to? Do you have any other jobs and what do you do in your spare time?  PN: I love being outside and catching up with friends.  I thought I would need to get a part-time job but I don’t have time, so all my focus and time is on Pia Boutique.  I love coffee and always find a spare minute or thirty in my day to go out and have one with a friend. I’m also in love with dumplings and Chinese food on Dominion Road!