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Liz Mitchell

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15 Wellesley Street (corner of Elliott Street)

In 1994, Liz Mitchell established her first atelier in the T&G Building on the corner of Wellesley and Elliott Streets in the tradition of designer salons.

The space had a retail showroom, a private fitting room and a workroom, which produced a ready-to-wear range each season as well as making one-off, custom-made bridal and school ball dresses.

When Liz launched her own label in 1990, she also launched a design career that has seen her garments worn on red carpets here and overseas. At the international premiere of The Return of the King in 2003 our then Prime Minister Helen Clark wore a slate-coloured Liz Mitchell gown. Weta Workshop’s Sir Richard Taylor wore Liz Mitchell when he accepted his Oscar in 2001, and it was Liz who designed Keisha Castle-Hughes’ Oscar gown in 2002.

Liz first designed for films, operas and for television. She is probably best remembered for her work with Enid Eiriksson as the designer in the costume department of the drama series, Gloss (1987-1990). Gloss was a glamour soap set in the offices of a fictional fashion magazine, part of a publishing empire run by the Redfern Family. The costumes were either sourced from local designers or designed and made in-house at TVNZ.

Liz’s workroom team also connected her to New Zealand’s history of high-end dressmaking. Her sample machinist, Carmel Hoskyn, trained at Babs Radon. Her first pattern maker, Lewis Townsend, had worked for El Jay and her second, John Kite, had worked with Colin Cole and Kevin Berkahn.

Read more at http://www.nzfashionmuseum.org.nz/liz-mitchell/

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