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Ellerslie unveiling for latest collection by costume designer Jenny Gillies

26 June 2008

Internationally renowned costume and fabric artist Jenny Gillies is creating a new "wacky, wilful and wondrous" floral artwear collection to be unveiled at next year’s Ellerslie International Flower Show.

Wearable Weeds will be the second floral artwear collection the Christchurch designer has shown at the prestigious international garden show – the first being at the last Auckland show in 2007. Jenny promises her 2009 show will be very different.

Jenny, who has exhibited various collections in the city for the last 14 years as part of the Festival of Flowers, has welcomed the opportunity to be involved with Christchurch’s first Ellerslie Show in March 2009.

"I have always considered Christchurch, as New Zealand’s Garden City, to be an appropriate choice as host of the Ellerslie International Flower Show. It is exciting the Show has now moved south and that Christchurch has the opportunity to showcase to the world the design talent and innovation which will see Ellerslie develop into one of the world’s top garden shows."

Jenny says she chose weeds for her new collection as although they are considered to be a nuisance, they can also be objects of fascination and beauty.

"Common garden weeds are hardly worthy of celebration. However, they can be in their own right, quite beautiful albeit a blooming nuisance.

"As such they lend themselves wonderfully to a colourful and wacky presentation as a show of floral weed costumes."

While Jenny expects her three-times daily show at the Ellerslie International Flower Show will court some controversy, she says she has chosen the collection based on authoritative information gathered from New Zealand experts.

She says some "weeds" are beautiful additions to a garden because of their structure and colour, often only acquiring the status of "weed" as a result of getting out of control, spoiling native forests and causing havoc for farmers.

Ellerslie International Flower Show Managing Director Dave Mee says it is fantastic to have Jenny back exhibiting at Ellerslie.

"Her show in 2007 was a great hit with visitors to Ellerslie. It was so dramatic, colourful and entertaining.

"Next year’s Wearable Weeds collection promises to be even better. While it will again be designed to entertain, it will also be educational."

Jenny Gillies’ Wearable Weeds 20-minute floral art extravaganza show will be presented at the Ellerslie International Flower Show three times a day from 11 to 15 March 2009. There will also be a static display of her garments in Our City O-Tautahi. For more information check out the website from mid July.

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