BTS @ Taylor Groves & Emma Jing's Saturday Eve Fashion Show

Tāmaki Makaurau

— June 21, 2022 —

It’s said that one of the defining traits of a Gemini is their unpredictability—there is never a dull moment when you're in their presence. Gemini-squared duo Taylor Groves and Emma Jing-Cornall embodied this on Saturday.  

There was an eclectic mix of showgoers, from art-school kids to prominent fashion media figures. Of course, collectivism was achieved with the remix of PinkPantheress’ 'Pain' that played as models walked down the runway.

It’s newcomers like this pair who are fuelling the current energy in the Tāmaki Makaurau fashion scene. Fashion is changing, and in the best way possible—the sign of It-Girl status is no longer perfectly dishevelled hair, it’s if you’re seen with an Emma Jing scrunchie looped in it.

Join us as the two young designers chat about the beat of their creativity, the first time they saw someone wearing their designs and precisely what time of day they see their brand as. Then check out a handful of snaps our mate Chyna-Lily Rawlinson took when she popped backstage at the show, in the gallery above.


Where do you live now and where do you consider home? 
Home for me is Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland). It's where I grew up, where my family is based and where most of my friends are at the moment. 

Can you tell CPC about the spirit behind your designs? 
The spirit behind the designs comes from draping and seeing how garments interact with the body. 

What is the rhythm and reason behind your creative process?
The creative process for me is working with textures or fabric manipulations,then figuring out how to sculpt them to the body. I use a lot of ties as I think they look beautiful hanging from the body, but also it's the only way to fasten the garments sometimes. 

I can often see the finished garment when I buy the fabric, but I also often start making something and forget about it, temporally lose it and come back to it months or even years later. A few garments from the show were things I was working on years ago and thought I had lost (oppps)!

How do your find inspiration for the texture and shapes of your garments?
I’m not really sure how I find inspiration for designs and textures; sometimes it’s just starting with something and seeing how it works on the mannequin. I think I mostly just like to make things look flattering to the body I am fitting, so that’s just decided while I’m in the process of making. 

What’s been the most rewarding part of your work?
I guess the most rewarding thing is the fact that I am able to work for myself full-time now. Before I was only able to keep up with stock while working part-time; now that I’m doing this full-time I’m able to somewhat keep up with stock and also be working on new things. 

When was the first time you saw someone wearing one of your pieces? How was it styled?  
I can’t remember the first time I saw someone wearing my piece. I often heard from my friends in Wellington that they had seen someone in my garments, as my first stockist was in Wellington. I still get a fright/excitement when I see someone wearing something I've made.

If your label was a time of day: Hmmm, I’d say 9 o’clock, maybe cracking into my second coffee, and my brain is just starting to switch on. I also really like to cook, and on Sunday we often cook a big meal, so Sunday dinner time also. 

If your label was a song: There are so many songs I love at the moment, I’ve been listening to ‘Bless the Telephone’ by Labi Siffre. I also love very sentimental songs, like ‘Primadonna’ because it's one of my best friends Millar’s favourite songs. Also ‘Empire State of Mind’, which I always play when my friend Holly goes back to NYC. 

If your label was a place: A beach, any beach, I just love the sun!! I feel my best with a tan and daily swims. 

If your label was a colour: Hmmm, this answer changes monthly, but I do love red⁠—It’s bold, hot and a good colour in Chinese culture.


Where do you live now and where do you consider home? 
I live in Tāmaki Makaurau and also grew up here⁠—it definitely feels like home⁠—however, I lived in Pōneke for a long time; it was very formative and I imagine will always feel safe, familiar, and nourishing, which is what I probably look for in a home.

Can you tell CPC about the spirit behind your designs? 
Contemplative, personal, curious, affecting. Looking for an emotional resonance that feels both affirming and aspirational at once.

What is the rhythm and reason behind your creative process? 
My process is iterative and disjointed. I have never been great at drawing, so I often write descriptions of garment ideas on my notes app, keep a loose mood board of screenshots and detail photos, and then draping and toiling over and over. Usually, the idea is just a place to start from⁠—something I haven’t done before I want to learn about⁠—a silhouette I think is missing from my wardrobe, but through sampling, pattern making, and playing in the studio, the outcome is almost always quite far from the concept.

How do your find inspiration for the texture and shapes of your garments?
As said before, I rely heavily on trial and error, sampling and iteration. Often a fabric will suggest a garment; more often it might suggest a feeling or moment that needs to be teased out into a garment, but as often as that I also work in the opposite direction⁠—I will have shapes, patterns, silhouettes that I sit on for a while, and fabrics that I sit on for a while, and only realise that they work together.

If your label was a time of day: The change of light—I always love to be outside when the light changes, especially in the evening, but in the morning as well. 

If your label was a song: This changes all the time; aspirationally, something intriguing and beautiful like ‘Jupiter’ by Jenny Hval. But I’m such an emo, so maybe like ‘Living Room’ by Grouper, ‘MakeDamnSure’ by Taking Back Sunday’, or ‘Seer’ by 8485.

If your label was a place: A close friend's house, or a dinky, divey old cafe or bar. 

If your label was a colour: Lavender Fog (Pantone).


Features Writer: Yawynne Yem    Photos: Chyna-Lily Rawlinson


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