Monday, June 24, 2024

Young fashion designer walks tall on the runway | Canberra CityNews

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Budding fashion designer, Helaina Petreski, 10, with her pet dog, Gucci… creating an outfit that will be debuted at Kidz Fashion Week in Sydney. Photo: Katarina Lloyd Jones

Helaina Petreski is only 10 years old, but she has already taken the Australian fashion industry by storm, and the young Canberran has no plans of slowing down. 

She is a model, content creator, star crocheter and has ambitions to one day be a K-Pop idol.

Helaina’s love for “preppy” and “croquette” fashion, popularised by many in the K-Pop industry, inspired her to design and create an outfit that has been chosen to be debuted at Kidz Fashion Week (KFW) in Sydney on June 22.

Helaina’s mum, Shah Bahpyu, explains that first, Helaina had to audition and be selected as a model for KFW. 

Successful applicants are then provided with the appropriate identifications to approach brands to collaborate with for the event and were able to choose from a number of different categories to participate in. 

“There’s a category where you can create your own outfit, so I wanted to do that,” says Helaina. 

“So I decided to crochet my own outfit because I really like crocheting, I thought it would be a fun experience to do.”

Shah says that because the outfit wasn’t completed yet, they had to explain the concept in an email and send photos of what Helaina had been able to complete so far, and fortunately it was accepted.

Helaina says she started out by teaching herself how to crochet through TikTok tutorials, and then her mum asked around the local community to see if anyone knew how to crochet.

Shah says they did a community meet-up and Helaina’s soon to be crochet coach and mentor, Olivia Stafford, offered one-on-one help, which Helaina says she readily accepted.

Helaina says Olivia showed her how to crochet things featured in her outfit, such as flowers, including doubles and petals, but the outfit itself is done entirely by herself.

“When I first started, I actually was just starting off getting equal little stitches,” she says.

“I would bring my crochet to school and I would just do that while talking with my friends, and then I just got really used to it and that’s when I started to make other stuff.”

Helaina has always been wanting to pursue creative endeavours, says Shah, and when she was just four years old, she had already started asking to create her own YouTube account.

Shah says she enjoys making YouTube videos herself, but was hesitant to set up an account for Helaina, knowing how much work goes into planning, filming, editing and uploading enough content to keep an account active. 

“After a little bit of asking her, she said that YouTube would be too hard to run, but we could start with Instagram,” says Helaina.

Shah says she was more inclined to set up an Instagram account as they could focus it on fashion, something the two enjoyed bonding over together, and she would be able to still make short-form videos to post. 

Two years ago, they started building up Helaina’s Instagram presence, and it was last year that she began being booked for interstate fashion shows. 

“The first one I ever did was Canberra Fair,” says Helaina.

“It was quite fun. And then my second one, I did one in Melbourne […] that one was really big. That one was called Kids Runway Australia, that was my first proper runway one.

“My latest one that I’ve done is this year, I did the DJ Jazzy Show. Basically it’s like she plays her music and then she has everyone walking out, doing the runway and then there was other people as well, some people were doing singing, some people were dancing. It was a really fun experience.”

Helaina says all her school friends get excited for her whenever she books a show, and they always watch the videos of her on the runway. 

Follow Helaina’s journey to Kidz Fashion Week Sydney through the Instagram account that mum Shah manages on her behalf, @HelainaPetreski. 


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