I (Michelle) am a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Design (Fashion) at the Ara Institute, and Testarotta (my mother’s family name, meaning ‘broken head’ in Italian) is a nod to my heritage. I work from a small home studio in Ōtautahi, with all aspects of production from design, pattern cutting, samples and final manufacture occurring within this small space.
Minimising the impact of fashion production is central to the ethos of the brand, which uses otherwise discarded resources such as textile waste from local manufacturers, secondhand textiles and deadstock fabrics. Waste minimisation techniques such as zero waste pattern cutting, made-to-order and custom made are also important aspects of production.
This approach is time-consuming and challenging, but allows for experimentation and unique results. I hope to imbue a sense of playfulness, with jolts of colour and strong silhouettes in the garments.
Site Brokers, LiVS Incubator Project