Supporting The Cause

November 6, 2010

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Cups of a completely different sort were the talking point at the Northern Knights’ official season launch in Hamilton last night, where a designer bra made from a pair of Knights cricket gloves was revealed in front of sponsors, VIP’s and the Plunket Shield and national men’s one-day champions, the Northern Knights.

Hamilton designer Helen Neilsen sacrificed more than seven pairs of Aero batting gloves kindly donated by Peter McGlashan and Bradley Scott to create this fabulous one-off design, which will be auctioned at the end of January to raise money for the Knights’ official charity partner The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.

Finding matching gloves was “a bit of an issue,” Neilsen laughs, as it turned out cricket gloves are seldom symmetrical, a fundamental requirement for a bra. Stripped down to their padding, artfully shaped, swathed in pink satin and covered in bling, Neilsen was aiming for a garment that was fun and relevant to the Knights’ and Foundation’s cause.

“It wasn’t as straightforward as you might think, with the project taking 50 hours to complete. I went through many trials to get a result that looked feminine and cute. The thumbs on the gloves originally extended all the way up to the shoulder and looked out of proportion, so they had to go, but I love the end result,” says Neilsen.

“I’ve yet to see what’s become of our gloves but I’m looking forward to seeing the interpretation when the Bejewelled Bra is revealed at the team’s season launch. Says McGlashan, “I’ve seen some of the artistic creations that other New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation partner organisations have come up with and they’re all pretty inventive.”

Julie Taylor, Northern District’s marketer whose ‘Bejewelled Bra’ concept led to this stellar collaboration with Ms Neilsen is overwhelmed with what Helen has achieved for the campaign. “Everyone will appreciate the thinking and work that has gone into this piece, whether they love cricket or just like it a lot, people will hopefully appreciate that our association takes innovative fundraising for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation to another level.”

This one-off Bra is studded with over 250 sparkling diamantes and detailed with the pink ribbon - emblem of the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation, beaded with glass pearls. “I love doing this sort of thing for a good cause,” says Neilsen, whose creations have featured in the annual Pasifika wearable art awards show and who donated her time to design and create the garment from scratch.

Last season, Northern Districts Cricket and its players raised $20,718 for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation by auctioning their autographed pink playing gear online and other fundraising initiatives. The players were also out in force collecting on the annual Pink Ribbon Street Appeal Day and are keen to raise even more funds for the charity this season.

Fresh from a two-week training camp including warm-up matches against the Northern Districts Cricket Invitation Side (made up of Northern Districts A team players and Craigs Investment Partners Academy players) the Northern Knights fly to Queenstown on Saturday to open their Plunket Shield defence against the Otago Volts.

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