Blog Narrative – RC Fashion

To wear an orange vest and a road cone on your head is not what one would usually say is normal, let in the least attractive. Yet yet it at one point people from all around New Zealand dressed in this way to show support for those affected by the Christchurch earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. I snapped these two year 13 boys casually wearing this fashion around my high school back in 2012 when the trend first started.


On 4 September 2010 a 7.1 magnitude quake hit Christchurch damaging many buildings, then on the 22 February 2011 a 6.3 magnitude quake hit which destroyed buildings and killed 185 people. After this the majority of the central business district had to be demolished and many buildings and areas of land were found to be unsafe, meaning there were road cones and more road cones everywhere. At first the trend started as a comical response to the ever growing population of road cones in Christchurch but it was picked up on by students as a way to show support for the community.

Other ways people showed their united spirit was through placing flowers in road cones and creating little community spaces in the spaces left where buildings had been demolished such as thisĀ  road cone chess set.



Even my flatmate Georgia got in on the action, posing in a row with the road cones as part of an art piece after the more recent (2013) earthquakes in Wellington.


As a bonus I also found a short documentary on the road cone population in Christchurch:

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2 thoughts on “Blog Narrative – RC Fashion”

  1. I wish we could see such initiatives in Singapore more often. To pick up a cone, a vest and unite together for a purpose is something I respect and I think it showed the culture of the people in New Zealand as the students picked up the trend.

  2. Truly amazing. I have never seen road cones become material for community engagement and art installation. Is this the kind of thing that happens often in NZ? I am curious about the curiosity of this phenomenon: what is the attraction to the cones? Why have they been appropriated in this way? And finally, what is the irony of putting an emergency cone on your head? That would make a nice conclusion for your story.

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