Our Story.

Some years ago a group of women met when their daughters were dancing with Deneze School of Dance.  During that time they danced together, organised shows together, and - along with their children - became close-knit friends.  The children grew up, the dancing slowed and the shows were no more; but the bond remained strong.

In 2003 an amazing woman, mother, daughter and friend, lost her lengthy battle with cancer.  Barb showed, through her strength and passion for living, the importance of embracing and acknowledging life - each stage of it - and the corresponding challenges of those stages.

Inspired by the memory of their dear friend Barb, this group of enthusiastic and talented women, led by Helen Lees, the founder and creator of the Tarnished Frocks and Divas show and concept, and all with strong backgrounds in the arts, joined together to put on a show to celebrate and showcase women’s talents and the passion for life.

They didn’t stop there.  Now, many years and shows later, with over a thousand people touching the fabric of the show, all leaving their mark in some way, it has evolved into a wonderful extravaganza, that we can all be proud of.  


Because of the overwhelming success of our shows - and ongoing encouragement and enthusiasm of the participating women - Tarnished Frocks and Divas is a biennial event.

The event will continue to be an avenue from which to introduce new and unique concepts using the performing arts.  It will create openings for women both young and mature to experience and be involved in myriad forms of creativity – think dance, acting, costume design, set and lighting design, hair and make-up artistry, musical compositions and other diverse art forms.

Tarnished Frocks and Divas is a much celebrated event in Tauranga drawing not only on national artists, but fully supportive of local talent already discovered, and some, yet to be.

Tarnished Frocks and Divas has now achieved Legacy status with Tauranga City Council, something we are all very proud of and it’s a way of recognising, through support of Tauranga City Council, the event’s economic benefit to the local creative sector and the business community.


To empower women by providing a revolutionary platform of self-discovery, inspiration and creative expression that unites a community and embraces a nation.


To create and deliver New Zealand's leading 'theatre on the catwalk' retro and revamped fashion performance that will be the feature of a month-long celebration of women.

Proudly staged biannually in Tauranga Tarnished Frocks and Divas is committed to featuring women over 40. The event is a volunteer based performance that aims to enrich lives by inspiring people to challenge themselves, create new goals and to be a positive influence on family, friends and the wider community.