These designers ruled iD Dunedin’s spectacular emerging designer runway show.
Last night the Dunedin Railway Station’s platform was taken over by a pack of 29 new designers, finalists from a pool of 150 entries for the International Emerging Designers Award. The showcase was a celebration of the long hours each designer put into their capsule collection and of their determination to make their own break into the world of fashion.
The variety in the show was invigorating, from Victoria Bliss’ feminist dress-meets Scottish folklore collection to Zhuxuan He’s origami-inspired dress, which bounded down the long runway like wobbly jelly for the finale.
The iD Dunedin Fashion Inc. judges, including international guest Paulo Melmim Andersson, Stolen Girlfriends Club’s Marc Moore and head judge Tanya Carlson, had their work cut out for them.
Here are their winners:
The H&J First Prize:
Nehma Vitols, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Overall winner Vitols embraced the sustainability theme of the awards and turned what would have been scrap material from well-known fashion garments (a blazer, trench coat, business shirt, biker and bomber) into outfits that walked the line between fashion and sculpture. Using silk screens, she created intricate patterns by painting acrylic over weeds and flowers to give new life to paper, silk and cotton.
Of the collection Carlson said: “There was this amazing dichotomy of opposing states – fluid but structured, flat and 3D, technological yet handcrafted. She used references that we all know – the biker jacket, the trench coat – and then she makes them new.”
Laffare Second Place
Lila John, University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria
All the way from Vienna, John’s collection took textures associated with girlhood (lace, crochet, knit, georgette and crepe) and gave them a second coming-of-age in striking athleisure pieces, including cropped bombers and ripped track pants.
Gallery De Nova 3rd Place:
Paul Castro, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia
With the design principle that an everyday item is banal – but combined everyday objects can be compelling, Castro upcycled unsold stock into voluminous looks. The stand-out piece from his collection was a flowing but stark white gown made from several men’s shirts.
The Fabric Store Award for Excellence in Design
Tess Norquay, Massey University, Wellington, NZ
Lighting up the runway with roadworks orange and Batman yellow, Norquay’s collection, ironically called ‘PLEASE LIKE ME’, challenges the way women can be perceived as objects in society and shows a new, bold way of dressing for those who are bored with two-dimensional representations.
Best NZ collection (The NZME and Viva Editorial Prize):
Megan Stewart, Massey University, Wellington, NZ
With vibrant colours appearing to melt on her warped designs, Stewart created a bold collection to show the disconnect between reality and the mind-numbing television. We would love to get our hands on the yellow coat with swirls of blue, black and pink.
Dunedin’s Golden Centre Mall Most Commercial Collection Prize
Talia Jimenez University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Although Jimenez’s collection is inspired by the exploitation of Australia’s marine ecosystem, her collection has a surprising commerciality, an important recognition for designers wanting to make it in the fashion industry. The orange shrimp overalls and oversized fisherman jackets are a refreshing take on menswear.
The Emilia Wickstead Internship
Emily Cameron, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia
It’s hard not to smile when watching Emily Cameron’s designs as they seem to levitate down the runway. Referencing flat Pop Art and the appropriation of Hawaiian motifs, her larger-than-life silhouettes remained ladylike. We think her use of shape is a great fit for New-Zealand born but London-based designer Emilia Wickstead, who will mentor Cameron.