iD international emerging designer awards 2015 – part one

The calibre of the 28 designers showing at iD International Emerging Designer Awards this year, make it a necessity that instead of simply one post featuring the selected few that won, I need to do two posts quite simply featuring everyone who showed.

From a pool of 100 designers, the judges selected 28 to show – and everyone of them made me exceptionally hopeful about the future of fashion and clothing both here in New Zealand and also around the world. Dunedin was the perfect city to showcase all this talent.

The strongest theme running through the collections (for me anyway) was the liberal and broad use of digital printing, the assumption and confidence that their own materials, not just their design, needed to be seen.

All photographs by Michelle Weir

In no particular order, the award winners from last night were

Erica Deluchi from University of Technology Sydney, received the New Zealand Light Leathers Prize for her collection “Holonymy”. She mixed linens, oilskin, calfskin in a texturally rich collection of navy and tan pieces that had a easy elegance about them referencing traditionally Australian garments.



Monique Duggan from the University of Technology Sydney received the Fabric Store Award for Excellence in Design for her “OPTIC” collection. Inspired 1960’2 artist Bridget Riley it is a fine example of the digital print with huge oversized simple garments with boldly coloured graphic prints.  The colour palette was full of rich purples and oranges – confident and strong. This collection was one of my personal favourites.




Tara Gurisik from the University of Technology Sydney, won the Dunedin’s Golden Centre Mall Most Commercial Collection Prize with her collection “Leisure Seven”. This was easily one of the most cohesive collections for the whole evening with beautifully thoughtful prints inspired by traditional Japanese colour and textiles. Each garment was subtle different while sticking to a muted palette of purples, blues, greens. This entire menswear collection could come straight of the runway and onto the street worn as separates – it is that good.




And the three main prizes went to

Emma Van Der Merwe from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology won third place (Gallery de Novo) with her collection “[IM]MORTAL”. This was a superb collection with its central focus being rope, in different forms and functions. The practical nature of rope was juxtaposed with the fragility of the sandwashed silk with huge oversized collars and bodices mixed with lingerie-light biased draped dresses. Fine, but raw leathers where used to great effect in white. The entire collection was done in white with touches of the raw, natural rope.




Vanessa Emirian from University of Technology Sydney won second place (Brooker Travel) with her joyous collection “CIRCULATE”. Loosely inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s colourful obsession with dots and spots, this collection left the audience (and particularly me) smiling broadly as the circular inspired pieces bounded down the catwalk. Incredibly constructed, with swooping arched panels, woven detailing and a mix of crisp voluminous cottons and soft wools – this was a delightful and CLEVER collection. At the very end when Creator and Model walked down the runway, it was done with a bounce and smile all the way down, and you could see how the designer’s joie de vie was completely part of her own collection.




Steve Hall from Massey University won First Place (Mindfood Style) with his incredible collection “ABANDON MAN”. He is clearly an exceptionally clever designer with an exceptionally clear vision. Drawing heavily on Japanese samurai and ninja culture and costume, this collection with its oversized proportions and shapes was intentionally light on detail (stitching or embellishments). Its oversized silhouette, pocketing and especially the pleating were intentionally the focus, with the palette also contained to just black and grey. The accessories where simple also with rolled edged knitted beanies, and a modern take on the gladiator sandal.  The only touch of indulgence was the silver bracelets. Perfectly androgynous with men in dresses and a woman in pants – refusing to conform.  All in all a bold, assured collection that will see Steve Hall a name to be watched for.








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