iD international emerging designer awards 2017

Much as I love visiting Dunedin – and I really do enjoy every minute of my time there – this is the reason I come.  There is something so incredibly uplifting about being in a room with this much promise, this much talent and this much creativity. I found myself smiling from ear to ear after I left.

Earlier in the day I had sat next to Marc Moore (one of the judges for 2017) and it was he was waxing lyrical about what he had seen the day earlier during the judging sessions – it was hard to not be excited about what we were going to see. And the evening didn’t disappoint for me…

One of the many themes of the evening was the assumptions we make about how “clothing” should work – how it should/could be worn, how it should/could be put on, how it should be constructed…

For me one of the main themes was the use of colour. All of the collections that spoke to me had colour as one of their main defining strengths.

Talis Jimenez (Australia) MARINA – had used hand drawn printed fabric in orange and soft pink with motifs of sea creatures – the colour combinations were unexpected, but fresh. This collection won Most Commercial Collection

Tess Norquay (Wellington) PLEASE LIKE ME – these pieces were just a visual feast with multi layering of fabrics in prints and bold colours – the fabrics hacked into and overwhelming the model… with the collection speaking to the portrayal of women in the media. This collection also won Excellence in Design.

Melina Karagozian & Elisa Lutteral (Argentina) MITO – again colour played a beautiful part of this collection inspired by the indigenous South American Mapuche, who are near extinction. With embroidered detailing and recycled fabrics being used – sustainability is a key note for the collection.

Megan Stewart (Wellington) THE DAILY SHOW – I saw her work at NZFW last year and I was as taken with her use of colour, and form then as I am now. With oversized digital images blown out with vibrant colour on thick woolen fabrics – oversized coats and dresses. They were just stunning – and beautifully constructed.

Victoria Bliss (Australia) INDOMITABLE – an immediately recognisable exploration of the Designer’s heritage – and Scotland’s long struggle with British oppression andWomens continuing battle for gender equality.  Traditionally made and sourced Auld Scotland Tartan sits alongside laser etched tartan mixed with fur, silks and jewellery.

Ann Xiao (Australia) A BALANCE OF CONTRADITIONS – talks of the tensions of the “Australian Way of Life”  and a young girl’s Chinese heritage. With an incredible palette of ‘media’ to call from – with soft cottons, pleating to a 3D printed garment – this was a layered and cohesive collection.

Natasha Nadya (Singapore) I AM FULL – this incredibly playful, happy collection inspired by sushi was one of my absolute favourites. With bright orange, black and white as a palette – this padded, chunky, quirky collection just made me happy.

Emily Stone (Australia) ILLORY – Speaking to the alternative way of approaching putting on a garment, these knitted pieces where painterly in their colour design. The colour palette was striking – and complex.  I loved it all.

Letitia Powell (Otago) IMMERSED – this collection explores the therapeutic properties of water. Before I read the description of the collection, I loved the ragged finish to the tulle which looks like it has been overwashed – the soft blue adding to the water illusion…

Lila John (Austria) THE LAST THING I EVER WANTED TO DO WAS MAKE YOU FEEL AMAZING Won second prize with her collection speaking to  young woman going through her second coming of age. With lace, crochet, knit, georgette and crepe have been flipped from formal to informal sportswear.

Phillip Von Fury (Auckland) WARM BROTHERS – the collection was born from research into The Institute of Sex Research, Berlin in the 1920’s. I saw this collection at AUT ROOKIE in November last year and was as struck then with the mix of sequins, silk satin, organza and garments that could be either male or female as I am now. With a soft palette of nude, pinks, and cream – it is a cohesive and tight collection.

Olivia Balle & Kristin Meaclem (Wellington) TRISH – the name of this wonderfully fun, colourful and happy collection is a perfect reflection of that spirit, with the name being an amalgamation of Trash and Fish. The collection has a serious side with the outfits being made from 100% post consumer waste – salvaged from rubbish bins, and from soft drink cans.

Laura Bennett (Otago) A LURID DISTRACTION With a nod to the Bohemian Era – the silhouettes of this collection have a looseness about them. The collection was specifically designed with an optimist mindset, and it shows with vibrant colours, playful use of textiles (hand woven wool and digital fabrics). it all felt wonderfully feminine.  Laura also won the Peoples Choice Award.

Nehma Vitols (Australia) XXX with five archetypal pieces – the Blazer, Business Shirt, Biker and Bomber Jackets  and the Trench Coat – this collection talked about what is actually left behind in the process of making said garments. Beautiful paper, silk and cotton merged hybrid materials giving the pieces an ethereal feel.  The silk screened weeds and flowers in greys gave a delicate touch. This collection was the Supreme Winner for 2017

Wang Yiyan (China) SILENCE Recognising that Religion is the cornerstone of Chinese Culture, and in this case, Buddhist clothing is modified and then hand painted in a strikingly modernist way.

Emily Cameron (Australia) EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN One of my absolutely favourites for the night – this collection was influenced by travels in Japan and Takashi Murakami’s super flat art movement.  With a joyous use of colour, this beautifully made this collection came complete with shoes, bags, and jewellery (made out of perspex). With a Warhol-esque hat tip to the 60’s this collection was the well deserved winner of the Internship with designer Amelia Wickstead.

Adellen Pasquale (Australia) LURE The name of this collection gives it all away with entire dresses made from fishing lures that catch the eye… Metallic fishing line forms elements of embroidery, and fishing beads finish the look.

Paul Castro (Australia) AMASSMENT Textile waste is at the heart of this collection, with the standout piece upcycled from “deadstock” mens shirts.  This collection placed third for International Emerging Designer Awards 2017

Alexandra Armata (Canada) CUT + PASTE With little or no colour used at all (other than white) – this collection talks of the narrative of dressing to shape the way we are perceived. The garments are assembled with ripped pieces of tape and though they look haphazard, they are anything but.

Zhuxuan He (Australia) ZHUXUAN HE S/S 2017 This one was my personal favourite for the night with a most dazzling, sophisticated use of colour on “structures” that were beautifully fragile – origami folding techniques that caused the garments to move in a most beguiling way. The use of orange and yellow ombre was just the icing on the cake for me. Brilliant.


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