Four polytech designers chosen to exhibit at iD Dunedin

Budding fashion designer Lauren Arthur, of Dunedin, is one of four Otago Polytechnic School Of Design graduands selected to show her garments in the 15th anniversary iD Dunedin Fashion Show in April.
Budding fashion designer Lauren Arthur, of Dunedin, is one of four Otago Polytechnic School Of Design graduands selected to show her garments in the 15th anniversary iD Dunedin Fashion Show in April.

Handcraft techniques and innovative use of fabric by four Otago Polytechnic fashion graduands has impressed iD Dunedin Fashion Show selectors.

Lauren Arthur (23), Hannah Heslop (20), Georgia Ferguson (21), and Justine Tindley (41) will show their graduate collections at the 15th anniversary iD show in April, alongside some of New Zealand's most successful commercial designers.

Each has developed five outfits for their final year at the School of Design, which were eyed by iD selectors during the polytechnic's recent Collections 13 fashion show.

Selector, iD committee member and Dunedin fashion designer Charmaine Reveley, who first showed at iD as an Otago graduate in 2002, said the four collections stood out in their creativity and quality.

The garments would surprise and inspire iD audiences when modelled at the Dunedin Railway Station, she said.

''The graduates [sic] have taken some amazing old techniques and redefined them, bringing them back to life and making them contemporary. It's all about texture, shape and silhouette,'' she said.

Hand-knitting, embroidery and beading were among techniques used by the students to embellish fabric.

Miss Arthur, of Dunedin, said her collection, ''This is not skim milk'', was inspired by South African farmers and how they reinterpreted Western clothing, combining it with found materials and objects from their environment.

She knotted together materials, including her mother's hand-knitting, and focused her palette on grey, white, forest green and lilac for her menswear and womenswear.

''I've tried to do something different. iD is definitely something you aspire to, although I wasn't expecting to be selected, but it's such a great opportunity,'' Miss Arthur said.

Her collection won two awards for innovative and directional design at the Collections 13 show.

Miss Heslop said her collection, ''Freaky princess ocean goddess'', combined pop culture, tribal culture and handcraft.

A main influence was the sea and reflections from the sky, which she portrayed with ''shine, sparkle and glamour''.

Silk, knitwear, beads and sequins featured in her womenswear.

Miss Tindley's collection, ''Metamorphosis'', also used knitwear, as well as secondhand clothing, which she reworked to create new garments which highlighted existing details.

The end result was ''warm'' androgynous outfits, showing the beauty of creases, distressed fabric and tailoring in ''second life'' clothes.

Miss Tindley was top of the class for her work.

Miss Ferguson spent the first semester in Milan, Italy on a study exchange and based her collection ''Lights on autumn/winter 2014'' on a Dadaism quote about art not existing without spectator involvement, as well as 30 still life photographs.

She used a loom to weave parts of the collection, and hand-knitted all bindings as well as two large jumpers for her womenswear.

The four Otago Polytechnic students will graduate alongside their 12 other classmates on Friday.

All but Miss Tindley were also part of a delegation to China for Shanghai Fashion Week in October.

Otago Polytechnic academic leader of fashion Margo Barton said this year's graduands were incredibly talented and she looked forward to seeing their work at iD.

''What stood out for me this year was these incredible handcraft techniques used in ways that could be produced commercially,'' she said.

rosie.manins@odt.co.nz