Unbridled creativity will be on show at the iD International
Emerging Designer Awards in the Dunedin Town Hall tonight.
The sold-out show will offer a glimpse into the next
generation of global fashion.
Five-piece collections by 26 graduate designers from
throughout the world have been judged and are ready to be
modelled on a specially-made catwalk for the capacity crowd
of 1350 people.
Judges included Dunedin designers and iD stalwarts Margi
Robinson (Nom*D) and Tanya Carlson, as well as WORLD
co-founder Francis Hooper, of Auckland, Paris-based
Australian designer Martin Grant and Singapore-based fashion
academic Lucy Jones, of the United Kingdom.
They spent yesterday assessing each collection, talking to
designers and allocating awards, which will be announced
Mr Hooper, who also judged the awards in 2009, said it was an
''amazing'' event because the designers were young, fresh and
''Because they've just graduated, they are not so
commercially focused, so you get to see their pure energy and
creativity. It's wonderful, because in reality it's all about
selling and sometimes the life of things gets beaten out for
The calibre of finalists' work was ''really high'', he said,
and the collections reflected advances in technology which
had changed fashion aesthetics over the years.
''Laser cutting and digital technology have changed the way
garments are made, printed, fitted and textured. This awards
is something I see as the future of fashion coming at us.''
Mr Grant was impressed with the variety of collections, which
he judged with refinement and focus in mind.
''It's seeing people who already have a very strong voice or
strong direction, and they've actually identified that and
gone in that direction. That's the most important thing for
He said some finalists had a keen sense of couture and
others' talents lay in creating for jeanswear labels or
The multicultural nature of the awards meant audience members
would see a range of international influences and styles, Mr
Finalists have travelled to Dunedin at their own expense from
throughout New Zealand and Australia, as well as from China,
Italy, India and Singapore.
Dunedin finalist Hannah Heslop said the judges offered
constructive criticism and advice about how she could
''commercialise'' her collection.
''It was nerve-racking, but once I got talking to the judges
they were lovely and it was really good getting advice from
such great designers,'' she said.
The 20-year-old, like all finalists, had 10 minutes to
describe her collection and answer judges' questions.
She said although short, the presentation was ''in-depth'',
and she loved being able to see other designers' collections
Tonight's show is the 10th anniversary iD International
Emerging Designer Awards. More than $22,000 worth of prizes
is on offer, as well as the chance to have a collection
modelled in the 15th anniversary iD Dunedin Fashion Show at
the Dunedin Railway Station tomorrow and on Saturday.