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The iD Dunedin Fashion Week started under a cloud last night, the Christchurch terror attack casting a pall over proceedings.
Runway hostess Mel Homer from TV3's The Cafe described the event as "awful", and questioned how things could be changed.
The show, however, went on.
Manchester Metropolitan University graduate Rebecca Carrington took the main prize with her collection "The Story of Miss Ruby Ribbon".
Judge Benny Castles described her designs as "uplifting and inspiring".
"In a time of anxiety and negativity globally, Rebecca's collection was a breath of fresh air.
"There was a sense of playfulness which belied the intricate detailing of her design showing talented craftsmanship and story-telling.
"Her collection brings a smile to your face."
Head judge Tanya Carlson said finalists came from around the world, but their work drew upon a common theme.
"This year the judges noted many of the collections were inward-looking.
"Designers were nostalgic about their childhoods and also took inspiration from immigration and migration.
"Additionally they all showed an incredible and inspiring juxtaposition of fabrics and colour."
The iD International Emerging Designer Awards were held in the second half of show that also featured capsule collections from 16 leading New Zealand designers.
Rebecca Carrington, Manchester Metropolitan University, England, 1; Betty Liu, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia, 2; Sarah Hawes, University of Technology, Sydney, 3; Anna Petry, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, excellence in design award, Cassandra Casas Rojas, Kent State University, US, empowering young designers to be themselves award; Carolina Nicolucci, Micaela Pena and Catalina Peralta Martinez, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, garment which creates a "wow" moment; Dayun Lee, London College of Fashion, South Korea, best use of wool; Bethany Cordwell, Queensland University of Technology, sustainability award; Eily Shaddock, Queensland University of Technology, design that featured in best photo at Dunedin location; Lavinia Ilolahia, Auckland University of Technology, award for approaching design in a new way; George Clarke, Bath Spa University, England, award for designing fabric for umbrella; Rosette Hailes-Paku, Otago Polytechnic, most commercial collection award.