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There were fabrics featuring crustaceans.
There were materials slung casually off the gentle curves of the most slender backs.
There were models galore bouncing in the utmost elegance down the Dunedin Railway Station catwalk at last night’s iD International Emerging Designer Awards wearing materials squeezed and wrought into something so special that everybody deserved an award.
But it was Nehma Vitols, from Sydney’s University of Technology, with model Natasha Amareskara, of Dunedin, who won first prize of $6000 with her collection, XXX, which merged what judges described as "new fabric technology with handcraft, while deconstructing familiar silhouettes in an entirely unique way".
The models swayed and glanced coolly at the crowd of Dunedin fashion aficionados who were glued to plastic seats and sat in awe of what was paraded before them.
But, of course, there could be only one winner, and like last year, it was an Australian who took home the major prize.
Head judge Tanya Carlson said: "There was so much about it that was great."
"There was this amazing dichotomy of opposing states; fluid but structured, flat and 3-D, technological yet handcrafted."
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology graduate Emily Cameron got a big career boost after winning the Emilia Wickstead Internship.
Cameron’s Everything in Between collection was also a crowd favourite, attracting the most enthusiastic applause of the evening.
International guest designer Paulo Melim Andersson said the standard of finalists was high.
"An overriding focus of the designers was on the ocean with aquatic inspired collections and a renewed focus on sustainability.
"All of the collections are a result of research and a commitment to new ideas."
Winners: Nehma Vitols, University of Technology Sydney, $6000, 1; Lila John, University of Applied Arts, Vienna, $4000, 2; Paul Castro, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, $2000, 3.
Excellence in design: Tess Norquay, Massey University Wellington, $3000.
Most commercial collection: Talia Jimenez University of Technology Sydney, $1000.
Best NZ collection: Megan Stewart, Massey University, Wellington.