‘Too garish’ duvet fashioned into winning garment

Otago Girls’ High School pupil Bridget Dalley (18) models her national fashion award-winning...
Otago Girls’ High School pupil Bridget Dalley (18) models her national fashion award-winning garment, made from an old duvet cover. PHOTOS: PETER MCINTOSH
When Bridget Dalley inherited an old duvet from a family friend, she politely said thanks, and then promptly threw it in a cupboard because it was "too garish" to put on her bed.

A few years later, she has recycled the duvet cover into a garment which has won the 2020 Home Economics and Technology Teachers’ Association of New Zealand (Hettanz) senior sustainable design award — much to her surprise.

"I never used the duvet. It was kind of too ugly to put on a bed.

"My story is I didn’t have the right-sized duvet inner to put in it.

"At the start of this year, I really wanted to do a rockabilly-inspired look, but I needed a lot of fabric to do it.

"I didn’t have any money to go out and buy some, so I pulled the old duvet out and made a garment that’s 100% recyclable."

The judges were very impressed with the incredibly high standard of technical ability and creativity.

Asked what kind of event the outfit could be worn to, Bridget said "funnily enough, this is kind of my day-to-day wear".

"Most of the clothes I wear are bright or sparkly or colourful in some way. It’s the kind of thing I would wear into town.

"I get a lot of comments from other people. It brightens their days."

She plans to study a bachelor of design at Otago Polytechnic next year, in the hope of making a career out of fashion design.

"I’m very excited about that."

Bayfield High School pupil Stella McQuillan (left) models an outfit designed by fellow pupil...
Bayfield High School pupil Stella McQuillan (left) models an outfit designed by fellow pupil Misaki Joe (both 14), which won a junior award at the 2020 Hettanz Student Fashion Awards.
Bayfield High School pupils Misaki Joe and Abel Therakkadavath also shone in the junior categories of the awards.

Misaki won the junior technical category and Abel was highly commended in the junior creative category.

Misaki said her garment was designed to be worn in a dance competition and only took her about two days to create.

Entries were received from schools across New Zealand, and guest judges Sue Prescott (Massey University fashion programme leader) and Anna Hicks (Bernina New Zealand technician) were "blown away" by the high standard of work produced.

Ms Prescott was impressed by the learning and encouragement going on, both at school and home, to produce the work.

"The garments reflect hours of dedication and effort."

Ms Hicks said she left the judging process feeling inspired about the bright future of the industry, "after seeing the incredibly high standard of technical ability and creativity from all age levels".

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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