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Her zero waste collection "New Zeal", which strives to reverse the idea that sustainable fashion must conform to one aesthetic and one target market, was one of 43 collections selected as finalists from 150 applications.
They are the work of 46 emerging designers, from 16 countries, who are studying fashion or have completed their study within the last five years.
It was a surreal moment for Miss Ryan (21), of Dunedin, when an email confirming her success came up on her phone while at work on Friday.
Despite working at a florist stall in a mall that does not have walls, she began screaming in celebration, she said.
"Then I read further and saw that it was confidential and I was like ‘Oh no, I’ve just yelled out in the middle of the mall’.
"I was really excited, quite nervous, but mostly excited."
Miss Ryan graduated from Otago Polytechnic with distinction in bachelor of design and fashion last year, and "New Zeal" was her graduate collection.
The 10 garments are made using 100% natural and biodegradable fibres.
She developed special zero waste pattern-cutting techniques and used biodegradable elastic, fabric ties and wooden buttons, instead of zips.
Miss Ryan said it was her experience growing up in New Zealand that inspired her work.
"My parents always taught me to make do with what I had and try to use what I had before going and buying new things.
"It makes sense to try to use as much of the fabric that you’ve got as possible."
It was vital to steer the fashion industry in a sustainable direction going forward.
"Traditional pattern cutting wastes about 15% of the fabric," she said.
Otago Polytechnic professor of fashion and iD Dunedin Fashion chairwoman Dr Margo Barton said the submissions were "incredible" this year.
"It reminded me that there is nowhere else in the world where edgy and challenging sustainable fashion, from some of the most notable institutions internationally, are accessible to the public in such a way."
The finalists will now submit a video of their garments, which will be shown to an international judging panel, before the winners are announced at a gala movie premiere and runway show at Otago Museum on Saturday, June 19.
They are competing for first, second and third place, most sustainable collection, and the natural luxury with wool award.
For the first time, all 10 New Zealand finalists will be eligible for the new Viva best New Zealand emerging designer award.
iD International Emerging Designer Awards 2021 finalists and their collections are:
- Cindy Alhadeff and Martina Pavia, "No-Made", Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseno y Urbanismo, Argentina.
- George Borrie, "Muse", Southern Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
- Kerry Brack, "Objet Trouve", University of Technology Sydney, Australia.
- Gisella Candi, "Wide Angle Smile", University of Technology Sydney, Australia.
- Elodie Cazier, "Not that they come alive in her, it is her who lives in them", ArtEZ University of the Arts, France.
- Sahil Chaudhary, "Labyrinth", National Institute of Fashion Technology, India.
- Karis Zanetta Cheng, "Where Are You From?", University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.
- Justin Mengzhe Chi, "Put on – Take Off", Fashion Institute of Technology, United States.
- Tsai Feng Chou, "Goldfish Unknow", Shih Chien University, Taiwan.
- Chloe Christie, "Suited", University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.
- Jasmin Erb, "Untitled, 2021", University of Arts, Berlin, Germany.
- Taylor Groves and Emma Jing-Cornall, "February 2021 Collaboration", Massey University, New Zealand.
- Romana Haake, "Coding Paradise", University of Applied Sciences, Bielefeld, Germany.
- Jordan Harris, "[Re]construct", Massey University, New Zealand.
- Jing He, "Assimilation // Annexation", Massey University, New Zealand.
- Ina Hill, "Embody", Massey University, New Zealand.
- Oscar Keene, "Fluid", RMIT, Australia.
- Sally Jackson, "The Bowerbirds", University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.
- Grace Kelly, "Eide", Queensland University of Technology, Australia.
- Sara Kickmayer, "Real Utopia", Institut Francais de la Mode, France.
- Ester Kubisz, "Unreal City", Ravensbourne, United Kingdom.
- Taliah Leslie, "Dreamers", Pratt Institute, United States of America.
- Jingzhi Liu, "Liu Jingzhi", College of Fashion and Design, Donghua University, China.
- Shiyu Liu, "Cheng Shi", Donghua University, China.
- Yu-Wen Liu, "Revolution Orbita", Shih Chien University, Taiwan.
- Karel Martinez, "Karel", Polimoda, Italy.
- Jennifer Milleder, "Flora Magnifica", University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria.
- Margarita Ng Ng and Cristina Ng Ng, "2x1 = Split Identities/Personalities Different But Same", Fashion Institute of Technology, United States.
- Lydia Paine, "Mother and Mode", Massey University, New Zealand.
- Taylor Pumphrey, "Tangible", Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand.
- Alesha Pyers, "Audacity to Art", Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand.
- Kristal Roberts, "Rethread", Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand.
- Olivia Rubens, "Duplicitous Lives", London College of Fashion, Canada.
- Lorna Ryan, "New Zeal", Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand.
- Alessandro Santi, "Morphed Up", University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria.
- Anna Sarasoja, "Study of Shapes", Aalto University, Finland.
- Cecilie Schou Gronbeck, "A Soft Warrior", Royal Danish Academy, Denmark.
- Namrata Surana, "Wildflower Mornings", Accademia di Costume e di Moda, India.
- Min-Yan Tsai, "Flourish Tumulus", Shih Chien University, Taiwan.
- Karina Vodovoz, "Future Past", Shenkar, Israel.
- Xizhu Wu, "Shuang", University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.
- Zhu-Luo Xiao, "Dedicated to my Parents", Shih Chien Fashion Department, Taiwan.
- Shuyu Yue, "Me", College of Fashion and Design, Donghua University, China.