WoolOn win labour of love

Sophie Mathias, of Alexandra, models Gore designer Andre Johnston’s winning garment ‘‘For the Love of Spring’’. The entry won the hand-crafted category and was also the supreme winner. Photo: Janyne Fletcher
Sophie Mathias, of Alexandra, models Gore designer Andre Johnston’s winning garment ‘‘For the Love of Spring’’. The entry won the hand-crafted category and was also the supreme winner. Photo: Janyne Fletcher
‘‘Mirror Image’’, by Laurel Judd, of Napier, winner of the avant garde category. Photo: Janyne...
‘‘Mirror Image’’, by Laurel Judd, of Napier, winner of the avant garde category. Photo: Janyne Fletcher
‘‘Tweedle Dee’’, by Becs Calder, of Omakau, winner of the collections category.
‘‘Tweedle Dee’’, by Becs Calder, of Omakau, winner of the collections category.
‘‘Perfection in Pink’’, by Viv Tamblyn, of Gore, winner of the streetwear category.
‘‘Perfection in Pink’’, by Viv Tamblyn, of Gore, winner of the streetwear category.
‘‘Let it Rain’’, by Tania Irons, of Becks, winner of the novice category.
‘‘Let it Rain’’, by Tania Irons, of Becks, winner of the novice category.
‘‘Expression of Tartan’’, by Neesha Johnson, of Havelock, winner of under-23 category.
‘‘Expression of Tartan’’, by Neesha Johnson, of Havelock, winner of under-23 category.
The supreme winner of the 2018 WoolOn Creative Fashion Event, Andre Johnston, of Gore, celebrates...
The supreme winner of the 2018 WoolOn Creative Fashion Event, Andre Johnston, of Gore, celebrates her success after the Saturday awards show in Alexandra. Photo: Pam Jones
"In the Pink", by Heather Kerr, of Wanaka, winner of the felted category in WoolOn Creative Fashion Event, August 18 2018. Photo: Janyne Fletcher
"In the Pink", by Heather Kerr, of Wanaka, winner of the felted category in WoolOn Creative Fashion Event, August 18 2018. Photo: Janyne Fletcher
Barcelona", by Laurel Judd, of Napier, winner of the special occasion category. Photo: Janyne Fletcher
Barcelona", by Laurel Judd, of Napier, winner of the special occasion category. Photo: Janyne Fletcher
"Diamond Herringbone", by Sue McLean, of Oamaru, winner of accessoreis section. Photo: Janyne Fletcher
"Diamond Herringbone", by Sue McLean, of Oamaru, winner of accessoreis section. Photo: Janyne Fletcher

Gore designer Andre Johnston has won the supreme award at Central Otago’s WoolOn Creative Fashion Event with a hand-embroidered dress that took hundreds of hours to make.

Johnston (37) said she was "overwhelmed" by Saturday night’s win. It was the first time she had entered the show, although she had entered a different version of the event  more than a decade ago.

Also the supreme winner of the Hokonui Fashion Design Awards two years ago, Johnston said she worked hard to juggle her time designing with caring for her two  children aged 6 and 8, and working at a jewellery store in Gore.

She said she loved working with wool, and took inspiration from overseas trends.

She had spent about 300 hours creating her winning "For the Love of Spring" garment, a one-shouldered drop-hem dress featuring cross-stitch which won the hand-crafted category of WoolOn and was then named supreme champion.

Johnston, who has a bachelor of fashion and design degree from  Otago Polytechnic, has been designing for about 20 years, having started sewing as a child, taught initially by her mother Viv Tamblyn, also of Gore.

Tamblyn, also a well-known designer,  won the supreme award at WoolOn last year, and was the first to congratulate Johnston on her win on Saturday  night, while standing on the stage as a category winner herself.

Tamblyn won the streetwear section.

She said she was "over the moon" about her daughter’s win.

"She’s put in so many hours, and she works so hard with her designing and her young family."

 

Category winners were:

Streetwear: "Perfection in Pink", by Viv Tamblyn, of Gore.

Felted: "In the Pink", by Heather Kerr, of Wanaka (highly commended: "Circle of Life", by Maureen McKenzie, of Alexandra).

Novice: "Let it Rain", by Tania Irons, of Becks (highly commended: "Nifty Chic", by Beverley Baker, of Alexandra).

Collections: "Tweedle Dee", by Becs Calder, of Lauder.

Special Occasion: "Barcelona", by Laurel Judd, of Napier.

Avant Garde: "Mirror Image", by Laurel Judd, of Napier.

Accessories: "Diamond Herringbone", by Sue McLean, of Oamaru (highly commended: "Autumn Warmth", by Gillian Parkinson, of Roxburgh).

Under 23: "Expression of Tartan", by Neesha Johnson, of Havelock.

Hand-crafted and supreme winner: "For the Love of Spring", by Andre Johnston, of Gore.

pam.jones@odt.co.nz

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