A group of New Zealand’s most celebrated designers on stage at the iD Dunedin Fashion Week 20th Anniversary Show at the Regent Theatre in Dunedin. Image by Chris Sullivan.
While last night’s 20th anniversary iD Dunedin Fashion Week show was a celebration of brilliant local and international talent, the event began with a heartfelt and sombre acknowledgement by MC Mel Homer of yesterday’s tragic events in Christchurch. For 20 years the event has brought together fashion fans from around the world and last night everyone was united in their grief for the Christchurch victims and there was a strong sense of global community and Kiwi pride present at Dunedin’s historic Regent Theatre.
In previous years there have been separate shows that displayed the creative talents of established and international designers such as the popular show staged at the Dunedin Railway Station that ran until 2017. However, last night the iD International Emerging Designer Awards that celebrates exceptional young talent and the established designers show was merged into one three hour long showcase of brilliant fashion.
First up were the sixteen established Kiwi designers, all of whom have showed at iD Dunedin Fashion Week previously with stalwarts like Zambesi, WORLD, Hailwood and Kate Sylvester alongside the Dunedin contingent of Company of Strangers, Nom*d, Mild Red, Charmaine Reveley, Dada and Carlson. Designer and iD Head Judge Tanya Carlson took the opportunity to present a beautiful edit of some of her favourite gowns from the past 20 years which was a stunning highlight of the night. The likes of RUBY, Liam, Wynn Hamlyn and Maaike showed that the previous generation of emerging designers have become strong fashion identities in their own right.
The second half of the show saw the 25 emerging designer finalists from 16 countries present their cohesive edits on stage with Ed Richards from Auckland’s AUT first on the runway. This year there was a very personal approach clearly evident from the young designers with Head Judge and Dunedin born designer, Tanya Carlson, saying that while this year’s finalists were drawn from throughout the world, 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.”
Judges and designers Tanya Carlson, Benny Castles (WORLD), Margi Robertson (NOM*d) and Kate Sylvester, as well as VIVA editor Amanda Linnell had a tough job deciding on the winners but it was Rebecca Carrington from Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK who was declared the H&J Smith iD International Emerging Designer first place winner. Her collection ‘The Story of Miss Ruby Ribbon’, is a celebration of her childhood and her deceased pet parrot, Ruby. To share this memory, Rebecca created a fictional narrative through which she tells the tale of a 21-year-old woman who still enjoys playing with toys. She used toys as shapes for the garments, scaling them up from A3 drawings to create larger versions for pattern pieces while also creating masks, fabric keyrings, and plush toys to reflect her the tale and inspire her collection.
H&J Smith iD International Emerging Designer First Place Award, Rebecca Carrington, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.
Judge Benny Castles described Rebecca’s collection as “uplifting and inspiring”, saying that “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.”
The John and Marelda Gallaher Family iD International Emerging Designer Second Place Winner was Betty Liu from Melbourne’s RMIT. Judge Amanda Linnell said “Betty tackled a complex and delicate issue, which she handled beautifully showcasing her craft and intellectual execution.” Betty’s collection ‘Eating the Other’ explores ways Western fashion reinforces dogmatic stereotypes of Chinese culture. Her collection featured garments with long and closed-off sleeves intensifying the feeling of entrapment.
Gallery De Novo iD International Emerging Designer Third Place Winner was Sarah Hawes, from UTS, in Sydney, Australia. Sarah’s collection ‘Psychotic Tailor’ explored men’s tailoring with a hint of the psychotic, inspired by photographs of her grandfather wearing tailored suits in London during the 1950s. Judge Benny Castles said Sarah’s designs showed an extraordinary commitment to detailing. “Her handiwork was awe inspiring and invigorated the judges’ appreciation of originality.”
The full results for the iD International Emerging Designer Awards 2019 are:
Rebecca Carrington, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. H&J Smith iD International Emerging Designer First Place Award 2019 ($6,000)
Betty Liu, RMIT, Australia. John and Marelda Gallaher Family iD International Emerging Designer Second Place Award ($4,000)
Sarah Hawes, UTS, Australia. Gallery De Novo iD International Emerging Designer Third Place Award ($2,000)
Anna Petry, RMIT, Australia. The Fabric Store Award for Excellence in Design Award ($1,000 cash and $2,000 The Fabric Store fabric)
Cassandra Casas Rojas, Kent State University, USA. Therapy + Psychology Free to Be Me Award ($2,500)
Carolina Nicolucci, Micaela Pena & Catalina Peralta Martinez, Ciclo. University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Barbara Brinsley QSM Carpe Diem Award ($1,500)
Dayun Lee, London College of Fashion, South Korea. Cavalier Bremworth Wool Award ($1,000)
Bethany Cordwell, QUT, Australia. Beca Sustainability Award ($1,000)
Eily Shaddock, QUT, Australia. Holden Acadia Arrive in Style Award ($500)
Lavinia Ilolahia, AUT, Auckland. Viva Editorial Award
George Clarke, Bath Spa University, UK. Blunt Design Award (his design will be produced as a limited-edition Blunt umbrella)
Rosette Hailes-Paku, Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand. Apparel Magazine Most Commercial Collection Award (Apparel Magazine story)
Congratulations to all the winners of this year’s awards.
John and Marelda Gallaher Family iD International Emerging Designer Second Place Award, Betty Liu, RMIT, Australia.
Gallery De Novo iD International Emerging Designer Third Place Award, Sarah Hawes, UTS, Australia.
The 20th Anniversary Show featuring the 25 emerging designers and New Zealand fashion designers is on again tonight Saturday 16 March at 7.30pm in Dunedin’s Regent Theatre.
Images by Chris Sullivan