The iD Dunedin Emerging Fashion Designer Awards 2017

Judges, winners and models at the iD Dunedin Emerging Designer Awards. Image supplied.

The competition was fierce at this year’s iD Dunedin Emerging Designer Awards with an exceptional collection from Australian Nehma Vitols taking out the top prize on the runway. The awards are in their 13th year with the 29 emerging designer finalists selected from a pool of 150 entries from 18 countries.

It was Nehma Vitols inspired take on the biker jacket and blazer that utilised new fabric technology which won over the judges. Vitols is a graduate of Sydney’s University of Technology and created her collection by deconstructing familiar silhouettes in an entirely unique way. She created hybrid materials from the likes of paper, silk and cotton which meant her pieces were both garment and sculpture. The young designer takes home a $6000 first place prize from H&J Smith for her winning range titled “XXX”.

“There was so much about it that was great,” says head judge Tanya Carlson. “There was this amazing dichotomy of opposing states – fluid but structured, flat and 3D, technological yet handcrafted. She used references that we all know – the biker jacket, the trench coat – and then she makes them new.”

The 2017 judging panel comprised of Tanya Carlson, NOM*d’s Margi Robertson, Marc Moore from Stolen Girlfriends Club, Australian fashion editor Georgina Safe, and iD’s international guest for 2017 Paulo Melim Andersson. All of whom agreed that the standard of finalists at this year’s event was very high. There was an overriding focus on the ocean with aquatic inspired collections and a renewed focus on sustainability seen from the young designer’s collections.

“All of the collections are a result of research and a commitment to new ideas,” says Paulo Melim Andersson. “There was little evidence of international referencing and instead each finalist created their own vision in a collection that was fresh, unique and original.”

The awards show was hosted by ZM’s PJ Harding and Jase Hawkins at the iconic Dunedin Railway Station. It’s supported by the Otago Polytechnic School of Design and backstage Dr Margo Barton and a team of students were in charge of running the awards. Dunedin-based salon Klone Hair, led by Danelle and Karl Radel, created the hair looks while the makeup was supplied by Revlon and the makeup team was led by Christal Allpress. The models were supplied by Aart Model Management with 10 international models from the University of Shanghai Engineering Science also taking to the runway.

This year’s winners are:
– The H&J First Prize ($6000) Nehma Vitols, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
– Laffare Second Place ($4000): Lila John, University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria
– Gallery De Nova 3rd Place ($2000): Paul Castro, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia
– The Fabric Store Award for Excellence in Design worth $3000 (includes $2000 fabric): Tess Norquay, Massey – University, Wellington, New Zealand
– Dunedin’s Golden Centre Mall Most Commercial Collection Prize ($1000): Talia Jimenez University of Technology Sydney, Australia
– The NZME and Viva Editorial Prize (awarded to best NZ collection): Megan Stewart, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
– The Emilia Wickstead Internship: Emily Cameron, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia

Nehma Vitols H&J First Prize

Nehma Vitols, H&J First Place, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.

Lila John, Laffere Second Place, University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria.

Paul Castro Gallery de Novo Third Prize

Paul Castro, Gallery De Nova Third Place, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia.

Images by Chris Sullivan.

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