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Emerging Designer Awards winners

Photograph courtesy of Sara Kickmayer

Six emerging designers from six countries have been recognised at this year’s iD International Emerging Designer Awards, in partnership with Otago Polytechnic.

The Otago Polytechnic First Place was awarded to Sara Kickmayer, Institut Français de la Mode, France. Sara’s collection ‘Real Utopia’ was inspired by modular transformable structures and shapes. Silhouettes that remind of mountain structures and ancient drapes using a combination of raw processed materials and regenerated materials that move organically around the body.

Second place sponsored by Anita Greene of Bayleys Metro went to Min-Yan Tsai, Shih Chien University, Taiwan. Min-Yan’s collection ‘天照花塚 Flourish Tumulus’ silhouettes are drawn from samurai armour and military uniforms from World War II. The black and white colour palate plays on the idea of camouflage patterns  and inspiration from chess pieces.  

Photograph courtesy of Min-Yan Tsai

Wealth Protection Specialists Third Place was awarded to Mengzhe (Justin) Chi, Fashion Institute of Technology, USA. ‘Put on – Take Off’ explores the relationships between everyday fasteners, user actions and clothing structure in a playful way making wearing more interactive. The design simplified silhouettes and sewing. Each look has an assembly instruction book, allowing consumers to purchase pre-cut fabric and follow steps to make their own garment.

Photograph courtesy of Mengzhe (Justin) Chi

New Zealand’s Lydia Paine, a graduate of Massey University, NZ was named Viva Best NZ Emerging Designer. Research for her ‘Mother & Mode’ collection uncovered her grandparents knitting, smocking and cobbling skills, inspiring her to create a collection with a deeper, sustainable bond. Mother & Mode is a poignant reflection upon family, family history and crafts passed down through generations. Its slow-fashion pieces speak of fragments of memories and handmade processes, as a counter to over-consumption.

Photograph courtesy of Lydia Paine

Gisella Candi, University of Technology Sydney, Australia received the Bremworth Natural Luxury with Wool prize. The collection ‘Wide Angle Smile’ uses off-kilter prints and odd silhouettes to explore the feelings and experiences of growing up in a society that rewards convention and passivity, rather than originality, passion and individuality. All the fabric was developed and screen printed and all knits were made on a domestic knitting machine.

Photograph courtesy of Gisella Candi

iD Dunedin Most Sustainable Collection was awarded to Olivia Rubens, London College of Fashion, Canada. Olivia undertook nearly 10 collaborations to create the ‘Duplicitous Lives’ collection, including; working with an Estonian accessories designer to make chainmail miniature corsets, sourcing mohair and fleece from a UK farmer and working with an Irish company to dye yarns and fabric. Fabrics were created with hand knitting, knitting on the Stoll machine and embroidering.

Photograph courtesy of Olivia Rubens

Winners were announced at a sell-out show in Dunedin on Saturday 19 June where an international panel of jurors led by head judge Tanya Carlson, design director of Carlson (NZ) assessed this year’s 41 finalists who noted that despite the challenges this year’s finalists had faced over the past 18 months, there was an overwhelming feeling of optimism in all the entries.

“It’s encouraging to see that the future of fashion is in good hands, there is an overarching move toward an intimate process of creativity and handmaking, with a number of students incorporating hand knitting in their collections. All emerging designers engaged in sustainable practice and all share a desire to create fashion which leaves a lighter footprint” says Carlson.

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