AUSTRALIAN FINALIST TAKES OUT 13TH ID INTERNATIONAL EMERGING DESIGNER AWARDS

A stand-out Australian emerging designer collection that reinvents archetypal garments including the biker jacket and blazer has won tonight’s 13th annual iD International Emerging Designer Awards held at the Dunedin Railway Station in New Zealand.  

Australian-based Nehma Vitols from Sydney’s University of Technology tonight took out the H&J Smith $6,000 First Place prize with her collection, ‘XXX’ – described by judges as “inspired”, merging new fabric technology with handcraft while deconstructing familiar silhouettes in an entirely unique way. Paper, silk and cotton merge to form hybrid materials that oscillate between two and three dimensions and between garment and sculpture.

“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.”  

During Vitol’s fashion education, the former student from the University of Technology, Sydney, was selected to participate in the Woolmark Global Studio Program in China and the Textile Print Global Studio in Pukshar, India. Alongside her Bachelor of Design, she completed a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies.

The judging panel made up of 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 say the standard of finalists at this year’s event was very high. An overriding focus of the designers was on the ocean with aquatic inspired collections and a renewed focus on sustainability.     

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

Hosted by ZM’s PJ Harding and Jase Hawkins, 29 international emerging designer collections showed at tonight’s 13th annual event, supported by Otago Polytechnic.

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, NZ
  • 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, NZ.
  • The Emilia Wickstead Internship: Emily Cameron, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia.

Backstage, Dr Margo Barton from the Otago Polytechnic School of Design and a team of students was in charge of managing the Awards, while Dunedin-based salon Klone Hair, led by Danelle and Karl Radel, took charge of the runway hair creations. Makeup looks for the models, supplied by Aart Model Management and 10 international models from the University of Shanghai Engineering Science, were created by the Revlon sponsored makeup team, led by Christal Allpress.

iD Dunedin Fashion Week is supported by the Dunedin City Council.

Amie Richardson