Abandon Man collection wins top award

Steve Hall, 25, won the MiNDFOOD Style first prize of $6000 for his collection Abandon Man – a strong, masculine and military-inspired “warrior” look seamlessly counterbalanced by the soft touch of cut, proportion and shape.

“There was nothing traditional about it. It wasn’t over the top; in a quietly confident way it was a new silhouette for a guy, which is refreshing,” says fellow judge Margi Robertson of NOM*d. “It was very beautifully constructed, and it could be worn by men or women. Very androgynous.”

Hall was voted the unanimous winner by all five judges that also included international guest judge of L.A. Frockstars fame Doris Raymond, fashion designer Tanya Carlson, New Zealand Fashion Museum founder Doris De Pont and MiNDFOOD Style associate editor Carolyn Enting.

De Pont described it as a “very enthusiastic collection … there was heart in his work.

“You could see the very young men who were wearing it were really comfortable in what they were wearing,” De Pont says.

Model Hamish Wallace, who was wearing what Hall called a “mess” (men’s dress), commented that “it’s so comfortable, girls have it so good.”

Hall says they are clothes that he envisions himself wearing.

“The collection was based on samurais and ninjas and very oriental. I chose pleats, lining and strapping to be the main design features,” he says. “I like the fact that they look like skirts but they are actually really low crotch shorts. It is very androgynous, very unisex but it’s aimed more towards men.”

Hall plans to use the money to either travel offshore to intern with a designer or to start his own fashion label – “I’m not going to waste it.”

Steve Hall

This year’s winners are:

MiNDFOOD Style 1st Place ($6000): Steve Hall, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand

Steve Hall collection for web

Brooker Travel 2nd Place ($4000): Vanessa Emirian, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

Vanessa Emirian for web

Gallery De Novo 3rd Place ($2000): Emma van de Merwe, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia

Emma Van De Merwe_0002 for web

Dunedin’s Golden Centre Mall Most Commercial Collection Prize ($1000): Tara Gurisik, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

Tara Gurisik for web

New Zealand Light Leathers Prize ($1000 cash + $1000 NZLL voucher): Erica DeLuchi, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

Erica Deluchi_0040 for web

The Fabric Store Award for Excellence in Design ($1000 cash + $2000 voucher): Monique Duggan, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

Monique Duggan_0031 for web

The high standard of entries at iD International Emerging Designer Awards was an “embarrassment of riches” says Raymond. “Too many great designers with too much good material.”

Pictures: Chris Sullivan

How bad is Shapewear for your health?

The phrase “ominous tingling” is certain to strike fear into the hearts of all the Spanx wearers among us. That the multi-million dollar ‘shapewear’ industry is uncomfortable comes with the territory (no pain no gain and so on) but now health experts are saying that restrictive clothing might be doing more damage to our health than previously thought.

According to a big feature in the Los Angeles Times, restrictive clothing such as shapewear and compression tights used by athletes (and also by paunchy middle-aged men to your local café on the weekend) could be playing havoc on your nerves, digestive system, skin and internal organs. Reflux is one particularly nasty side effect. As Jay Kuemmerle, a gastroenterologist at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond told the LA Times,

“It’s really just plumbing. For someone who has reflux disease or is prone to reflux, wearing tight garments may exacerbate those symptoms.” As for that “ominous tingling” that’s a condition called meralgia paresthetica which causes tingling in the thighs when there is too much pressure on the groin.

However not all in the medical community agree on the implications of restrictive clothing, with one of the experts in the LA Times story stating that not everyone who indulges in a little lycra having problems, and the problems generally disappearing once the garment has been removed. Other studies have suggested that compression clothing can have benefits for athletes post race such as reducing soreness.

Even still, with many calling shapewear the ‘corsets’ or girdles of our era, it might be worth opting for wearing them in moderation.