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.”
This year’s winners are:
MiNDFOOD Style 1st Place ($6000): Steve Hall, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
Brooker Travel 2nd Place ($4000): Vanessa Emirian, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Gallery De Novo 3rd Place ($2000): Emma van de Merwe, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia
Dunedin’s Golden Centre Mall Most Commercial Collection Prize ($1000): Tara Gurisik, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
New Zealand Light Leathers Prize ($1000 cash + $1000 NZLL voucher): Erica DeLuchi, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
The Fabric Store Award for Excellence in Design ($1000 cash + $2000 voucher): Monique Duggan, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
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