Aussie Nehma Vitols , from Sydney’s University of Technology, took out the top award with her collection XXX (pictured above) at the 13th iD International Emerging Designer Awards. XXX explore the story of five garments – the blazer, trench coat, business shirt, biker and bomber jacket – and the scraps left behind in their production process. Vitols used paper, silk and cotton to create hybrid materials; the end result was painterly gossamer gowns that almost floated down the runway. “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,” said head judge Tanya Carlson.
With an impressive number of collections exploring sustainability within the industry it’s apparent emerging designers aren’t afraid to confront fashion’s waste and sustainability issues. Most notably Paul Castro, who took out third place, used discarded textile waste in pre-determined forms – shirts, suits and jeans – to create garments of desire. The train of one of Casto’s floor-grazing gowns was constructed from men’s business shirts.
Maximalism seems to have permeated the aesthetic of many of New Zealand’s up-and-coming talent. Bold and playful colour palettes and unexpected textures were favoured by up-and-comers Tess Norquay, Megan Stewart, Laura Bennett, and designing-duo Olivia Balle and Kristen Meaclem.
Winners iD International Emerging Designer Awards 2017
- 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.