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Aussie talents wow Designer Awards judges in New Zealand

Mar '12
The Australian contingent have scooped almost all of this year's major prizes at the eighth iD International Emerging Designer Awards held at the Lion Foundation Arena, Edgar Centre, Dunedin.

Carolina Barua, from Australia's Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology took out the Peroni 1st Place Prize of $5000 cash, impressing judges with her collection 'S'swell', which featured a range of stunning garments including an apron in golden silk dupion, a cotton sateen skirt and lenticular printed pieces.

“The winning collection was inventive and incredibly clever, with an intriguing blend of hand techniques and new technology,” says guest judge and award-winning British journalist Hilary Alexander.

Hosted by local media personality, Megan Martin, the 1300 strong audience were wowed by the collections of 28 finalists from around the globe vying for top cash prizes and the much-coveted Mittelmoda Prize which allows direct entry to show at the Mittelmoda Fashion competition in Italy.

This year's winners are:

• Peroni 1st Place Prize ($5000): Carolina Barua, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia.
• Caffe L'affare 2nd Place ($3000 cash): Patricia Kapeleris, University of Technology Sydney, Australia.
• Strawberry Sound 3rd Place ($1000 cash): Natalia Grzybowski, University of Technology Sydney, Australia.
• Dunedin's Golden Centre Mall Prize ($1,000) for the most commercial collection: Tanja Bradaric and Taro Ohmae, University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria.
• Charles Parsons Prize ($250 cash and a $250 Charles Parsons voucher): Renana Krebs, Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, Israel.
• Mittelmoda Prize: Chris Ran Lin, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia.

Many of the stand-out finalists impressed the prestigious judging panel made up of Hilary Alexander, leading Australian fashion authority Nicholas Huxley, French-based designer Lutz Huelle and business partner David Ballu, and Dunedin's own Tanya Carlson and Margi Robertson (Nom*D) with their creativity, craftsmanship and exploration of new methods of binding garments.

“Overall, the award winners scored highly in all areas we were looking at: creativity, innovation, wearability, fabrication and catwalk appeal,” says Hilary.

Guest judge Nicholas Huxley, the head of Australia's most prestigious fashion institute, the Fashion Design Studio at Ultimo's TAFE in Sydney, says this year's focus on “intelligent design”, at times, neglected the “whole package”.

“Designers need to think about proportion and fit and making the most of their fabrics,” he says.

Fashion designer, iD Committee Member, and moderator Tanya Carlson says the overall standard of entries this year was very high – with very little separating the winning collections.

Backstage, Margo Barton, Academic Leader (Fashion) at The School of Design and a team of students from the Otago Polytechnic were in charge of managing the awards backstage, while Dunedin based salon Klone Hair, led by Danelle and Karl Radel, took charge of the runway hair creations. Fashion looks for Ali McD's models were created by a Revlon sponsored makeup team, led by Aliana McDaniel.

iD International Emerging Designer Awards

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