Steampunk wins big at style awards

BRIDGET RAILTON
Last updated 09:14 27/07/2014
Hokonui Fashion Design Awards
Bridget Railton/Fairfax NZ
STEAMROLLER: Simone Montgomery took out the Southland Times Award of excellence with this steampunk creation at the Hokonui Fashion Design Awards.

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Steampunk stole the show at last night's Hokonui Fashion Design Awards. 

A well-coiffed crowd came out in force, putting Gore front and centre of the New Zealand fashion scene for one weekend of style and flair.

The Southland Times Award of Excellence was taken out by Port Chalmers designer Simone Montgomery for her elaborate steampunk creation. 

Stunned Montgomery said it was "just mental" she had won the top prize. 

"I never thought I'd be coming down tonight for this, that's for sure."

Her design, a Victorian-inspired sci-fi ensemble with an opening booty-chest bustier, drew admiration from the sold-out crowd at the Gore Town and Country Club. 

It was one of about 300 designs on display at Southland's premier fashion design awards. 

Executive director Heather Paterson said the winning design was a great example of steampunk flair. 

"She'd made it fabulously. I'm a big fan of steampunk designs."

Paterson was overwhelmed by the gala evening, the main event of the fashion awards, and deemed it the best event yet.

"It's funny every year we say that and we wonder how we can possibly top it the following year. We just keep striving for perfection."

She credited the backstage team of volunteers for their hard work in pulling everything together.

"It's just been awesome really. Everyone has been so relaxed and calm about everything and the whole weekend has just run so smoothly."

Other winners from the weekend were Heather Brennan Evans, who won the overall Young Designer Award, Barbara Ramsey, who won the Southland Award, and Misty Ratima, who won the Auaha Award. 

In total there was over $40,000 worth of prizes.

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- The Southland Times

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