Global inspiration wins

CARMEN WILSON
Last updated 11:42 15/03/2013

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An Otago Polytechnic graduate took the top prize at the iD International Emerging Designer Awards in Dunedin last night.

Judges were impressed with the global inspiration combined with unique detailing that Rakel Blom, originally from Iceland, used in her collection 'The World Through My Eyes'.

The collection was inspired by textiles and travel, which the judges described as "eclectic and joyful, sleek, chic and professional, with intricate detailing and true depth."

Guest judge Australian fashion authority Associate Professor Karen Webster said: "It absolutely had the 'wow factor' but also real depth."

"There was incredible intricate detailing, including handmade buttons, stars cut out of Perspex mixed with bold inspirational prints. The collection was a discovery waiting to be made."

Hosted by FOUR's Shannon Ryan, the packed out 1300 strong audience was wowed by the collections of 30 finalists from around the globe vying for top prizes. This year's winners delivered on the international nature of the awards - coming from all around the world - from New Zealand to China, the UK to South Korea and Australia to Ireland.

Many of the stand-out finalists impressed the prestigious judging panel made up of UK milliner Stephen Jones, leading Australian fashion authorities Associate Professor Karen Webster and Glynis Traill-Nash, and Dunedin's own Tanya Carlson and Margi Robertson (NOM*d) with their "inspiring and brave" use of technology, particularly in textile applications, and their diverse range of collections.

Recycling was also used in the Global Fabrics Award winner, Sohong Lin's collection.

Jones said every finalist was completely different.

"This was true emerging design talent at its best - there was an innocence about the collections that was refreshing and inspiring."

Fashion designer, iD Committee Member, and moderator Tanya Carlson agreed.

"There was real joy in many of the collections - and a fresh new approach to technologies, like digital printing, that are now commonplace."

This year's winners:

Peroni first place (NZ$5000): Rakel Blom, School of Design, Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Caffe L'affare 2nd place ($3000 cash): Emma Boseley, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia.

Strawberry Sound3rd place ($1000 cash): Kathleen Choo, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.

Dunedin's Golden Centre Mall Prize ($1000) for the most commercial collection: Blathnaid McClean, National College of Art and Design (NCAD), Dublin, Ireland.

Global Fabrics Award for Excellence in Design ($1000 cash and a $2000 voucher): Sohong Lim, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand.

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