Glittering lineup to judge at awards

Organisers are sorting through entries as the countdown to the Hokonui Fashion Design Awards is under way.

Convener Heather Paterson said she expected a high calibre of entries.

Based in Gore, the awards had been running since 1988, and were firmly established as a key event on the national fashion calen-dar.

It offered a competitive platform for amateur designers to display their designs before a panel of high-profile judges, Ms Paterson said.

Work behind the scenes had started and judges were getting ready for the big night.

Organisers were thrilled at the fashion expertise assembled for this year's judging panel, she said.

"The judging panel reinforces the standard of our awards and the opportunities we provide to emerging designers," Ms Paterson said.

Fashion icon Doris de Pont will head the judging panel this year.

It will be the third visit to the awards for de Pont, a fashion designer for more than 25 years.

De Pont retired her label in 2008 and works as a freelance fashion curator.

This year she published Black, a book tracing the history and influence of the colour black in fashion and New Zealand culture.

Auckland's James Dobson also returns to judge.

His label Jimmy D has continued to wow the fashion scene since it started in 2006.

It will be Barbara Lee's first year on the judging panel.

The Christchurch designer has been involved with the New Zealand fashion industry since 1978 and known for designing Air New Zealand uniforms.

Auckland fashion store owner Lela Jacobs, who employed last year's Award of Excellence winner Kerry Wong, will also judge.

The final member of the panel is Eastern Southland Gallery curator Jim Geddes, who will once again join the panel as the Steampunk expert.

"These are highly regarded people in the fashion industry and we're delighted that they take time out of their busy schedules to join us in Gore for the weekend," Ms Paterson said.

The Hokonui Fashion Design Awards will be held in Gore on July 27 and 28.

The Southland Times