Designers ready for iD Fashion Show

Five graduates from Otago Polytechnic will launch collections at next March's Dunedin Fashion Week, iD Fashion organisers say.

Rakel Blomsterberg, 26, (Iceland); Olivia Bloxham, 20, (Timaru); Samuel Ralph, 21, (Invercargill); Tansy Morris, 23, (Dunedin) and Samantha O'Reilly, 22, (New Plymouth) will show their final-year collections alongside high-profile New Zealand fashion designers, and emerging international designers.

The Otago Polytechnic School of Design graduates were selected from a field of 25 at the polytechnic's recent Collections 12 runway show.

The collections feature colour and design, hand-dyed wool, tapestry, leather work, and digital printing among other innovative techniques used by graduates.

Samuel Ralph dropped out of a commerce degree course to follow the fashion design path. The fashion week opportunity was the ultimate culmination of study.

''I'm super, super excited, especially coming straight out of school,'' he said.

His collection  ''the way of'' was inspired by the movie The Aviator depicting the life of Howard Hughes.

Ralph said he took Hughes' ideas and applied them to his menswear collection, redefining what men could wear. Hence, the collection includes two skirts, and a dress. Natural fibres were deliberately avoided for the collection, Ralph again reflecting Hughes' rebel mentality by choosing tenting polyester, kite materials, basketball mesh and polyester plastics.

Ralph, along with Blomsterberg and Bloxham, were members of a six-strong fashion student contingent chosen to show at the prominent Shanghai Fashion Week in October.

The iD Fashion show has included a special section for graduate designers since 2002.

Tim Pollock (Dunedin Public Art Gallery), Margi Robertson, (Nom*D) and Charmaine Reveley (fashion designer) made up this year's selection panel.

Meanwhile,  more than half the tickets to the iD International Emerging Designer Awards at the Lion Foundation Arena, Edgar Centre, on Thursday March 14 and the iD Fashion Show at the historic Dunedin Railway Station on Saturday March 16 have sold out, an  iD spokeswoman said.

D Scene