'Amazing garments' in this year's Hokonui lineup

BRIDGET RAILTON
Last updated 05:00 25/07/2014
Hokonui models
EVAN HARDING/Fairfax NZ

TIME OUT: Models relax during a break from judging at the Hokonui Fashion Design Awards yesterday.

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Trends come and go but good quality will never go out of style.

Judging for the Hokonui Fashion Design Awards has all but wrapped up ahead of tonight's show and judges Denise L'Estrange-Corbet, Luke Bettesworth and Donna Tulloch are finalising decisions.

Returning judge L'Estrange-Corbet, of fashion label World, said, without giving away details, there had been some amazing garments in this year's lineup.

"For judging, I very much follow the brief we are given for the entries and I've found that there are some absolute standouts," she said.

"For me it's about quality and quality of the design.

"The design can be amazing, but if you haven't executed it well it doesn't work."

One of the standout categories was the knitwear section, in particular the youth entries.

"I always look at the garments and think, ‘Would I put that in my shop?', and ‘Would that sell?'

"There's been a few here where I've thought, ‘Yes, they would'."

The recycled section was another standout because there were things there that really made you think, she said.

"There were some you really had to look at twice. They were so well put together.

"As a designer anything that makes me think, ‘Oh how did they do that?', that excites me."

The Hokonui Fashion Design Awards are always a welcome addition on L'Estrange-Corbet's busy calendar.

Compared with other events in big centres such as Auckland, there was much more of a community vibe, she said.

"What I love about Gore is all the locals get behind this.

"Not everyone in Auckland will go to Fashion Week, but here nearly everyone goes to the Hokonuis.

"It brings the community together."

But that did not mean it was a small-scale event, she said.

"Every fashion designer in New Zealand will know about it.

"Hats off to Heather, it would not be easy organising all of this."

The judges get the easiest part of the whole event just sitting and admiring, she said.

However, they still provided feedback and suggestions from time to time, she said.

L'Estrange-Corbet said she had entered many competitions over the years and definitely had not won them all.

"You just take the advice on board and learn," she said.

"Every designer is different."

The 26th Hokonui Fashion Design Awards begin todaywith the Strictly Design evening, which gives people the opportunity to see all the designs first. Winners will be announced at tomorrow night's gala evening at the Gore Town and Country Club.

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