Designers wow crowd, judges with their original garments
The Hokonui Fashion Design Awards started last night with the Hokonui Strictly Design Evening.
The popular annual event on the Southland itinerary once again attracted a large crowd.
About 500 spectators watched on as garments from designers throughout New Zealand and as far as Japan were showcased.
They were the first members of the public to get a look at this year's entries.
But it was the judges' final night for deliberating.
Doris de Pont, James Dobson, Lela Jacobs, Barbara Lee and Jim Geddes started judging the designs on Thursday.
About 300 garments were submitted into the competition by 215 individual designers, but only 200 made the catwalk last night.
Many of the original pieces on show last night had the wow factor, grabbing the attention of the judges.
Some designs were wearable, while others pushed creative boundaries.
All categories had incredible pieces featuring an array of materials including leather, plastic, wool and lace.
As usual, a strong number of detailed designs in the steampunk category proved popular with the audience.
Executive producer Heather Paterson said she was thrilled with the turnout on opening night and looked forward to the Saturday night gala event.
Finalists in the competition will be competing for a share of the $34,000 prize fund, with the overall winner taking away a prize package of about $12,000. The Hokonui Fashion Design Gala Awards take place tonight at the Gore Town and Country Club.
If you don't have one of the sold-out tickets you can follow us on our Twitter and Facebook page, and we'll be updating our online gallery: http://is.gd/xA93l6 during the weekend. For a sneak peek behind the scenes of the show and preparations for the event check out page A15 in today's paper.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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