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Finalists for iD International Emerging Designer Awards 2020 announced

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

In an exciting and innovative first for the iD International Emerging Designer Awards 33 finalists have been chosen for its inaugural virtual awards show.

iD International Emerging Designer Awards in partnership with Otago Polytechnic is the only young designer show anywhere in the world to accept entries from recent fashion graduates throughout the globe. And this year, it’s going to also be the first to judge and host its awards show online.

This is the 16th year the iD Dunedin Fashion Inc. has presented the Awards with the move to become a virtual experience was prompted by Covid-19. Designs from the 33 finalists from 14 countries will be showcased in an exciting video show produced by international production house, NHNZ.

Finalists have been shortlisted from over 150 applications which were assessed by an all-star line-up of New Zealand designers. The group led by Tanya Carlson of Tanya Carlson along with Wynn Crawshaw of Wynn Hamlyn, sustainability journalist and former iD International Emerging Designer Awards finalist Fiona Ralph and Donna Tulloch of Mild-Red.

Tanya Carlson says applicants designs were submitted early this year before the global Covid-19 pandemic but even so, the panel noted that their fashion reflected their observations on challenges faced by the world. "It was wonderful to see young people thinking creatively of a way to help out. Collectively they showed outstanding use of recycled fabric, cleaver upcycling and embraced new technologies. There was also an overall trend to tell their own story through references to their ethnicity and culture which was explored with beautiful, sensitive design."

Fiona Ralph, who was a finalist in 2007, noted that narrowing down the shortlist was harder than she had anticipated. "While the designs were so impressive from the pattern cutting to the fabric choices and colour it was the meaning behind each collection which impressed me. So many designers looked to their heritage, created sustainable statements or brought other important topics to light."

In previous years finalists for the iD International Emerging Designer Awards travelled to Dunedin for a week of activity, judging and the Awards Show. The Board of iD Dunedin Inc. identified early that international travel would be an issue and so in early March they started working on a virtual awards show with NHNZ. Each of the finalists has contributed to the show, filming their own video - many from lockdown - for inclusion in the show.

While moving quickly to create a virtual show has been challenging for the iD Dunedin Fashion Inc. volunteer board, co-chair Dr Margo Barton says it has also provided new opportunities. "As all judging will be undertaken remotely it has enabled us to tap into leading designers from around the world. We’re looking forward to announcing an all-star line-up of international jurors from throughout the world shortly. The finalists will be delighted to learn who is assessing their work."

iD Dunedin Fashion Inc. co-chair Sally Peart says the new format offers many advantages and early indications are that it will be a huge success and may become the norm for delivering this global competition.

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