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Home-town favourite, Rakel Blom, scoops top prize at ID International Emerging Designer Awards

Filed by Jack Yan/March 14, 2013/19.41

Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography

Otago Polytechnic graduate Rakel Blom won the ID International Emerging Designer Awards last night in Dunedin, with a collection that tapped into the Zeitgeist of global communities and cross-cultural connections.
   Blom, who originally hails from Iceland, told Lucire, ‘My biggest passion is travelling,’ and that she had ventured through Asia and Europe before studying in New Zealand.
   That passion saw her design seven garments, one for each continent, although only five were required by the competition. Consequently, Oceania and Antarctica were omitted.
   The collection was called The World through My Eyes, and featured prints with designs representing each continent. It had been inspired both by travel and textiles. Judges called it ‘eclectic and joyful, sleek, chic and professional, with intricate detailing and true depth.’
   In a release, Assoc Prof Karen Webster, guest judge for the competition, said, ‘It absolutely had the “wow factor” but also real depth. There was incredible intricate detailing, including hand-made buttons, stars cut out of Perspex mixed with bold inspirational prints. The collection was a discovery waiting to be made.’
   Blom speaks highly of her Alma Mater but despite the win, which includes a NZ$5,000 prize from Peroni, she says her next focus is to ‘find a job.’
   Blom’s collection was the crowd favourite at the Edgar Sports Centre, helped by the support of a local crowd. She competed with designers from Ireland, England, China and Australia.
   Judge Stephen Jones, OBE, the famed milliner, said that the key themes for the evening were ‘diversity, globalism and everything made to a perfect degree.’
   The 1,300-strong audience included two High Commissioners and a consul, cheering on the UK, Australia and China. It was hosted by Shannon Ryan.
   China’s contribution also included 10 international models from the University of Shanghai Engineering Science. Aliana McDaniel led the make-up team backstage for Revlon.
   A full report from ID Dunedin Fashion Week will follow in Lucire.—Jack Yan, Publisher

Peroni 1st Place Prize (NZ$5,000): Rakel Blom, School of Design, Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Caffè L’Affarè 2nd Place (NZ$3,000 cash): Emma Boseley, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia.
Strawberry Sound 3rd Place (NZ$1,000 cash): Kathleen Choo, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.
Dunedin’s Golden Centre Mall Prize (NZ$1,000) for the most commercial collection: Blathnaid McClean, National College of Art and Design (NCAD), Dublin, Ireland.
Global Fabrics Award for Excellence in Design (NZ$1,000 cash and a NZ$2,000 voucher): Sohong Lim, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand.

Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography

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