About the silhouette
is the ﬁrst to interview Camille Howie, the winner of the 2007
Vodafone ID Emerging Designers Award in Dunedin
photographed by Douglas
from issue 23 of Lucire
Camille Howie, an AUT
graduate, scooped the Vodafone
ID Emerging Designers Award
in Dunedin in March. Her first entry to the competition, with an
origami theme, was inspired in part by Comme Des Garçons
and Junya Watanabe. I was trying to find a balance between
origami and a wow factor, plus it should be wearable
and desirable for the client, she said in her first interview
after the event.
It's a very experimental collection,
she told Lucire. Howie said she invested most of her time
in the hands-on aspect of designing, and in creating original structures:
That is my approach: if you are going to create something
original and innovative, it needs to be worked through and
mixed with classics like shirts and tailored trousers so [that]
not everything is foreign to the models.
I [took] simple silhouettes and built the
origami on to them. Its about the silhouette.
Howie says she comes from a creative family,
with an artist mother and a grandmother who did her own weaving
and dyed her own wools. Her father is an excellent writer
who encouraged us to use our hands. He is very practical.
That practicality saw Howie make her own clothes
from the age of 11. She had already made up her mind to study fashion
by the time she attended high school.
Dunedin was Howies first international
competition and she admitted that she had little idea how big it
was. She had entered some domestic competitions previously: They
are a great thing to do
to enter as many as you can and work
hard toward them, she said. I improved each time.
Among those earlier competitions were the Deutz
Fashion Ambassador and the ZambesiFashion
QuarterlyVolkswagen Young Designer of the Year (in which
she came second in 2006 and highly commended in 2007).
With each opportunity, Howie refined her balance
between practicality and artistry more.
started off [creating] quite wearable art when I was younger. I
was not restricted by creativity.
Ive pushed myself into wearable classics,
When creating her collection for Dunedin, Howie
had to work within certain criteria and measurements given to her
by the organizers.
She was told that the models feet sizes
would be between 39 and 41. She sourced accordingly, but stayed
away from heels to keep the footwear minimal.
After arriving in the city, she said she didnt
let herself get nervous till she went in to the judging, held at
the Edgar Centre.
I was flustered, because I was still dressing
my models as the last contestant was coming back. I had to go straight
in, she remembered.
I was blown away by how the [judges]
response was and how generous they were with compliments. I had
expected nods. But they did ask me a few questions.
The following night, Howie got to show her winning
collection again as part of the main event, the Vodafone
ID Fashion Designers show at
the Dunedin Railway Station.
Despite winning an international competition,
Howie foresees staying in New Zealand for a few years and is considering
Who knows what can happen? I am a strong
believer in being prepared, she said philosophically.
Howie currently works with Beth Ellery, who offered
her the opportunity to show her range in Sydney in late April.
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