iD 2013 heralded the arrival of the next ‘It’ designers at the Awards show on Thursday. These young designers have set the bar high for the next iD in 2014 and we are tres impressed! The competition has provided a solid platform for aspiring designers to launch their fashion careers, iD alumni have opened doors to the likes of Burberry, Vivienne Westwood and Sass&Bide.

It was a 30-strong bill of talent hailing from as far as Dublin, Ireland to Shanghai, China. And a power cast panel of judges including acclaimed UK milliner Stephen Jones, eminent Aussie fashion gurus Karen Webster and Glynis Traill-Nash and Kiwi designers Tanya Carlson (Carlson) and Margi Robertson (NOM*d).

Stephen Jones lauded the competition for its ‘diversity, globalism and extra-ordinary professionalism, tailoring and quality’. Popspoken can understand the judges were hard-pressed to choose the winners as we had a tough time deciding on a favorite as well! But, as Jones put it, ‘some are more winners than others’.

Congratulations to this year’s winners:

Peroni 1st Place Prize (NZ$5000): Rakel Blom, School of Design, Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Caffe L’affare 2nd Place ($3000 cash): Emma Boseley, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia.

Strawberry Sound 3rd Place ($1000 cash): Kathleen Choo, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.

Dunedin’s Golden Centre Mall Prize ($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 ($1000 cash and a $2000 voucher): Sohong Lim, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand.

Popspoken had some tete-a-tete with the winners backstage after the Awards show about their inspirations and what’s next for them:

Rakel Blom (1st prize)

 Inspirations: Textiles and the world

What’s next: She wants to get some industrial experience, hopefully start in London and then Europe

Popspoken’s take: Blom’s designs consisted of a harmonious cacophony of global influences that were the cornerstone of the graphic pop-out prints in her collection. From the chinese script to pop-art renderings of glamour icons, the ‘travel’ inspiration was evident. We really liked the surprise elements in her garments as well, particularly the hard plastic cut-outs Blom had sewn into the garment which gave the frock a second-take factor and injected extra panache, bringing an added dimension to an otherwise flat 2D print.

And those golf-course green trims? (We overheard a little birdie in the audience exclaim that it ‘looks like a bath mat’ *gasp!*) You either love it or hate it, but we thought it was genius. We love a designer that uses unconventional materials to spice things up and we love the humor those ‘carpet-y’ trims brought to the garment. Props to Blom for bringing that little bit of je ne sais quoi – there is nothing more fashionably dramatic than a garment that, inevitably, steals a second glance and Blom’s stole the show.

Emma Boseley (2nd prize)

Inspirations: Body and form, altering the body shape through the use of garments.

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What’s next: She wants to find a job as a design assistant in either womenswear or menswear, hopefully in conceptual labels like Alexander McQueen.

Popspoken’s take: Boseley restructured garments to create exaggerated body forms which produced interesting silhouettes. The use of block colors in a largely tangerine and monochrome palette gave her collection a very sophisticated yet whimsical aesthetic. We liked the asymmetrical lines created by carefully placed zips and the occasional touches of tassels. We loved her ‘toeless sock-boots’ (somebody please come up with a name for it, we’re thinking tock-boots), they broke up the monotony of the bombastic contours by providing something bare and simple for a change. Props for the intriguing concept, the atypical anatomy definitely stood out among the other collections.

Kathleen Cho (3rd prize)

Inspirations: A contemporary artist called Bradford Hansen-Smith known for folding paper plates into beautifully intricate shapes.

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What’s next: She is open to opportunities that might arise from her collection.

Popspoken’s take: From beautifully draped yokes that formed loose rosettes to artistically woven fabric forming elegant chains to architecturally folded skirts, Cho showcased a stunning collection of art where the focus was in the detail. We loved the soft, feminine pastel palette and textiles that juxtaposed Hansen-Smith’s architectural influence. It was an exquisitely alluring collection and we give her props for fine workmanship so spectacular to accomplish such a phenomenal task to make soft fabric work like paper. Such finesse!

(Photo credits to Chris Sullivan)