Photo: Chris Sullivan/iD Dunedin

Emerging designer Nehma Vitols' collection reinvented archetypal garments such as a biker jacket and a blazer. This lead her to win the 13th annual iD International Emerging Designer Awards held in Dunedin. The Australian-based designer studied at Sydney's University of Technology and took out first place with her 'XXX' collection. The judges described it as inspired and merging new fabric technology with handcraft while deconstructing familiar silhouettes in a entirely unique way. Paper, silk, and cotton merged to form a new hybrid material that oscillate between two and three dimensions, linking fashion and sculpture. Head judge Tanya Carlson explained that there was an amazing dichotomy of opposing states. "Fluid but structured, flat and 3D, technological yet handcrafted. She used references that we all know – the biker jacket, the trench coat – and then she makes them new.”

The judges agreed that the overriding focus of all of the designers was on the ocean with aquatic inspired collections and a renewed focus on sustainability. “All of the collections are a result of research and a commitment to new ideas. There was little evidence of international referencing and insteadeach finalist created their own vision in a collection that was fresh, unique and original,” said Paulo Melim Andersson, iD's international guest judge.