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Have We Got Designs On You……

Have We Got Designs On You……

Elizabeth Wilson has just won the best 22nd birthday present a budding designer could have.

She’s one of three winners in a design competition run by Vodafone as part of its sponsorship of the Vodafone id Dunedin fashion show on March 13.

Wilson, who lives in Dunedin, turns 22 on that day and will get to celebrate by seeing her winning design made up and modelled on the catwalk as part of the show.

That thrill also awaits the other two winners – Kirsty MacDonald (20) of Auckland and Michelle Hurliman (23) of Wellington – neither of whom has ever been to Dunedin before.

Vodafone sponsorship portfolio manager Rachel Aikin said she was amazed at the creativity and professionalism shown in the 1,000-plus designs submitted.

“Our theme was “Call me baby” and people interpreted that in all kinds of ways – from communication to romance to sexism. And the range of styles was extraordinary – we’ve had avant-garde ball-gowns, elaborate suits, huge ranges of streetwear, gothic punk, and even the odd historical outfit.” Aikin said it had been a difficult job to whittle the entries down but the winning three were outstanding.

Wilson’s design – one of three she entered - is for a baby blue Baby Doll dress with a printed T-shirt with cutaway sides, grey marle hoodie and high heels.

Currently working in a café, she recently completed a BA in graphic design and BCom in marketing and, after four years studying in Dunedin, liked it so much she decided to stay there.

“I’m so thrilled about Vodafone id Dunedin, and I turn 22 on the day of the show, which makes it even better.”

Wilson says that while she has no formal fashion qualifications, she has always had a passion for fashion and makes her own clothes.

“I feel a bit guilty about this as I don’t have to do any of the hard things like buying the fabric, printing the T-shirt or sewing the garments.”

MacDonald’s design – one of two she submitted - features hand-painted big red lips, a la Marilyn Monroe, on a beaded bodice and a bright red skirt with ruffles “going everywhere”.

She says: “It’s a cross between 16th century ‘ladies of the night’ and modern day glad rags.”

In her third year of a fashion degree at AUT, MacDonald is originally from Christchurch but has never been to Dunedin. “It’ll be good to go back to the mainland. It’s very exciting.”

She works part-time in a fashion store and also for a fashion designer and “makes clothes for everyone else, but not for myself”.

Hurliman only entered one design – a white wool trench coat with red leopardskin print and black knee-length leggings. A fashion graduate of Massey University in Wellington, she’s starting her own label and does every step herself – from pattern making to fabric printing to construction. …/3 - 3 -

Hurliman says her ultimate designer is UK fashion guru Alexander McQueen.

Aikin said the three designs were now being made up by a professional seamstress so they can be paraded during a special mini-show at the Vodafone id Dunedin Fashion Show on March 13.

Each of the three winners, and a friend, will attend the show for which they get backstage passes. They will also go to pre and post-show functions and receive two nights accommodation in Dunedin plus travel costs.

In addition, the winners will get to keep their outfit plus receive $1,000 to spend on clothes by designers featured in the show. To document the event, they also win a Vodafone GX 20 - Video PXT & PXT phone.

Dunedin is home to more than 15 designers, many of them internationally recognised names who have shown their wares at fashion weeks in London, Australia, Italy, Belgium and Germany. They include Nom D, Mild Red and Carlson.

Vodafone id Dunedin is expected to attract more than 1,600 visitors from all over New Zealand and the South Pacific.

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