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Top designers honoured

Thursday, November 4, 2004

Top designers honoured at glittering American Express Canterbury Collections and Fashion Awards

One of New Zealand’s leading fashion designers Takaaki Sakaguchi was specially honoured at the prestigious American Express Canterbury Fashion Awards at the Christchurch Art Gallery tonight.

Sakaguchi, who won the supreme award voted by the public last year, was tonight named top high fashion designer.

The Japanese-born, Merivale designer showed at NZ Fashion Week and has just featured in a major documentary on Japanese TV.

Sakaguchi’s NZ Fashion Week preparation and show was broadcast on national Japanese television last week during prime time viewing. ``The documentary was shown on, TVS one of Japan’s leading television networks, and the show highlighted the growth and expansion of one of Japan’s top designers now doing business out of Christchurch,’’ Canterbury awards event organiser Denyse Saunders said tonight.

``The programme highlighted growth and future plans of the Christchurch based company and the rise of commercial success since its first show at New Zealand Fashion Week. One of Christchurch’s most prominent designers, Jan Marie Cooke -Posh of Holmwood, was named best evening wear designer.

``Marie has been involved in the industry a long time and is very successful,’’ Ms Saunders said.

Barbara Lee, known throughout Christchurch for many years, receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

``Barbara started designing frocks in 1968 with $500 from her father and help from lots of friends from her store “Grannies” that was no bigger than a bathroom.

``She made the shortest minis in the loudest colours. A cute dress cost $8 and a crepe 2 piece number cost $9. Her very first collection featured a gym frock which has become synonymous with her collections and school uniforms and corporate wear today.’’

Barbara Lee did the Air New Zealand uniform contract in the early 1990s and secured many school uniform contracts and now wholesaling to Australia where they just love her style!

In 1997, Mrs Lee won the ‘Best Miss World Gown Award’ worn by one of Denyse Saunders models when she won runner up at Miss World in 1997.

Peri Drysdale’s Untouched World was named best retailer and Ms Saunders said their stores were New Zealand themed and they were leaders in retail fashion.
Media from around New Zealand and Australia attended tonight’s event which has become a must on the annual NZ fashion calendar.

The razzle-dazzle fashion show seen by over 400 people also launched the 10 day long Showtime Canterbury celebrations.

Ms Saunders said Canterbury’s stake in the world of fashion design will come under the spotlight with the awards night.

``We’ll have all the season's new designs and it’s always exciting to see the latest ranges of what our region’s chic designers have created. ``We have a lot of fashion shows in New Zealand which is great but this event actually recognises the achievements of our best talented designers with 14 special awards.’’


American Express Canterbury Fashion Award winners:

Sonya Smith New Designer 2004: Reid Galbraith for Reid Alexander Galbraith

Fredrick Ashley Lifestyle Designer 2004: Bernadette Walshe for Off the Cuff

Bobbi Brown at Ballantynes Streetwear Designer 2004: Amy Keegan for Mo Teef

Dr Robert Beulink Appearance Medicine Fashion Accessories Designer 2004 : Tui Short & Liz Ende for The Hat Shop

Rydges Christchurch Innovative Fabric 2004: Ingrid Wylie for Morgan & Page

De Lorenzo the Finest Haircare Creative Designer 2004: Melodie McColl for Mizfits

The Flower Room Florist Bridal Designer 2004: Louise Anderson Bridal Design

Addington Raceway Fashion Retailer 2004: Untouched World

SkinWorks Day Spa Eveningwear Designer 2004: Jan Marie Cooke for Posh of Holmwood

Deutz Lifetime Achievement 2004: Barbara Lee

Newstalk ZB Design of Elegance 2004: Robyn Cliffe and team for Robyn Cliffe Couturiere

Laing Contractors Ltd High Fashion Designer 2004: Takaaki Sakaguchi for Sakaguchi

American Express Supreme Designer Collections 2004 Award: Yet to be named


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