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Feathers Let Imagination Take Flight

Feathers Let Imagination Take Flight

Public entry winner Buttery Free by Senorita Awesumo

For immediate release


The feathers ew at The Novadown Fashioned Feathers Wearable Arts Show last week, showcasing what the public and the countries leading designers can do with feathers, down, fabric and a whole lot of imagination.

Held at the Otago Museum in Dunedin, nalists strutted their stuff before a judging panel that included fashion designers Andrea Moore and Emily Cooper from Silkbody, prior to an auction of designer garments to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Zealand.

The winner of the public section, Senorita Awesumo, entered a delightful piece inspired by the Ulysses Swallowtail Buttery with large wings of neutrals and browns on one side and splendid blues and greens on the other. Entitled Buttery Free, the garment consisted of hand felted wool wings, bodice and skirt dotted with feathers.

“I have a love of butteries,” says Awesumo. “The Ulysses Swallowtail can hide itself from predators by showing its more dull side, and sometimes people are like that, disguising themselves so others will not see them,” she says.

Awesumo says she couldn’t say how long the piece took her to make, but estimates around a month. “There was a lot of no sleeping!” she says.

“Luckily mum had all the materials I needed and dad helped me with the welding,” she says.

Guest Designer Judges Andrea Moore and local Emily Cooper from Silkbody were stunned by the workmanship that went into all of the public entries. “There was a little bit of ‘discussion’ amongst the judges on who should win,” says Moore. “And while other garments were long considered, all of the design elements on Senorita’s entry held together which is why we chose it,” she says. “The use of felting and feathers was so innovative,” agrees Cooper. “It was obviously an intense creative process and the whole gorgeous ensemble took a long time to complete,” she says.

2008 Public Winner Senorita Awesumo

“This year the fashion element was very strong,” says Novadown Marketing Manager Nicola Lester. “That is something we might have to look at for next years event!” she says. Fashioned Feathers began in 2006 as a way for Novadown to raise money for the worthy children’s charity and align their quality bedding with fashion and creativity. The quirky idea was so popular, established and aspiring designers have ocked to be involved.

The auction of donated garments from established Kiwi designers such as Caroline Church, Doosh, Elusiv and Ooby Ryn raised much needed funds to grant wishes to children with terminal illnesses. Awesumo’s win has netted her $2000 worth of Arthur Barnett and Novadown vouchers. “The rst thing I will be doing is buying a new duvet!” she says.

Other winners included Sharon Cunningham, Joshua Bruce, Bernadette Tenci, Karen Oben and Tessa Barringer.


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