Style Melbourne

LMFF Designer Award Finals 2010

We

 skipped over to the Sofitel on Collins last week to take a behind the scenes look at the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival Designer Award 2010 finals. To re-cap the finalists for the coveted award are Lui Hon, Dion Lee, Gail Sorronda, Dhini Couture, Gary Bigeni, Konstantina Mittas and Therese Rawsthorne.

I was greeted by a cluster of jittery designers, each having to plead their case so to speak, in front of a panel of judges including last year’s winners Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett of Romance Was Born. The exception was Lui Hon. Having already taken his turn, the designer was completely at ease. “My headspace right now, I’m so focussed on Spring/Summer. It’s late and I’m still putting that together”.

Also baulking at my mention of S/S completion was Dhini Pararajasingham. Though the diminutive designer was more concerned with the matter at hand than waiting for Spring Summer inspiration to strike, “I think everyone would be lying if they said they weren’t nervous.” As part of their prize, Design Award winners get to travel to either Paris or Florence. Trying not to jinx her chances I enquired as to which destination Dhini would choose, “Paris. I’m familiar with the layout and well…everyone loves Paris!”

The Designer Award is presented by Woolmark so wool is a crucial element of the capsule collections designer must present. Therese Rawsthorne was taking it in her stride, “I actually grew up on a sheep farm, rolling around in the stuff.” Though all the designers present winter collection for judging, she sees wool as becoming more of a transeasonal material to work with than ever and has just sold hers for the Northern Hemisphere’s summer.

In our gallery below are most of the designer finalists and sneak peeks at an outfit for their capsule collections. The winner will be announced at a ceremony during the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival in March.

Pretty prose by Sarah Willcocks

Inventive images by Carlie Devine

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