Italian Inspired Designs On Show at the Peroni Fashion Awards
Designer Direction’s Hannah McArdle, Amanda Haxton and Winchey Zheng attended the Peroni Fashion Awards on Monday night. The event was shared with a tight group of designers, industry folk, media and even finalists from New Zealand’s Next Top Model made an appearance on the catwalk. Our fashionable writing duo, Hannah and Amanda, bring you the design highlights from some of the amazing entries crafted from hefty pieces of 600gsm billboard canvas PVC and Winchey took to the floor to shoot what unfolded.
The inaugural Peroni Fashion Awards hosted some of the nations brightest young talents at the Montecristo Room at Toto Restaurant in Auckland on Monday evening. The Italian beer brand put out a call for young designers to create an outfit that embodied the Peroni Leggera style, incorporating a part of a used Peroni Leggera billboard skin. The winner, designer Elizabeth Wilson from Auckland (pictured left with her model) won the competition and secured herself a $10,000 sponsorship deal to go towards her fashion design business.
Each finalist was given one fifth of a Peroni Leggera billboard skin to work with and we were on the hunt for a design that really embodied the Italian style and made the most of the canvas provided. Inspiration was drawn from a wide range of classical and popular Italian culture. While our favourite (Elizabeth Wilson) took her inspiration from one of Rome’s oldest sights, we also loved the designs inspired by more contemporary popular culture like race car driving, futurism, and even the design of the Peroni Leggera bottle.
Sophie Hardy, an Otago Polytechnic student, was the only finalist not to make a dress and her jacket caught our attention. Inspired by Italian race car driving, her overtly sexy jacket screamed Italy! like passionate racing fans might scream at the track. The designers jacket, bodice, and hot pants combination showed creative innovation with its incorporation of billboard fabric into the sleeves, collar, and insides of the pockets. When asked how she found working with the Billboard PVC, Hardy explains “Trying to curve it and even sew with it was really challenging but it was a great project, it was step outside my comfort zone”
Former AUT University student, Serena Fagence, used more of the billboard than any other finalist, including making her own accessories, bag, dress and leggings from the billboard PVC. Fagence’s originality was even more refreshing than usual and she drew her inspiration quite literally from the Peroni Leggera bottle. The outfit even came complete with applique bubbles! Serena Fagence‘s design was modelled by former New Zealand’s Next Top Model finalist – Victoria, who is now represented by 62 Models. Keep an eye out for this young designer as she will be showcasing her winter collection as part of the GHD Next Generation show at fashion week in September.
Fellow finalist and runner up Laura, modelled a stunning blue dress based on a combination of Rome’s Trevi fountain and traditional Roman armour which earned designer, Elizabeth Wilson, first prize and $10,000 worth of sponsorship. Wilson, a T-shirt designer, and co-owner of “Dermit and Horn” trained as a graphic designer and has previously worked closely with Karen Walker. She designed her Trevi fountain print especially for the competition and complemented it with layers of scalloped billboard PVC to represent protective armour.
Peroni Leggera are excited about the brands relationship with the international fashion industry. London Fashion Week will be the first fashion week to be sponsored by a beer and Peroni Leggera will also sponsor Lakme and Berlin fashion weeks. We are excited that such generous sponsorship exists in this current climate – best of luck to Peroni Leggera and Elizabeth Wilson!
Photography Credit – Winchey Zheng