Dunedin’s iD Fashion Week flaunts international talent

A bevy of innovative, quirky fashion events and premier catwalk shows stops Dunedin in its tracks each March.

A bevy of innovative and quirky fashion events, premier catwalk shows and fashion forward international guests stops Dunedin in its tracks each March.

Dunedin New Zealand kicks off each March with an action-packed eight days of unique fashion events, premier catwalk shows and international guests. 

Launched 17 years ago on a makeshift catwalk in a local drinking hole, the 2016 edition of iD Fashion Week saw the likes of Emilia Wickstead – a favourite designer to the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton – to show on what has become known as ‘the longest fashion runway in the world’. 

In this small South Island city, iD Fashion has emerged as an international event that also offers a platform for younger emerging designers to launch from. 

The week-long fashion affair encompasses a mix of associated events including the International Emerging Designer Awards and iD Dunedin Fashion Show, a prestigious night out at one of the world’s most unusual runway shows – on the platform of Dunedin’s impressive and equally stylish Flemish Renaissance Railway Station. 

The programme of public events showcases a diverse range of activities. Some top picks for 2016 are Fashionable Fitness on the Rail Trail, a private exhibition of the work of Japanese shoe master Takano Keitaro, and Raise The Curtain – a charity show where tertiary students create garments made with recycled curtains, promoting fashion design, recycling and the arts, in aid of the Dunedin Curtain Bank.

The presence of international emerging talent will be at its strongest ever in 2016, with over 150 entries from some of the world’s top design and fashion schools. Emerging talent from India, Japan, Hong Kong (China), and Argentina, to name just a few, will show at this year’s Emerging Designer Awards. Guest judges Emilia Wickstead and Stefan Siegel, along with a selection committee made up of Kiwi fashion designers will choose this year’s fashion champions. 

Winners from the 2016 iD International Emerging Designer Awards will show their collections at the iD Dunedin Fashion Show held at Dunedin Railway Station on 18 and 19 March.

iD Fashion Show is an exhilarating mix of breakthrough designers, New Zealand fashion names such as Kate Sylvester and Zambesi - and the best talent from fashion design schools. 

Guest international designer and judge, Emilia Wickstead will show her European Spring/Summer 2016 collection at iD Fashion Show. Emilia, a 29-year-old Kiwi talent, made it onto the London-designer scene by building her business up from private sales before venturing to show on the fringes of London Fashion Week 2015. New Zealand-born and raised in Auckland and Milan, Emilia learned her work ethic from her mother, bespoke dressmaker Angela Wickstead. 

In an era when fashion can appear pretentious and obscure for those who don’t identify with the frenzy of man-buns and six-inch platform sandals, iD Fashion Week enables creativity, discussion and talent. This is an event that the novice fashion enthusiast can be a part of or admire, while attracting international, high fashion names. But iD is more than just another fashion show, it’s a festival, a celebration of artists, and a week full of world-class events for everyone, set in a city where the views are endless and the beaches are wildly beautiful. 

How to Get There
Fly: Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch international airports offer daily flights to Dunedin, with flight times ranging from 1 - 2 hours.  

Drive: Take the self-drive option to Dunedin from Queenstown. The four-hour drive through Central Otago reveals rugged mountain ranges, alpine pastures and deep flowing rivers. Allow extra time to stop and taste the seasonal flavours of fruit orchards, indulge at vineyards and admire the alpine splendours. 

Best Time to Visit
iD Fashion Week falls in autumn meaning you avoid crowds but still have sunshine. The colours from the fashion runway can also be found in the deciduous trees of the Otago region. 

Dunedin is a vibrant city with a strong sense of place and cultural heritage; soak up fashion, history and some of the Central Otago’s best pinot noir.