The sign that the community welcomed the 2023 return of a full iD Dunedin Fashion Week in 2023 was the speed with which tickets to the iD show on 1 April sold out. The second show added to meet demand was at last glance a few seats shy of capacity. Never mind the rugby or Rod Stewart, iD at the Railway Station was always the coolest show in town, and now it’s back there, once again in autumn, it appears that everyone wants to go again. Which is great.
More than two decades since it began, iD has reinvented aspects of itself throughout. The Emerging Designers show shifted from being the second string to being the hot ticket. They brought out fabulous guests, among them the dazzling Zandra Rhodes. The event moved from the Railway Station to the Town Hall and the Regent, and were working on rearranging the presentation yet again when Covid stepped in, requiring the 2020 Emerging Designers awards to go online, which did work. But it turns out that there’s nothing like getting back to basics, with designer collections, emerging designers, and oh, did I mention the Railway Station (accept no imitations).
This year’s events will show about 50 collections. No iD would be complete without representation by the Godmothers, as the clutch of founding designers are known: Donna Tulloch (Mild-Red), Tanya Carlson (Carlson), Sara Munro (Company of Strangers), Charmaine Reveley, and Margarita Robertson (NOM*d). Other regulars showing are Zambesi, whose founder Elisabeth Findlay will speak about the label at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery on Friday 31 March: we anticipate a stylish turnout for this.
The Emerging Designer finalists this year come from as close as Otago Polytechnic and as far as Manchester, with a large showing from Melbourne and Sydney. Larger than life images from their collections have been showing at Otago Museum since February, and the judges and award winners will speak at the museum on the Saturday morning after the awards are announced.
Throughout the week, there’s a strong emphasis on sustainability. A midweek panel at the museum will discuss ‘a sustainable fashion future in Aotearoa’, while other events include vintage shows and sales, fabric shows and sales, sewing workshops. There will also be popup shops for featured designers who don’t have local distribution.
On the non-retail side, the Eden Hore collection is back in town, with some of the recent large-scale photography on display during the week at boutique hotel, Fable. Dunedin City Library is once more offering its tours of the fashion stacks, and Otago Museum is similarly hosting tours of the fashion collections, led by Moira White.
If you can’t get there, the Friday show will be livestreamed by the NZ Herald’s Viva site. The iD website has everything you need to know about the programme and more images from the collections being shown: https://www.idfashion.co.nz/ And for further teasers on this year’s event, Stuff’s featured 5 Dunedin brands while the ODT has profiled the career of new iD governing board member Tara Viggo. It’s going to be a busy week down here.