Rotorua's John Paul College is celebrating creative success after nine students clinched placings in the 2013 Young Designer Awards.

The fabric technology students placed first in the intermediate and senior evening wear, second and third in the senior evening wear, first and second in the intermediate high street fashion and first and third in the intermediate handcrafts categories.

The national competition for 11- to 18-year-olds aims to encourage creativity, confidence and the pursuit of excellence in young people and the school community through design.

Year 11 student Hannah Christensen said she was surprised to be named the winner of the intermediate evening wear section. Her peplum-style dress featured black lace and pink satin and the judges commended her for its "good design development".

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"I went to Spotlight and looked at their patterns and changed the pattern to suit. I chose the fabrics because I liked the way the satin draped and how the pink came through the lace," she said.

"We had our textile classes to work on it but I did most of the work at home."

The 16-year-old said she had always been interested in fashion and design and hoped to continue with her passion after graduating.

Teacher Candace Thornton said she was very proud of the students' achievement as they had the same number placed last year in the competition.

"It's quite a huge amount of work as the competition doesn't align with the new curriculum standards so they do a tremendous amount of work at home," Mrs Thornton said.

"I'm just so excited for them. Some have been able to gain a scholarship as they were given a national certificate from this. A couple of students will be going to Wintec and some who didn't realise they wanted to do this work at all after school have now been inspired."

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