Event director for Edible Fashion Awards Kelie Jensen said the quality of entries took another leap this year despite the many obstacles 2020 has thrown at everyone.
"It is incredible how the designers continue to raise the bar year after year. Every year I have a small panic about a week out from the event, wondering if this year's designs might not be quite as spectacular as the previous year – but yet again, we have been completely blown away," she said.
"We did see a drop in entries this year due to Covid stress, school lockdowns, postponement and then the Napier floods the week leading up to the event.
"Obviously it has been an exceptional year to get the event off the ground at all, and I think the standard this year is a powerful reminder of how resilient we are and how important creative expression is in our lives."
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Returning to the Opera House at Toitoi – Hawke's Bay Arts & Events Centre after six years elsewhere, the 2020 Edible Fashion Awards were "a huge celebration on all levels", Kelie said.
"Not only the standard of designs, but the quality of guest artist performances and the energy and excitement of a packed house made for a very special night."
Local designer Katherine Bertram's Supreme Award-winning design The Delicate Drift (cover image) was crafted from plastic milk bottles cut and melted to form a fluttering exoskeleton, experimental edible bioplastic made from gelatin and tapioca added aqueous green scales.
Model Eleanor Squires also won the Essence Top Model Award.
Yana Chaplow's La vie en rose, runner-up for the Supreme Award, brought together a bodice of layered, dyed and dehydrated radish "rose petals" and a skirt of delicate, dried gurnard wings.
Other fascinating entries included Giulietta Whitney's Fowl Co-Motion incorporating more than 1000 chicken bones (defleshed, cleaned, peroxided, cut and threaded!) and 60 bird wings; Rachael Coleman transformed re-cycled coke bottles, cut and painted with a food-colouring base, into hundreds of elegantly crafted flowers and butterflies for her design The Buttefly Garden; first time entrant Kajorn Deesupan's Avant-garde-winning design The Tribal Woman Portrait, incorporated hundreds, if not thousands of snack, instant noodle, coffee and rice bags; and Elijah Ioane and Dylan Van Heerden stripped their Hastings Boys' High School entry Huia back to its bones, creating a carcus from noodles, winery corks, fishing line and feathers.
Returning head judge Kate MacKenzie described some of this year's garments as "world class" and first-time judges David Trubridge and Richard Wood were in awe of the "mind-blowing artworks and the vision of entrants in all categories – junior to adult".
Have your say:
Vote for the 2020 Edible Fashion Awards People's Choice Award via The Hits (Hawke's Bay) Facebook page – check out the "Edible Fashion People's Choice" album, choose your favourite from the 53 finalists, note the # and follow the link to thehits.co.nz to cast your vote. Voting closes midnight Monday, November 23.