MENTONE designer Natalie Hutton has returned from the World Of Wearable Art awards in New Zealand with an impressive accolade.
Ms Hutton was one of only eight Australian finalists in the final, and faced tough competition from 148 other challengers from 17 different countries.
Her debut piece, called ‘Echoplex – Goddess of Reverb’ from her Claudia Savage range, took out the Avant-Garde section award.
“An outer body experience is the best way to describe it,” Ms Hutton said about winning the award.
“It’s going to take some time to sink in. I’ve been an exceptionally hard critic on myself for my whole life, that having such a long standing and internationally renowned creative institution recognise you in such a way has really knocked me into an unfamiliar headspace.”
Ms Hutton said the competition criteria inspired her to try her luck.
“I’ve never been able to keep myself from going over the top when given a brief, however, in this case, I was already over the top and the perfect brief came to me. The mystical grey area that is my creative life of too arty for fashion and too fashion for art found itself the perfect home.”
Ms Hutton’s gown took eight years to put together. It weighs 15 kilograms and features 50 metres of hand stitched silk panels. Ms Hutton said each individual panel took eight hours to complete by hand and the gown has 40 panels. The gown took Natalie about 500 hours of sewing.
“It’s been overwhelming in an awesome way,” she said. “I attended the pre-show and was blown away by the stagecraft and the variety of the performances. I found myself teary when my gown was walked on stage, I don’t remember doing so, but apparently, I squealed. It was so amazing to see it move around the stage under the lights and in a setting that it melded so well. I couldn’t believe the reception it received, I was just so happy.”