Christopher Esber takes out 2012 LMFF Designer AwardPoached quail eggs with hollandaise, the double bass grooves of a jazz quartet and glasses upon glasses of blush pink Moet were what greeted guests at the very literal Breakfast at Tiffany's that constituted this morning's LMFF Designer Award presentation.
Pared back from last year's runway showcase, this time around only five models, styled like true uptown ladies, displayed the wares of the award finalists. It was interesting to see each of the labels adapting to a very distinct (and very Tiffany's) aesthetic, all crisp, prim and proper. Though Michael Lo Sordo, Above, Christopher Esber, Lui Hon and Magdelana Velevska's design signatures range from clean and strict to flowing and femme to neo-noir, all five labels adapted well to the styling.
This year's race was a close one. While Esber and Lo Sordo were favourites for the prize, the talent exhibited by Velevska (who is now one of the strongest designer's on Myer's stock floors), and home-grown heros above and Lui Hon (who is a third time finalist), is also undeniable.
Ultimately, after an introduction by LMFF's Graeme Lewsey (who confessed that he himself was once an emerging designer), an extremely awkward speech by a government representative, in which she managed to mispronounce the names of not only ever LMFF Designer Award past winner, but also most of the judges involved, and a brief speech by Tiffany & Co. Managing Director Glen Schlehuber, the award went to Esber.
In a charming moment, Lewsey told the gathered industry crowd that he wished there was a drum roll, only to have one supplied perhaps a touch too early, by the hirsute and extremely adorable drummer of the live jazz band. Recalling yesterday's awkward stop-start 'dress rehearsal' at the LMFF opening event, Lewsey requested another drum roll as Esber picked up his $10,000 cheque, which along with financial, legal, business coaching and advertising support from the event's sponsors, made up the total $75,000 prize package.
Esber announced to the crowd that he "didn't expect to win", before reiterating the importance of the LMFF Designer Award in a climate that isn't always supportive of emerging fashion talent.
Lead image via the Instagram of AMPR's Brooke Shell.
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