AWARDS SHOWCASE BOLD DESIGN

NZ HAT & HAIR ART AWARDS 2009

Awards Showcase picWhile the event took the audience to the four corners of the earth, it was South Canterbury talent that took out the major awards.

Sixty-one entries from around the country and Australia were paraded at Timaru's Theatre Royal on Saturday for the New Zealand Hat and Hair Art Awards.

The night was made more special by the announcement that main sponsor Mazda would back the event again next year.

This year's show, Four Corners of the Earth, featured the corresponding four categories; the west which focused on the modern world, the north centring on the arctic circle, the east which encapsulated the old orient and the south focusing on the indigenous cultures and tribal elements of pacific nations.

For first time entrants Sabina Turner and Sonia Andrews it was a very successful night as the Pleasant Point mother and daughter duo took out the supreme hair art award with their south entry Sangoma.

"I am glad it is over but blown away by winning," Mrs Andrews said.

"I have always been interested in tribal things and when the section came up I thought we just had to enter," Mrs Turner said.

Timaru woman Donna Coles also joined in the success, winning the supreme hat award with her entry in the west section Aria's Jazz. "I am in shocked ... it was wonderful [to win]," she said.

This was the third year she had entered, with her entry taking four months to make.

"Aria's Jazz was inspired by my love of music and dancing, the theme was through the ages and it had an old 45 record on it and a CD."

Event director Denise Whyte was already thinking ahead to next year's show, A Century of Cinema.

"I was happy with the event and there were certainly more entries from further afield.

"It is probably the first year for a while that locals have won both supreme awards.

"The judges were very impressed with the entries and said it was quite a difficult event to judge.

"We are already thinking about next year and naturally there are things you want to tweak. The support from all the sponsors has been great.

"It's amazing how people are starting to take notice of it.

"We're really grateful for the sponsorship we've had this year."

Mrs Whyte added that the hats would be on display at the Festival of Roses Market Day.

Creative director Aaron Williams designed a brilliant set with screens used to depict each section, with the young models professionally displaying the entries.

The dancers did a great job breaking up the event up while still in keeping with the art awards.

Judge and Woodbury fashion designer Brian Molyneux said he was impressed with the hard work put in to entries.

"There was a real fineness of detail. The diversity of interpretation was what made judging most challenging."

Wellington lecturer and judge Ross Hemera said the entries were very well constructed.

"The integrity of the design and material came through very strong.

"The thinking that has gone into the entries really shone through. I would like to compliment Timaru as a city that has taken on board this special event." Christchurch hairdresser and judge Sharon Screen sounded a warning.

"Watch out World of Wearable Arts."