ITS 2015: Paula Knorr named winner in the fashion category
An Asian wave took over Trieste this 10 and 11 July. The 14th edition of ITS (International Talent Support), the competition for young talent in the areas of fashion, accessories and jewellery organised under the leadership of Barbara Franchin, saw a full-fledged return of Asian designers, from Japan to China to South Korea.
Apart from German designer Paula Knorr, winner of the fashion category, and Austrian designer Isabel Helf, who won the accessories category, "the young Asian designers took it all," said Renzo Rosso, the head of the OTB group (Diesel, Marni, Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, etc.), one of the historical sponsors of the event.
Forty finalists (10 for fashion, 10 for accessories, 10 for jewellery and 10 for the Artwork prize, sponsored by Swatch, rewarding "purely artistic talent") went head to head. The apparel category was a particularly big hit due to the inventive and diverse work of the participants.
Red, violet, purple, shiny and silvery materials... The Paula Knorr collection is distinguished by its energy and sensuality among the predominantly black and white collections.
Flesh-coloured ankle socks covering high heels, transparent leotards decorated with garlands of with long fringes, sparkling silk moulding to the legs and chest, as if they were glued to the body, bright red tight-fitting stretch decorated in the front with radiant lurex fabric. It's all about movement and sparkle.
The 26-year old German, originally from Mainz, who studied at the London Royal College of Art won the prize hands down with a project that offers a real point of view focused on feminine desire and movement: "I want to create a new identity of womenswear, very feminine but modern. I'm like an explorer who transforms what women want into clothing," she said behind the scenes.
It is another young women who set herself apart in the fashion competition, winning the OTB prize. Japanese designer Yuko Koike blew the jury away with her own collection of vibrant and colourful pieces, finding inspiration in traditional Japanese drawings.
The outfits are comprised of beautiful jacquard jumpers, long jackets and dresses crocheted with multicoloured flowers and plexiglass elements. The designer also used plexiglass to create impressive necklaces. "Her talent, notably her handiwork, really astounded us, so much so that we decide to have her do an internship at both Diesel and Staff, which manages our luxury brands," said one of the managers from the OTB world.
Before dedicating herself to fashion, which she studied at Esmod Tokyo, Yuko Koike worked as a photographer and sold plants on the Internet. Also worth noting in the fashion category is Swiss designer Jenifer Thévenaz-Burdet, who presented a collection of 8 backpacks that can be turned into clothing. She took home the Eyes On Talents prize.
In the accessories category, young Austrian designer Isabel Helf, who worked with the concept of lack of space in living arrangements today offered original solutions in the form of bags that can be turned into tables or boasting a hard base to be used as a step. The prize for accessories, sponsored by YKK, was awarded to Chinese designer Bianca Chong.
First place in the jewellery category, sponsored by Swarovski, went to Japanese artist Kota Okuda and Chinese artist In Wai Kwok, while South Korean artist took home the Swarovski prize.
The ITS 2015 Winners
ITS Fashion prize in partnership with OTB (€10,000): Paula Knorr (Germany)
OTB prize (€5,000 + an internship at the OTB group): Yuko Koike (Japan)
Eyes On Talents prize (€3,000): Jenifer Thévenaz – Burdet (Switzerland)
ITS prize in partnership with YKK (€10,000): Isabel Helf (Austria)
YKK fastening prize (€5,000): Bianca Chong (China)
ITS prize in partnership with Swarovski (€10,000 €): Kota Okuda (Japon) + In Wai Kwok (China)
Swarovski prize (€5,000 €): Yun Sun Jang (South Korea)
ITS prize in partnership with Swatch (€10,000): Hiroki Kataoka (Japan)
Swatch prize (€5,000 + paid internship at the brand): Shay Tako (Israel)
Swatch Art Peace Hotel special prize (6 months at the Swatch artist residency + an internship at Uma Wang): Alexis Gautier (France)
Samsung Galaxy prize
Samsung Galaxy prize (€10,000): Yang Wang (China)
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