Sometimes it’s best to not mess with tradition. And that strategy has paid off for Ali Rauf, who has won the emerging designer award in the Myer Fashions on Your Front Lawn competition on Melbourne Cup Day.
Geelong-based Rauf, whose label is called Birdskin, won the prize after making the finals for the past three years. “It took a few seconds to even register that it was my name [being read out],” he says.
Normally the prize would be judged in real life on the stage at Flemington but this year, due to COVID-19, the judges made their decision based on sketches and a video diary filmed by each finalist to document the design process.
Rauf, a trained embroiderer who studied at Cambridge University and at Deakin University, wanted to create a design that balanced “structure and ease”, and enlisted the help of Australian pleating house, Specialty Pleaters in Williamstown.