Momiji Couture Contest Winner & Exhibition of Finalists
By Guy Sangster Adams
Last July the Momiji Couture Contest was launched at the New Designers show at the Business Design Centre in London. The competition called for entries not only from fashion and textile students and graduates, but also the global crafting community to fulfil the challenge of creating their own exquisite, fabric Momiji doll.
Momiji [‘mom-ee-jee’] are the oddly-addictive, hand-painted collectible message dolls, launched three years ago from the English village of Henley in Arden (previously best known for its ice cream!) since when through their collaboration with the freshest design talent they have attained international cult status and were included in the goodie bags at last year’s Brit Awards.
Chelsea College of Art and Design in London hosted the judging of the contest and the panel included Pip McCormac the commissioning editor of the Sunday Times Style Magazine, Beth Smith deputy editor of Selvedge Magazine, and Susan Hancock the owner on the innovative and quirky Royal/T in Los Angeles, and Barbara Hulaniciki, founder of the highly influential Biba, who said, “I am absolutely amazed by the standard of the entries. I’d be rather intrigued to see all the designers in person as I wonder whether each doll was created in their maker’s image!”
After many hours of deliberation, in December the judges chose Louise Evans AKA ‘Felt Mistress’ as the winner for her Marie Antoinette-esque entry Choux Choux, which was adorned with an elaborate, towering wig. Choux Choux and the twenty short listed finalists are now on display in a special exhibition until 18 January 2010 at the extraordinary Royal/T in Los Angeles until which imaginatively fuses a 10,000 square foot gallery and retail space with the city’s first Japanese inspired maid café.