Last night’s 2011 Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize involved two hours of intense deliberation by an elite group of judges that included international fashion writer Derek Blasberg, Calvin Klein Collection women’s creative director Francisco Costa, and Moda Operandi co-founder Lauren Santo Domingo. Their job was to narrow down a list of 77 highly qualified candidates and select five finalists to compete for the grand prize, which includes $40,000 and the opportunity to display their collection during Paris Fashion Week in 2012 at Hôtel Plaza Athénée.
They certainly had their work cut out for them, but they’ve managed to round up a great mix of innovative designers, including one of our favorite futuristic fashion talents, Setareh Mohtarez (pictured above). Read on for the complete list of chosen finalists and some things you may not know about them.
Anndra Neen: Handcrafted, Mexico-inspired jewelry line founded in 2009 by sisters Phoebe and Annette Stephens. The designers also have stellar personal style.
Giulietta: RTW line founded by Florentine-born Sofia Sizzi, who has worked at Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, and Gucci, where she met Dorchester Collection judge, Francisco Costa when she was 19.
Julian Louie: If the name sounds familiar, it’s because the designer recently collaborated with footwear brand Aldo to create some killer patchwork platforms.
Setareh Mohtarez: This designer has an unmatched talent for dreaming up out-of-this-world partywear. Fellow visionary Luxirare is a big fan of her galaxy/floral prints.
Siki Im: This Ecco Domani winner.
The 2011 Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize judges, from left: Shala Monroque, Lauren Santo Domingo, Keren Craig, Derek Blasberg, Giovanna Battaglia, Bronwyn Cosgrave, Thom Browne, Elizabeth Saltzman and Francisco Costa.