National dignitaries and fashion leaders are gathering in Dunedin for the first night of the city's annual iD fashion shows.
Thursday night's emerging designers awards show for final year fashion students is being attended by the British and Australian High Commissioners, a Chinese consulate delegation and Labour
Party leader David Shearer.
One of the world's most important hat-makers Stephen Jones is a guest judge.
iD fashion week chair Susie Staley says the competition has launched many fashion careers.
She says the students get a lot of exposure to international media that they would not otherwise get.
iD is now in its 14th year and is the country's second largest fashion event.