PATRONS were wowed with all things wool last night at the opening of Sheepvention, where woollen designs were showcased by up-and-coming young designers, alongside established iconic clothing brands.
The Australasian Young Designer Wool Award entries had almost doubled since last year’s event, with fashion proving to be a popular element of Sheepvention.
The awards encourage students to use wool in their designs and the winning young designer receives the coveted $10,500 Handbury Scholarship to attend Instituto Marangoni in Milan, Italy.
Sheepvention marketing and events co-ordinator Jill Whiting said 70 garments were modelled in categories including evening, streetwear, fantasy, racewear and corporate as part of last night’s Discover Wool fashion event.
“The standard is extremely high. I think every year it’s getting better. They’re understanding the quality and the standard gets higher and higher. They are quite stunning,” Mrs Whiting said.
The competition continues to attract talented young people.
“I think it’s made it’s name now that its such a great prize the Handbury Scholarship. A $10,000 scholarship to Milan is pretty sought after and all the unis and lots more schools are involved this year so it’s good. That’s always exciting,” she said.
Local dancers lit up the stage in the fashion pavilion of the Hamilton Exhibition and Conference Centre, and the evening’s theme was how the movie and film industry has influenced fashion.
A highlight was the show’s opening where Ms Couture’s Julie Tuillo’s garments, especially made for the parade, were modelled.
Ms Tuillo was the former head designer at Alex Perry for 15 years and was influential in the design of corset-style evening wear.
“It’s more exciting each year. It’s the wow factor. It’s more than fashion, it’s the show and the entertainment people come for. It’s fabulous,” Mrs Whiting said. “It’s probably our drawcard event. We have the wool product right up to high fashion,” she said.
Also on the catwalk were garments from collections by fashion labels including Camilla and Marc, Country Road, Sabatini and Sportscraft.
Sheepvention is at the Hamilton Showgrounds today and tomorrow and fashion parades will run three times a day.