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Beyond the Bale : December 2014
10 OFF FARM • 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize winner Rahul Mishra visited Australia for the first time in October to visit the source of the fibre that has made his winning Merino wool collection such a success. • During his visit, Rahul launched his collection in David Jones in Sydney, which follows launches in other leading retailers across the world. • Rahul has followed up his International Woolmark Prize win by launching at Paris Fashion Week his Spring/Summer 2015 collection that predominantly comprises Australian Merino wool. Nine hectic months after winning the 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize, Indian fashion designer Rahul Mishra visited Australia for the first time to launch his winning Merino wool collection at Sydney’s flagship David Jones store. But the day before that event, Rahul was keen to travel to the source of Merino wool and visit a woolgrowing property – to see for himself where Merino wool, the beautiful fibre that has changed his life, comes from. So with AWI’s assistance, Rahul travelled the three-hour journey down the Hume Highway from Sydney to visit Alan and Claire McCormack’s Walwa Stud near Gunning, taking some pieces from his winning collection to show them. The visit provided Rahul with a first-hand insight into the Australian woolgrowing industry, and was the first time he had seen and handled a Merino sheep. “It makes me so emotional right now that I’m here actually touching it,” Rahul told Alan, as he parted the fleece on the sheep’s back for the first time. “I have worked with this fibre for such a long time and it has given me so much – I express myself really well when I work with wool, with Merino especially.” Female woolgrowers from the Goulburn region were invited to Walwa Stud to meet Rahul and gain an exclusive insight into his International Woolmark Prize collection – notable for its hand embroidery on lightweight Merino wool – as well as the philosophy behind his design. “The entire inspiration of this collection started with the story of wool, of Merino, and how something which is so sustainable and starts on a farm goes to the highest places in fashion,” Rahul told them. The woolgrowers also had the opportunity to get up close and personal with individual garments and were amazed at the intricate detailing of Mishra’s work. “My mother Gillian and I had a wonderful time and enjoyed the company of all of the other women, and we thoroughly enjoyed the explicit insight into Rahul Mishra’s simply exquisite collection,” Emma Gilbert from Canberra said after the event.“The pure professionalism displayed by the AWI team made the afternoon special and I believe all the ladies involved felt unique.” Rahul loved being on the farm learning as much as he could about the sheep and where they are raised. “The farm visit was inspiring and humbling, seeing the environment where the fibre starts from and the people and animals that grow it has convinced me even more why wool is the perfect sustainable fibre for the future not just for winter but warmer months as well,” he said. 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize winner Rahul Mishra on a visit to Alan and Claire McCormack’s Walwa Stud near Gunning to see a Merino woolgrowing property for the first time. VISITS THE SOURCE RAHUL MISHRA Woolgrower Alan McCormack discussing the finer points of his Merino flock with 2013/14 International Woolmark Prize winner Rahul Mishra.