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Beyond the Bale : December 2014
16 OFF FARM AT THE BROWNLOWS TOM COOL • Through its Cool Wool campaign, AWI continues to promote Merino wool as a fibre suitable for warmer climates and seasons. • Geelong Cats footballing star and ambassador for AWI’s Fibre of Football campaign Tom Hawkins wore a Cool Wool suit, made by M.J. Bale, to the Brownlow Medal ceremony. • Fashions designers Christopher Raeburn and Holly Fulton incorporated Cool Wool into their Spring/Summer 2015 collections, which they showed at London Fashion Week. Australian Merino wool continues to breakdown misconceptions that wool is only suitable for cooler climates. AWI’s Cool Wool campaign is reaching both local and international markets, educating consumers about the fibre’s trans-seasonal properties and promoting it as a natural choice for warmer weather. At the Brownlow Medal ceremony held at Melbourne’s Crown Casino in September, Geelong superstar Tom Hawkins wore a suit from Australian retailer M.J. Bale, created from Cool Wool fabric. Hawkins, who recently joined AWI’s Fibre of Football campaign, impressed on the red carpet, keeping his cool on a hot evening at the AFL’s night of nights. Tom’s partner Emma Clapham, the granddaughter of legendary Boonoke studmaster Basil Clapham, also walked the carpet and grabbed quite a few headlines wearing a stunning Merino wool dress made by Australian fashion label Aje. “I was really excited to wear wool to this year’s Brownlow Medal, as was Tom,” she said. “It was a great platform to support the industry and show the wider community that there are so many different ways to wear wool and also show the fibres versatility. “I really believe that as Australians we should be so proud of the natural fibre that we produce, and the fibre has come such a long way; the dress was so comfortable and felt amazing on my skin.” Emma’s father, Harold Clapham, posted on Twitter: “Very proud of Emma and Tom, I am very sure that Basil would be very proud of his granddaughter. He would be delighted to see wool back on the front page, where it should be, the world’s best and most environmentally sustainable fibre.” Both Emma and Tom are from the Riverina district of NSW, with Emma being brought up in Deniliquin and Tom coming from a wool, cropping and rice property in Finley, NSW. “I am very proud to have grown up on a farm that produces wool,” Tom said. “My fondest memories from my childhood are working with my father on the farm and playing junior football for my local Finley Football Club. So I feel very privileged to be involved in the Fibre of Football campaign that supports two of the industries that I am extremely passionate about.” Geelong star Tom Hawkins with partner Emma Clapham – both proudly wearing Australian Merino wool at the Brownlows. LONDON FASHION WEEK On the other side of the world, in central London, influential fashion designers Christopher Raeburn and Holly Fulton incorporated Cool Wool into their Spring/ Summer 2015 collections, exploring the unique benefits of the lightweight fabrics which can be produced. Having worked with AWI on sourcing and integrating Cool Wool into their diverse collections to promote wool as a year-round luxury fibre, both designers have used fine Australian Merino wool transformed into lightweight fabrics and knitwear pieces. Raeburn has been working with AWI for three consecutive seasons, and has enjoyed a welcome success with his Cool Wool collections. “It was a challenge initially to see how I could fit Cool Wool into my Spring/ Summer 14 range, but in fact the hybrid piece became one of my best sellers for the season,” Raeburn said. “It has been extended from menswear to womenswear using the same techniques and developing it into a more feminine look ... to offer commercially wearable and affordable pieces.” For Holly Fulton, this season was the first time she had worked with Cool Wool, following in the footsteps of contemporaries Mark Fast, Richard Nicoll and Jonathan Saunders. “Cool Wool adds a very sophisticated touch to pieces,” Fulton explained. “The lightweight wool provides a sheer quality and luxurious touch, in long gowns and knitwear with sequin necklines.” MORE INFORMATION www.merino.com/coolwool A Holly Fulton design that uses Cool Wool, on the runway at London Fashion Week. WOOL KEEPS