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Beyond the Bale : June 2015
OFF FARM 13 To help increase the demand for Australian Merino wool, one of the objectives of the International Woolmark Prize is to help imbue participants and winners with a long- term connection to wool that will continue throughout their fashion design careers. 2014 International Woolmark Prize winner Rahul Mishra is a perfect example of this intent coming to fruition. Mishra’s first collection after winning the award was his Spring/Summer 2015 collection which he launched at the prestigious Paris Fashion Week last year in front of the world’s fashion media. The collection highlighted the versatility of Australian Merino wool as a lightweight and trans-seasonal fibre. His new collection, for Autumn/Winter 2015, which was also launched at Paris Fashion Week, once again showcases Australian Merino wool and, notably, was directly inspired by his visit in October last year to Australia to visit a wool-growing property. Travelling to this country for the first time, Mishra connected with fifth-generation woolgrower Alan McCormack and most importantly saw, felt and experienced Merino sheep for the first time at Alan’s property ‘Walwa’ at Gurrundah, NSW. The rolling hills of Alan’s farm, with wind turbines sitting up high, are represented on a selection of Mishra’s clothes in his Autumn/ Winter 2015 collection through his signature intricate hand embroidery dotting sweaters, dresses, coats and skirts. Even sheep have been included on certain items, reminiscent of the natural Australian landscape. Combining his trip to ‘Walwa’ with memories from remote Indian villages he knew from his childhood, Mishra has presented a delicate wool-rich collection with a colour palette of white, beige and blush through to midnight blue and black. Now stocked in some of the world’s most important retailers, global consumers are not only falling in love with Mishra’s unique style, but his entire design philosophy as well. “The collection encapsulates the balanced existence of nature and mankind, traditional and modern, and brings to life finest fibres, weaves and craft techniques, practiced in villages across the world,” Mishra explains of his collection. Best known for his sustainable design philosophy and contribution to the Indian handlooms and craft community, Mishra continues to collect stories and tells them through his fashion. “Craftsmanship is not like any profession, it’s not just about making money, it gives you passion and that is the magic of fashion.” MORE INFORMATION www.merino.com MISHRA’S CONTINUED LOVE FOR MERINO An item from Mishra’s newly launched Autumn/ Winter 2015 collection. Made from Merino wool, it features rolling hills, wind turbines and sheep (see inset) reminiscent of Alan McCormack’s property. 2014 International Woolmark Prize winner Rahul Mishra on his visit last year to Alan McCormack’s property at Gurrundah, NSW. • Since winning the 2014 International Woolmark Prize, designer Rahul Mishra has launched two collections, both showcasing Australian Merino wool. • His latest autumn/winter collection, which was launched at Paris Fashion Week, was directly inspired by his visit last year to a wool-growing property in Australia. • The wool-rich collection has aspects of the property’s landscape, including sheep, visually represented on it.