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Beyond the Bale : December 2015
OFF FARM 7 SHOWCASING A HOME-GROWN FIBRE STEPHANIE FIELD 20-year-old Stephanie Field’s life as an international model can seem a world away from the farm she grew up on near Jugiong in NSW, but she never forgets her roots and is always especially pleased to show off apparel made from Australian Merino wool. For Stephanie Field, working on her family’s farm Benangaroo Station just outside of the small town of Jugiong, NSW, was part of her everyday life. Daughter of Michael Field, a fourth generation grazier and guardian of large-scale Australian wool producer T.A. Field Estates, Stephanie grew up kayaking on the Murrumbidgee River, picnicking under the Cootamundra wattle, racing through the Canola crops and sliding down shoots in the shearing shed. Yet for the past 18 months the 20-year-old has swapped her bluey for couture and has captured the fashion world’s imagination with her gorgeous face and graceful figure. Last year she burst onto the modeling scene, walking the Paris Fashion Week runway for two of the world’s biggest fashion houses, Valentino and Celine. Since then, Stephanie has travelled almost non-stop, modelling in places like Ibiza, Beijing and, most recently, for Dolce & Gabbana’s prestigious alta moda collection at Domenico Dolce’s private villa in Portofino. Despite her globetrotting, Stephanie is wholeheartedly committed to promoting Australian Merino wool and Australian design on the world stage. Last year she worked with Sydney-based fashion designer and International Woolmark Prize alumnus Christopher Esber on her outfit for the L’Uomo Vogue event in Sydney. “He created this strapless, pale pink wool dress. It felt like home being able to wear it. I’m part of both of the processes,” she says of her on-farm work and modeling career. “I help out on the farm and then I go and wear the clothes on shoots or in fashion shows.” Recently, AWI’s in-house videography team travelled to Benangaroo Station as part of its web series The Source, inviting viewers into Stephanie’s world and exploring how she juggles life on the farm with life on the runway. “Experiencing places that I never thought that I’d go to, working with amazing people and clients, I just really appreciate that not Stephanie with the Christopher Esber-designed wool dress at last year’s L’Uomo Vogue event in Sydney. PHOTO: Lucas Dawson. everyone gets the opportunities that I get. It’s everyone’s dream to be able to work and travel the world at the same time and I guess I’m kind of living that dream at the moment,” she marvels. A primary school with just nine students set Stephanie up for an education that now includes studies in interior design and plans for a degree in psychology. She wants to find ways through her psychology degree that will allow her to give back to the demanding industry her parents are so passionate about. There’s little-to-no chance Stephanie will lose touch with her roots. “My dad keeps me very grounded. He’ll come visit me at a runway show and he will not recognise me. Growing up on the farm, you’ve just got to keep level headed. “It’s harsh for anyone living on the land. I definitely want to be here to support my family, even if it’s involved with my psychology degree. My parents have given me such an amazing life so far and been there for me so I want to give something back.” After five months away from Jugiong and all the trappings an international modelling career can throw her way, Benangaroo Station is more than ever the place Stephanie can escape and get back to nature. “I just love it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world and I really appreciate the fact I got to grow up here.” MORE INFORMATION www.merino.com/stephaniefield Stephanie with her parents examining a Merino wool fleece in their wool shed.
In the Shops - March 2016