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Beyond the Bale : December 2015
OFF FARM 23 NATURALLY INSPIRING STUDENT SEMINARS AWI held three seminars for fashion and textiles students in Sydney and Melbourne, inspiring students to work with Australian Merino wool as they enter into a career in the industry. More than 500 students and teachers from 15 universities and design colleges attended the ‘Naturally Inspiring’ seminars, which not only offered students the chance to learn about wool and the variety of ways to work with the fibre, but gave students a rare insight into the fashion and retail industry from those in the know. Fashion designers Dion Lee and Mario-Luca Carlucci told of their journey with Merino wool and International Woolmark Prize experience. Oroton General Manger and Creative Director Ana Maria Escobar and Nataie Skubel – This year AWI has continued to host seminars for textile and fashion students in Sydney and Melbourne about Merino wool and its place in contemporary fashion and textiles. AWI consultant and IWTO president Peter Ackroyd giving a presentation to fashion and textile students at a ‘Naturally Inspiring’ seminar in Melbourne. Postgraduate student Elena Comunian from the Polytechnic University of Milan: “I saw for the first time the amazing grassland landscape where Merino sheep live and how the sheep are expertly shorn in a very short time.” Agroup of four Italian students forging careers in the textile industry visited Australia in September to further explore the origins of Australian Merino wool and develop a greater appreciation and understanding of the premium fibre and the Australian industry. While in Australia, they participated in AWI’s Wool Appreciation Course and learnt about AWI’s on-farm and off-farm programs. They also visited a wool-growing property in Goulburn, NSW, to discover how Merino wool is produced and visited the Australian Wool Testing Authority to better understand the story of what happens to fleece before it leaves Australia’s shores. “The visit to Australia was a unique opportunity for me to discover the origin of the wool textile fabrics as an informed future worker in the industry – it is very important to know the history of the product that I'm going to sell, and as a conscious customer,” said Elena AWI has supported a visit by four ‘Biella Masters’ postgraduate students to learn more about Merino wool. VISIT BY BIELLA MASTERS Comunian, who is studying at the Polytechnic University of Milan. Alice Annetta, who is studying at the University of Turin, said, “The work that woolgrowers do every single day is remarkable and the passion they have for wool and their mission is very contagious! “Having the possibility to see what's behind a piece of fabric is absolutely amazing: seeing the farms and the sheep shearing made me think that nature and fashion are not so far from each other after all. I would recommend to everyone that works in fashion to consider going to Australia, seeing where the journey of the fabric begins.” formerly of Country Road – offered exclusive retail insight and explained the various career paths possible within the fashion industry. Student Emily Moszkowicz from The Whitehouse Institute in Melbourne said she found the entire seminar she attended was extremely inspirational: “It was very informative and it has inspired me a lot for my design future.” Others, such as Mary Ocian from Sydney’s St George School of Fashion, found the intimate talks with real-life fashion designers valuable and refreshing: “I really enjoyed the designer journey from Dion Lee. I myself want to become a fashion designer and his talk gave me a lot of information and a fresh perspective about being a designer in Australia.”
In the Shops - March 2016