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Beyond the Bale : December 2016
“It's fantastic to see just how particular woolgrowers are with the quality of what they produce because it is exactly what we do as designers.” Designer Suket Dhir AWARD-WINNING WOOL COLLECTION SUKETDHIR Indian fashion designer Suket Dhir, who won the 2015/16 International Woolmark Prize for menswear, has launched his lightweight, trans-seasonal Merino wool collection at David Jones in time for summer. “I f the product is great then everybody who is involved in the whole process will win.” So says 2015/16 International Woolmark Prize menswear winner Suket Dhir, after meeting with Australian woolgrowers at their property in Victoria. The Indian fashion designer was in Australia as part of his winning journey, which has taken him to key global markets to launch his Merino wool collection in the world’s leading retailers, including David Jones’ Sydney city store. Having spent more than a year perfecting his collection – from his initial submission for the regional final held mid-2015 through to launching his capsule collection in the world’s leading stores – the designer said seeing the origin of the fibre he worked with was a beautiful experience. “It’s fantastic to see just how particular woolgrowers are with the quality of what they produce because it is exactly what we do as designers,” he explains. “My work philosophy is that product is the king and I think Noel and Lyndsay Henderson at ‘Avington’ farm definitely have the same philosophy of producing the very best product that they can. Whilst in Sydney, the designer spent time with the retail staff of David Jones, explaining to them his collection and the journey he went on to produce it, including teaching traditional hand weavers – who historically have worked with cotton and silk – to weave with Australian Merino wool. The resulting collection defies the confines of traditional seasons, with the lightweight Merino wool fabric showcasing the trans-seasonal benefits of the fibre at its best. his capsule collection, which was recognised by the esteemed judges at the International Woolmark Prize,” she said. “We are pleased to showcase his innovative designs exclusively in Australia at David Jones.” Hailing from New Delhi, Suket Dhir cleverly fuses classic western tailoring with elements of the designer's national dress, such as oversized proportions and lightweight fabrics. Using the traditional technique of hand-tied and dyed yarn (Ikat) and hand woven fabrics, seamless moulding and heat setting reinforces the garments, while the age-old technique of Kasuti, a traditional hand embroidery, creates geometric, grid-like patterns in an update on the classic quilting stitch. “Blending the oriental, imperial and the traditional, the collection is a mix of structured and fluid drape that presents a transcultural style,” says Dhir. “When we persuaded the weavers of Telangana, who specialise in Ikat, to work with wool for the first time, the results were magical. We are now committed to exploring the introduction of Merino wool to the other hand-weaving techniques of India and we look forward to creating some truly spectacular results.” The SUKETDHIR collection will also be available globally through other International Woolmark Prize retail partners including Boon the Shop (Korea), Isetan Mitsukoshi (Tokyo), LECLAIREUR (Paris) and Saks Fifth Avenue (New York). MORE INFORMATION www.davidjones.com.au 'Avington’ woolgrower Noel Henderson (left) and wool classer Frank Bates (right) show Svetlana and Suket Dhir freshly shorn fleece. David Jones’ General Manager of Menswear Deborah Foreman discusses the retail industry with Suket Dhir in Sydney. David Jones’ General Manager of Menswear Deborah Foreman said the iconic department store was delighted to have menswear label SUKETDHIR as part of its International Designer Collections, which is also available to buy online. “Designer Suket Dhir has demonstrated great skill and unique craftsmanship with OFF FARM 9
In the Shops - March 2017