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Beyond the Bale : March 2019
and womenswear winners. The Woolmark Company has also partnered with online wholesale platform ORDRE for a third year to present online showrooms for the winners’ and finalists’ capsule collections to a retail network that will allow wholesale orders to be placed. For the first time, the International Woolmark Prize also connected with leading industry taste-makers, such as actor Colin Firth, as ambassadors for the award. “Wool is a great source for a designer, now that everyone talks about sustainability and eco-credentials – wool is it.” Competition judge and designer Alber Elbaz “I think the importance of the prize grows year on year,” said competition judge and Editor-at-large of Business of Fashion Tim Blanks. “I’m constantly amazed that what I'm looking at and touching is wool. The potential of this fibre is limitless and such a typical fibre for all the issues it touches on such as sustainability and waste management. I think the International Woolmark Prize is a critical focal point for the power and irresistibility of wool.” “I think the calibre of the designers was very impressive,” said fellow judge David Fischer of Highsnobiety. “I think it’s fantastic that there is a company which pushes innovation in the wool space. It’s not just a beautiful fabric but also one that is sustainable and has been around for such a long time. Seeing Woolmark support young designers and the fabric they stand for is a fantastic cause.” “The importance of this prize is unrivalled,” added Contributing Editor of British Vogue, Sinead Burke. Actress (Star Wars and Game of Thrones) Gwendoline Christie was one of the judges of this year’s competition; actor Colin Firth was one of the competition’s ambassadors. Both spoke on stage to the audience at the award ceremony. The award-winning 100% Merino wool collection of Edward Crutchley was inspired by traditional artisanal prints. The award-winning collection of Colovos was made using innovative wool fabrications with contemporary finishes that evoke the look and feel of denim and silk. Hailing from rural Yorkshire in the north of England, Edward Crutchley is the first designer to ever win both the Menswear and Innovation awards. His unisex label is grounded in an innate understanding and appreciation of artisanal textiles; the 100% wool entry was inspired by the traditional prints including Indonesian batik, French lace and a traditional shibori tie-dye. “All of these references come together in a collection made from 100% Merino wool,” the designer said. “My approach to innovation within this collection has been very much focused on artisanal skills and how these can be celebrated and used in a relevant and modern way. Every fabric I have used is exclusive and developed solely for this collection.” “I grew up on a sheep farm in the Yorkshire Dales, so I’ve got lanolin in my blood!” Award winner Edward Crutchley Competition judge Tim Blanks said: “I think it speaks volumes that there is a such a clear consensus on the winner of the International Woolmark Prize this year for Menswear and Innovation. I don’t think there’s ever been a designer like Edward Crutchley in the competition. I find the The winning womenswear collection of New York-based husband and wife duo Michael and Nicole Colovos referenced classic wool sportswear and workwear throughout history yet updated this concept with modern proportions and patterning techniques. The tailored coats, pants and skirts are made from wool that is completely traceable, washable and colour- and shrink-proof. “Colovos’ work stood out for its quiet evidence,” explained judge and industry expert Floriane de Saint Pierre. “Its pure design aesthetics, genuine functionality and the amazing and innovative use of super-light wool, combined with the founders’ attention to sustainability, make them deserve this great award and recognition.” “Our goal was to create a luxury, modern collection with a fully sustainable proposition.” Award winner Michael Colovos “We are committed to principles of zero waste in manufacturing,” Michael Colovos said. “So all production waste and end-of-life garments will be recycled to create new fabrics, a process that uses steam, heat and citrus to breakdown the MENSWEAR AND INNOVATION AWARD WINNER WOMENWEAR WINNER whole idea of him being a winner and the figurehead of creative innovative use of wool in the fashion industry so exciting. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen.” fabric waste and create a new fibre to be spun into fully recyclable yarns.” MORE INFORMATION www.woolmarkprize.com OFF FARM 13
In the Shops - March 2019