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Beyond the Bale : March 2019
A spectacular collection showcasing the versatility of wool has been created by graduate Isabella Snelson, from the BA (Hons) fashion and textile design program at University of Technology Sydney (UTS), thanks to a sponsorship from AWI. AWI partnered with Sydney-based Calcoup Knitwear to sponsor Isabella as part of her honours studies at UTS last year. The aim of the sponsorship was to educate her about the natural benefits of using Australian wool in her designs – and Isabella confirms she has gained a deeper understanding of the value of the natural fibre. “I think there is something to say about valuing a natural fibre – understanding where it comes from, what its potential is and you can then respect but also enhance and innovate with that fibre,” Isabella said. “Wool holds so much potential and can be used in so many different ways – within one fibre there is so much movement which is super exciting to someone that is passionate about textiles like me.” Isabella’s final collection has been very well received and was even hand-picked to be showcased at the National Graduate Showcase earlier this month at the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival. The collection features Australian wool in structurally intricate oversized suiting, conceptual layers of jacquard knits and shear hand-knitted next-to-skin pieces. Isabella said the jacquard knits incorporated through the partnership with AWI and Calcoup played a big part in the collection. “I truly believe that the collection was enhanced by the addition of the machine engineered jacquard knits, and the final outcome was very different to anything I could have ever imagined!” YOUNG DESIGNER EXCELS WITH WOOL The sponsorship by AWI also enabled Isabella to visit a wool-growing property in NSW, attend AWI’s Naturally Inspiring seminar in Sydney, and also visit AWI’s Wool Resource Centre in Hong Kong during a trip to the region with UTS. “The AWI Naturally Inspiring Seminar alongside the farm visit were both great experiences,” Isabella said. “Aside from learning about the fibre and how it is produced from a raw material, I found it particularly interesting to learn about where the fabrics are now being used in high fashion. Sports brands such as Nike and adidas using wool was extremely surprising to me. Further, whilst on a trip to Hong Kong with UTS alongside AWI, I saw the use of wool in extremely innovative ways – such as 100% waterproof fabrics.” Isabella says she has always been a huge supporter of the Australian wool industry “As a young designer that specialises in knitwear and tailoring, wool is such an essential part of my textiles. Whether it being for my own design practice or working for another designer I would see an association with AWI as essential. “It is so important as an Australian designer to support AWI and reciprocate the support that they give to so many young designers. It is through support such as the sponsorship from AWI that allows young designers to realise their potential.” Isabella Snelson’s womenswear collection, sponsored by AWI, allowed her to establish her design aesthetic through a combination of both knitted and woven wool textiles. 28 OFF FARM
In the Shops - March 2019