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Beyond the Bale : May 2010
12 SELLING MORE WOOL May 2010 BEYOND THE BALE One of the highlights of this year's Sydney Royal Easter Show was the Australian Wool Fashion Awards fashion parades, which showcased the supreme versatility and style of Merino wool apparel to the crowds. About a million visitors to the Sydney Royal Easter Show, all potential new wool consumers, had a chance to view the parades that were held four to five times daily throughout the two weeks of the Easter Sho w. Sponsored by AWI, the Australian Wool Fashion Awards have been raising awareness of wool among designers and consumers alike for 29 years. Based at Armidale, on the fine wool growing New England Tablelands in NSW, Showcasing wool to city consumers FAST FACTS l The Australian Wool Fashion Awards showcased Australian Merino wool to tens of thousands of visitors at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. l The Awards, sponsored by AWI, are a great promotional tool for the Australian wool industry. lAkeyaimoftheAwardsisto introduce young designers to the qualities of wool. the Awards have evolved into one of Australia's most enduring and challenging fashion competitions. One of the Award's aims is to introduce young designers to the wonderful qualities of wool. Secondary and tertiary fashion students not only have special categories but can receive donated fabric to create their entries. It's a 'grass roots' education for future fashion leaders. Awards organiser Liz Foster has helped hundreds of budding designers through the competition over the years. As a woolgrower, she has also wanted to encourage and educate younger people about the natural fibre so important to many country areas. She says the judging panel had a challenging job this year, having to choose from a record number of entries from across the country. "We had the highest number of entries we've ever had, with garments from all corners of the country, from all over regional Australia and as far away as Hobart, Perth and Darwin," Liz says. "Merino wool makes such beautiful fabric and it is great to see what these young minds are capable of doing with the new wool textiles available today. To see these country students come to the city and be involved in this way continues to be amazing for me." AWI fashion manager Scarlet Hill, herself a product of the Australian Wool Fashion Awards, praised Liz's work for continuing to bring wool to a new generation. "I must be one of hundreds who Liz has supported and inspired over nearly three decades of the Awards," Scarlet says. "She provides opportunities and facilitates wool education by encouraging people to design garments from wool. By working with and wearing wool, the fibre becomes easily recognised as a natural fibre of choice, suitable for all seasons and all occasions. Her continued passion and enthusiasm for the Australian wool industry is infectious." More than 300 invited guests, entrants, industry leaders and VIPs packed the Fashion and Style Pavilion at the Sydney Royal Easter Show gala evening to applaud the winners at the Awards ceremony and celebrate the latest innovations in Australian Merino wool. In front of a large media contingent, more than 70 prizes were awarded to 100 finalist entries in 11 categories. Secondary students from rural areas modelled in the fashion parades. Garments from this year's Australian Wool Fashion Awards were also on display at fashion parades at the New England Wool Expo in Armidale earlier this month. More information: www.tawfa.com.au www.wool.com/AWI-News.htm The Australian Wool Fashion Awards fashion parades showcased Australian Merino wool at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. PHOTO: YANN AUDIC