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Beyond the Bale : May 2010
May 2010 BEYOND THE BALE SELLING MORE WOOL 13 Wool advocate wins major fashion award "Wool is a pleasure to work with," young fashion wizard Dion Lee says. This is great news for Australian woolgrowers because Dion is Australia's newest rising fashion star with an emerging global following, a position reinforced in March when he won the L'Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival (LMFF) Designer Award presented by Woolmark. Dion has a strong affinity with Australian Merino wool; his designs frequently include the fibre. He creates impeccably cut women's wear that has a strong philosophy of functionality and wearability, demonstrating that wool is the ideal natural fibre for all seasons and all occasions. "There is no better fibre to tailor with," Dion says. "I love the light bouncy handle to suiting wool, and it sews and presses so perfectly. "From a design perspective, wool allows you to build sculptural shapes, whilst moulding beautifully against the body. Garments made with wool become classic pieces that stand the test of time." LMFF director Karen Webster says the Sydney-based designer won the coveted 2010 Designer prize against a superb field of finalists including Gary Bigeni, Dhini, Therese Rawsthorne, Konstantina Mittas, Lui Hon and Gail Sorronda. "It was an extremely difficult decision to make given the abundance of talent and innovation shown," Karen says. "Dion demonstrates a unique balance of precision tailoring and design ingenuity. He has the potential to be Australia's biggest design export." AWI fashion manager Scarlet Hill says AWI is proud to continue to support the very best Australian designers and in doing so help educate future consumers about wool. "AWI's support for awards such as the LMFF Designer Award is all part of its strategy to engage, inspire and educate emerging fashion designers about wool and grow the global community of fashion industry advocates for the fibre," Scarlet says. "Through collaborations with leading designers, AWI and the Woolmark brand foster fashion innovation and showcase the best qualities of Australian Merino wool to the world." Scarlet Hill presented the LMFF Designer Award to Dion Lee at a special event at Melbourne's Docklands in front of a gathering of 350 guests from the fashion, apparel, retail and wool industries. In addition to a $10,000 cash prize, the winner of the LMFF Designer Award presented by Woolmark and supported by Vogue Australia will receive special introductions to AWI's global supply chain network of spinners, knitters, and mills in conjunction with an AWI-hosted trip to either the Pitti Filati (Florence) or Première Vision (Paris) fashion trade events. By winning this award, Dion Lee will also have the opportunity to represent Australia in a new global Woolmark design competition -- the Woolmark Emerging Designer Award -- which follows in the impressive footsteps of the Protégé Project and Woolmark Prize awards to find the best emerging design talent from around the world. More information: www.lmff.com.au; www.wool.com/markets FAST FACTS l Future Australian fashion star Dion Lee has won the L'Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival Designer Award presented by Woolmark. l Dion Lee has a strong affinity with Australian Merino wool. l The Woolmark brand continues its long tradition of supporting fashion creativity and emerging designer talent. Left: a Dion Lee design on the catwalk at the L'Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival. Above: (from left) model, award-winning designer Dion Lee and AWI's Scarlet Hill after the presentation of the Designer Award. PHOTOS: YANN AUDIC