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Beyond the Bale : March 2011
12 OFF-FARM March 2011 BEYOND THE BALE Australian wool fashion apparel was in the limelight in New York City in January as part of the annual "G'DAY USA: Australia Week" promotional program. The Australia Week Committee partnered with AWI in organising the fashion showcase. This is the third year that AWI and Woolmark has been a sponsor of the event. The event provided emerging Australian designers with a unique opportunity to showcase their designs to the influential New York based fashion industry, including retailers, fashion media, stylists and agents. Austrade's New York-based Senior Trade Commissioner, Gerard Seeber welcomed Woolmark's involvement. "We are delighted that once again, the key sponsor of this year's fashion event is Woolmark. Initiatives such as G'DAY USA globally promote both our talented Australian designers and the superior qualities of Merino wool," Mr Seeber said. "The New York event showcases the professionalism of our local industry in the heart of a $180 billion fashion industry and more importantly allows us to receive feedback from key fashion influencers in NYC." Designer Tanya Emon of Australian fashion label Tato & Memi described the experience of attending this year's event as invaluable. "It has been a great opportunity. It is very exciting to see that the brand and collection has been so well- received, especially our quality wool fabrics and finishes," she said. "We adore working with wool. Woolmark's support of Australian fashion is fantastic. We have been able to utilize the versatile nature of Merino wool in our collections, which not only increases the prestige of our designs, but also the practicality and durability for the wearer." Two of the Australian fashion labels, Serpent & The Swan and Fujinella, have already had their designs chosen to be photographed by US magazine Marie Claire. Fujinella's head designer Kellie Donovan described the event as a valuable tool in opening doors to the media. Since G'DAY USA's inception five years ago, over 40 Australian labels have showcased in New York. Some notable past Australian designers include Gail Sorronda, Kirrily Johnston, Jayson Brunsdon, Konstantina Mittas, Jets, Metalicus, and Seduce. This year, AWI was also involved in promotions on the West Coast, dressing Myer ambassadors Jessica Hart and Kris Smith in Merino wool at the G'DAY USA Black Tie Gala held at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles. Supermodel Jessica Hart wore a stunning Aurelio Costarella gown made from Australian Merino wool and silk, while Kris Smith donned a sharp Merino wool suit by celebrated men's tailor Arthur Galan. New York-based Sydney-born Jessica Hart is a regular on the international model circuit, modelling in campaigns for Victoria's Secret, Guess, Gap, L'Oréal and Moschino and has appeared on countless magazine covers including Vogue. Kris Smith is a former UK rugby league player, partner of Aussie singer Dannii Minogue, and face of Myer. Not only did Jessica Hart look stunning wearing Australian Merino wool on the red carpet, but she loved the comfort that it provided. "It feels great, it's so soft and beautiful," she said. The Black Tie Gala event was packed with celebrities to honour the contributions of Bee Gees' front man Barry Gibb, actress Abbie Cornish, and tennis legend Roy Emerson. Guests enjoyed an Australian style cuisine designed and prepared by Oprah's favourite celebrity chef Curtis Stone. More information: www.australia-week.com Backstage footage before the LA event: on the Woolmark channel on YouTube. www.youtube.com/woolmarkonline FAST FACTS l A successful two-day fashion showcase, sponsored by Woolmark, was held in New York in January as part of the "G'DAY USA: Australia Week" promotional program. l Australian designers showcased their labels to the influential New York based fashion industry. l Woolmark dressed Myer ambassadors Jessica Hart and Kris Smith in Merino wool for G'DAY USA's signature event, the Black Tie Gala in Los Angeles. Woolmark says G'day USA Myer ambassadors Jessica Hart and Kris Smith wearing Merino wool on the red carpet of the G'DAY USA Black Tie Gala in Los Angeles. "IT FEELS GREAT, IT'S SO SOFT AND BEAUTIFUL." JESSICA HART