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Beyond the Bale : Aug 07 - Sep 07
13 MERINO 200 BEYOND THE BALE Model Sarah Grant photographed by David Mist for Flair magazine, 1973. Model Penny Pardey, wearing a Pierre Cardin wool dress, photographed by Henry Talbot in Paris, 1967. Model Gill Hamilton photographed by Henry Talbot for the Australian Wool Board in Papua New Guinea, c. 1968. The public has until 22 August 2007 to see a wonderful snapshot of Australian wool in fashion in the commemorative exhibition at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum (www.powerhousemuseum.com). This historic exhibition has been specially created to mark 200 years of Australian wool in fashion and was opened on 25 July. It includes modern, vintage and historical fashion design pieces from major Australian and international designers, celebrating wool and its extraordinary role in the history of modern fashion. Historical material in the exhibition includes some of the earliest fleeces from the Australian Merino flock (see page 16) and other outstanding material from the collection of the Powerhouse Museum, Australia's largest museum of science, technology, design and decorative arts. The exhibition coincides with Sydney Design Week, one of Australia's premier design festivals. Produced annually by the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Design Week showcases home-grown and international talent across the breadth of design. Speakers from the Australian wool and fashion industries will give presentations throughout the festival at the Powerhouse Museum: ú Wednesday 25 July, 12.30--1.30pm -- 'Fashion from fleece' -- curator Jane de Teliga will take you behind the scenes of the exhibition; ú Wednesday 8 August, 12.30--1.30pm -- 'Romancing wool' -- celebrated fashion designer Akira Isogawa in conversation with curator Glynis Jones; and ú Saturday 11 August, 2.00--3.30pm -- 'Fashion Plate High Tea' -- a fashion-themed high tea with fashion designer Jayson Brunsdon (bookings $40). The core of the exhibition comprises fabulous fashion pieces: early historical, vintage and modern pieces by leading international and Australian designers. The vintage selection includes names such as Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Balenciaga, Giorgio Armani and Jenny Kee. The contemporary designers include Akira Isogawa, Josh Goot, Easton Pearson, Jayson Brunsdon, Proenza Schouler and Martin Grant. ú two centuries of wool luxury menswear giant Ermenegildo Zegna, named after the canny tailor and entrepreneur who blitzed the 1930s with his impeccable fine-wool suits. Through its annual Zegna Awards, which allow woolgrowers to compete for the coveted title of Vellus Aureum (Golden Fleece), the Italian fashion house has continued its tradition of championing the world's best superfine Australian Merino wool -- and by extension, the designers who continue to be inspired by that luxurious natural fibre. Australian designer Jenny Kee, whose exuberant wool knits were launched at her Sydney boutique, Flamingo Park, in the 1970s, won a celebrity-strewn international clientele, including the late Princess Diana. Fast forward to today and designers including Jayson Brunsdon, Julien McDonald, Proenza Schouler and Martin Grant are taking Australian Merino wool into the future with new technology and innovative fabric finishes, alongside the world's top knitters and weavers. The constant demand for natural and sustainable fibres sees extremely innovative Australian Merino yarns and textiles become available, offering a variety of benefits to designers, retailers and manufacturers across the globe. From farm to fashion and to the future: Australian Exhibition -- 200 Years of Australian Wool in Fashion Merino wool remains a fibre for all seasons and every generation. AWI's program manager of fashion communications, Melissa Grace, says it is important that passionate renowned designers are all working with Australian Merino wool, taking it from the sheep's back to the catwalks of the world, and setting new trends. "Developing unique Australian Merino wool fabrications and garments with the highest-quality knitters and weavers is an exciting venture for many designers," she says. "Australian Merino wool has become a staple in their seasonal collections." ú Fashion photograph by Henry Talbot for Simplicity Patterns, taken at Werribee Station, Victoria, and published in Vanity Fair, August 1968. MARINCO KOJDANOVS MUSEUM PHOTOGRAPHY 1939 Britain again bought all Australia's wool for the duration of the war. As World War II went on, shearers were prohibited from volunteering for war service. 1947 Scientists in Europe and the US developed instruments for measuring the mean fibre diameter, wool's most important characteristic. The projection microscope and the Airflow instrument became common. 1920 By the mid-1920s the United Kingdom, which had an established and expanding textile industry, was purchasing about 50 per cent of total wool exports. However, Japan and the United States were among Australia's best customers for its wool. 1930 Wool continued to dominate the nation's exports, and represented more than 62 per cent of the total export value of primary products. PHOTOS: POWERHOUSE MUSEUM Comme de Garçons wool rib-knit dress, autumn-winter 2002-03.
Aug 07 - Sep 07 Supplement
Jun 07 - Jul 07 Supplement