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Beyond the Bale : December 2013
The commerciality of the designs of this year’s Woolmark Texprint Award winner, Signe Rand Ebbesen, was highly commended by the judges of this year’s competition. Danish designer and London’s Royal College of Art graduate Ms Ebbesen competed against 23 other UK-trained new graduates in the Woolmark Texprint Award that celebrates design excellence in fabrics created with 60 per cent or more Merino wool. The fabrics can be in forms including printed, knitted, woven or mixed media fabric, with judges looking for designers excelling in the inventive use of wool in textile design. The prize was judged by head of sourcing and production at French fashion label Roland Mouret, Daliah Simble, and collection development manager, Estelle Williams, along with the managing director, John Walsh, of British manufacturer of luxury wool fabrics Abraham Moon & Sons. Both Ms Williams and Ms Simble said it was the commercial aspects of Ms Ebbesen’s designs which really saw her stand out. “She has thought about the commerciality of her work which is really important, shown by her ability to work to a brief,” Ms Williams said. Her colleague, Ms Simble, added, “We both loved Signe’s innovative techniques which we at Roland Mouret look for; we would love some of those fabrics at Roland Mouret”. Mr Walsh agreed with his fellow judges, attributing the young designer’s win to her superb use of texture. “She has a distinctive style and understanding of the benefits of this natural fibre, which she used to bring her work to life,” Mr Walsh said. “Some of the textures were beautiful and she has also understood the commercial side to her work. She can go far with it.” The judges praised the courses run by the UK fashion schools, particularly noting the Royal College of Art and Central St Martins, for teaching designers about the commercial aspects of design and the translation of textiles into garments. AWI is a Texprint foundation sponsor, and prize sponsor of the third annual Woolmark Texprint Award. The award has the support of industry experts worldwide and provides a springboard into the industry for the 24 shortlisted designers. The prize was announced in Paris as part of the Première Vision trade show in September. For many of the competitors, their presence at the trade show is their first experience of exhibiting and selling their works alongside professional and established designers. The prize was presented to Ms Ebbesen by Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture member Maurizio Galante and AWI global strategic advisor Peter Ackroyd. “AWI is delighted to continue its work with Texprint, which helps to guide and support the best new design graduates into their professional lives,” Mr Ackroyd said. “This is synonymous with AWI’s mission to support new designers especially in their creative, innovative and artistic use of Merino wool.” As the winner of the Woolmark Texprint Award, Ms Ebbesen was awarded £1,000 in prize money as well as access to training on the benefits and uses of wool through her nearest Woolmark office. More information: www.texprint.org.uk Woolmark Texprint Award winner Signe Rand Ebbesen shows her work to the judges John Walsh, Estelle Williams and Daliah Simble at the Première Vision trade show. PHOTO: James McCauley. 19 OFF-FARM Textile graduate a Woolmark winner FAST FACTS l AWI supports the UK’s leading textile graduate design prize Texprint. l AWI sponsors the Woolmark Texprint Award to help educate early career textile designers about the benefits of working with wool. l Designer Signe Rand Ebbesen won the 2013 Woolmark Texprint Award due to her innovative use of texture and the commercial aspects of her designs. December 2013 BEYOND THE BALE