Inspired by designer and philosopher Dieter Rams, British designer Matthew Miller took the idea 'form follows function' to add multifunctional elements for different environments, such as the addition of the garment belt system which acts as a way to turn the garment into an accessory in warmer climates. Miller treated wool in a variety of ways, including innovative treatments to create water resistant fabrics and has erased the need for plastic fastenings by using recycled material, such as waste marble. Using Australian Merino wool ranging from 17.5 to 20.5 microns, the Matthew Miller multi-layered collection reflects the label's design philosophy, developing the inherent character of each piece.
"He showed a good combination between innovation, commercial viability and pieces which will be worn by men on the street," said one of the judges, Emanuele Farneti.
"Winning this award is amazing, it’s a dream come true. To be listed alongside the previous winners of this prize is next level," said Miller.
Bodice was selected as the womenswear winner, praised for technique and manufacturing process. Inspired by her grandmother who used to upcycle saris into quilts, Bodice addressed the issue of consumer waste in fashion with traditional techniques of recycling and cultural beliefs in the spiritual power of cloth to affect our wellbeing. Collaborating with hand weavers and encouraging them to take an unorthodox approach to traditional techniques, Ruchika Sachdeva produced an elegant collection honouring Australian Merino wool and the artisans of India.
"From the ingredients and dyes used all the way to the application and everything in between, her collection really represents a modern woman," said designer Phillip Lim.
"This is a huge opportunity to expand on what I do and keep doing it. To get the chance to work with these retailers is incredible," said Sachdeva.
"Today we saw the world’s best emerging designers present a true celebration of fashion design and innovation, as they shone the spotlight on Australian Merino wool," said The Woolmark Company managing director Stuart McCullough. "Each year, the competition has been fierce and this year was no different. I would also like to commend the mills and spinners who supplied the labels with luxury fabrics and yarns and assisted in the development of innovative fabrications."
Both Matthew Miller and Bodice will each receive AU$200,000 to help support the development of their business. They will also receive ongoing industry mentor support, Woolmark certification for their winning collection and the opportunity to be stocked in some of the world’s most prestigious department stores and boutiques. (RR)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India
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