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Merino brings cool to RAFW catwalk
May '09
Australian Merino wool showed its 'cool' side in a number of spring/summer 0910 designer collection shows at the 2009 Rosemount Australian Fashion Week (RAFW) – affirming the fibre's reputation as the natural choice for year round fashion.

Local designers including fashion royalty Jayson Brunsdon and new guard stars – Ben Pollitt (of Friedrich Gray), Gary Bigeni and Konstantina Mittas – wowed buyers, the media and other members of the fashion pack with their diverse collections of super soft and featherweight wool jerseys that demonstrated Australian Merino wool's naturally luxurious feel, breathability and versatility.

Australian Wool Innovation CEO Brenda McGahan says this year's RAFW saw an unprecedented number of Australian fashion designers using Australian Merino wool in their spring/summer collections.

'This is the direct result of our continuing efforts to educate the fashion design community about the latest developments in wool textile technology and connect them with the supply chain here and overseas.

'With their support, we're getting the message to their trade customers and consumers about wool's natural suitability for year round apparel.

'This helps create new demand along the supply chain which is good news for woolgrowers and the fashion retail industry.'

Inspired by his mother Dorothy, the easy undone glamour of Australian women and a sense of charming simplicity, Jayson Brunsdon's spring/summer resort 0910 collection is an expression of the simple things in life – classic shirtdresses, shorts, sundresses, tees and shirts – all a hint of escapism through the luxury of fabrication. Australian Merino wool brought characteristic elegance and sophistication to wool jersey halter jumpsuits, town dresses and gowns.

Inspired by the David Lynch film 'Dune' and the architecture of Zaha Hadid, Ben Pollitt's 8th collection for Friedrich Gary is a dazzling mix of sleek, luxurious and modern pieces created to be timeless classics. Titled Transgression, the collection featured draped and clean, elegant and feminine lines with a strong focus on the touch and feel of the super soft wool and other fabrics.

Digital prints on Australian Merino wool – an Australian-first and a unique collaboration with Sydney-based Think Positive Designer Prints – animated the collection as design inserts and engineered placements to complement the cut and drape of the garments.

Exposing the many facets and elements of an individual's personality, Gary Bigeni's spring/summer 0910 collection – Beside Ourselves – is an exploration into the multi-dimensional representation of emotion and feeling that we each possess but rarely show.

Bigeni used 'Sabine', a lightweight 150gm, 100% wool jersey from Adelaide-based Michell 1870 (a division of Michell Pty Ltd) to create his signature timeless, clean and fluid aesthetic. The collection featured elegant and cleverly constructed wool jerseys that morph into tops and Merino wool high waisted, wide leg pants, singlet dresses and jackets, presented in classic black and specially dyed grey and lilac tones.

The Konstantina Mittas spring/summer 0910 collection - The Strangeness - strangely familiar yet startlingly new, celebrates a new modernity. Distant echoes of Tudor times collide with the future in a vortex world of quarks, protons and electrons. The use of traditional couture hand knotting techniques and high tech wool development, creates texture and provides an 'individualist and futuristic' dimension to the collection.

Australian Wool Innovation Limited

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