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Gallery Tam wins Woolmark Platinum Award
Jun '09
Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) has partnered with Hong Kong PolyU's Institute of Textiles and Clothing (ITC), the country's most prestigious design school, to showcase Merino wool in contemporary design at its annual graduation fashion show.

AWI sponsored two awards – the Woolmark Platinum Award and the Flinders Merino and AWI Platinum Award, co-sponsored by Flinders Merino.

2009 marks the third year AWI has supported the coveted awards, which aim to inspire and educate students about Merino wool, the natural fibre for fashion.

The 24 graduating students were from the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Scheme in Fashion and Textiles and the Higher Diploma Scheme in Fashion and Textile Studies. Each student competed for 12 individually sponsored awards including the overall grand award, which was sponsored by Avery Dennison Hong Kong B.V. The judging panel of nine of Hong Kong's local fashion industry identities included Mr Mark Baumann – Visual Director of Lane Crawford (Hong Kong) Ltd and Ms Angelia Teo – Head of Content, Asia Pacific, WGSN.

The Woolmark Platinum Award required the students to create a collection comprising approximately 80% Australian Merino wool. The winner was Gallery Tam, whose collection was inspired by Hyaku Monogatari, a Japanese parlour game from the 1600s used to summon supernatural entities. Tam's collection was sponsored by Multitex Group and Pine Hover Ltd.

The Flinders Merino and AWI Platinum Award also required an 80% Australian Merino wool content. The winner of this award was Sammul Ng who produced a collection based on the theme of women in modern history. With a focus on 3D structure and shape, Ng impressed the judges with his collection of high quality knitted garments. The collection was sponsored by Crystal Sweater Ltd, Knit Fashion Ltd, Novetex Textiles Limited and Leaton Leather & Trading Co Ltd.

AWI's business development manager for Greater China Mr Alex Lai, who was on the judging panel, said: 'It is inspiring to see such innovative use of Australian Merino wool by these young designers. They are the future of design – not just in Hong Kong but potentially much further afield – so it is important they have an opportunity to learn about Merino wool as they embark on their careers in the global fashion industry.'

The two awards include a trip to Australia later this year to visit the Flinders Merino wool farms in Adelaide and the wool auction houses and local retailers and manufacturers in Sydney.

The Institute of Textiles and Clothing (ITC) was established in 1977 from the former Department of Textiles of the Hong Kong Technical College with support from the local industry. One of the region's leading tertiary education institutes, ITC is unique in its multi-disciplinary nature. Its mission is to serve the Hong Kong community by providing quality education programs, research and consultancy related to fashion and textiles.

Australian Wool Innovation

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