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Aussie designers champion wool in the Sydney
Apr '10
Fashion designers are demonstrating how wool is a natural fibre for all seasons and all occasions to over 50,000 potential new wool consumers at the 2010 Sydney Royal Easter Show.

Secondary students from rural areas are modelling in 65 fashion parades at this years' Sydney Royal Easter Show. Designs showcased represent a cross section of entries from the 2010 Australian Wool Fashion Awards (TAWFA). The annual competition is open to all ages and skill levels.

Sponsored by the wool marketing, research and development body Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), the awards have been raising the awareness of wool to designers and consumers alike for 29 years.

Awards founder and organiser Liz Foster has helped hundreds of budding designers through the competition. As a woolgrower Mrs Foster also wanted to encourage and educate younger people about the natural fibre so important to many country areas.

“Merino wool makes such beautiful fabric and it is great to see what these young minds are capable of doing with the new wool textiles available today. To see these country students come to the city and be involved in this way continues to be amazing for me,” she added.

Based at Armidale on the fine wool growing New England Tablelands in NSW, the awards have evolved into one of Australia's most enduring and challenging fashion competitions with hundreds of entries across many categories.

This year's judges included, Jonathan Ward, Executive Designer RM Williams, Charlotte Smith, owner of the historic Darnell Collection, Jill Roberts of the Fashion & Textile Gallery/Sewing Room as well as Gordon Smith and Hammock & Vines designer, musical & theatre Director George Torbay.

AWI Fashion Manager Scarlet Hill, herself a product of the TAWFA awards, praised Liz Foster's work, continuing to bring wool to a new generation.

“I must be one of hundreds who Liz has supported and inspired over three decades of TAWFA. She provides opportunities and facilitates wool education by encouraging people to design garments from wool. By working with and wearing wool, the fibre becomes easily recognised as a natural fibre of choice, suitable for all seasons and all occassions. Her continued passion and enthusiasm for the Australian wool industry is infectious.”

Over 300 invited guests, entrants, industry leaders and VIPs packed the Fashion & Style Pavilion at the Sydney Royal Easter Show on Wednesday evening to celebrate the latest innovations in Australian Merino Wool, with the showing of The Australian Wool Fashion Awards collection.

Over 70 prizes were awarded to 100 finalist entries in eleven categories including Secondary School Student, Tertiary Student, Knitwear, Woven, Women's Ready To Wear, Recycled Wool, Childrens wear, Wearable Art, Evening and Bridal Wear in front a large media contingent.

The Supreme Award went this year to Jane Robson & Annette Jahauri from Whittlesea, Victoria with their amazing hand felted and painted coat named Famous Paintings.

Australian Wool Innovation Limited

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