Tucked away in a corner of the Central Stories Museum in Alexandra was a colourful display of fashion showcasing the previous winners of the “Wool On Creative Fashion Event”. There were quite a variety of outfits, from evening wear, dresses, jackets and coats, all fashioned from merino wool.
“Metallica”, by Laurel Judd, is the 2009 Supreme Award Winner. The slim fitting black and silver evening gown features a single strap, layered fish tail, sequins and diamantes.
“Tribute to Christchurch Cathedral”, by Daphne Randal, is the 2011 Supreme Award Winner. The knitted dress was inspired by stained glass windows. The cape pays tribute to the beautifully patterned roof, brickwork and windows of the Christchurch Cathedral.
“I C Red”, by Laurel Judd, 2010 Supreme Award Winner. This is a cream and black spotted merino knit dress, topped with a red, black and cream merino boucle overcoat featuring flares and ruffles. Next to this is “Merino Queen”, by Kensa Randall, 2011 Young Designer Winner. Her creation was a sleeveless hand woven coat worn with a merino bra and short skirt.
It all started here, with the introduction of Merino sheep into New Zealand. This breed, which produces fine wool used in the garment industry, thrive in the farms on the high country in New Zealand. And what a fine looking animal it is too.
These lovely woollen clothes really brightened up the corner of the museum, and brightened up my visit too. The creativity of young designers is amazing, and working with wool certainly gives their clothes a distinctly Kiwi flavour.