The Woolmark Prize
The prestigious international woolmark prize was announced at the end of London Fashion Week. While Richard Malone won the Woolmark prize and Emily Bode won the Karl Lagerfeld award for innovation; what was amazing that apart from the finalists using wool, it was sustainability that took center stage.
Malone created a collection inspired by his upbringing in Wexford to create functional and beautifully made garments. The Irish designer worked with a society of incredibly skilled weavers in Tamil Nadu, India, using completely organic and plant-based dyes as well as more recent innovations using Merino wool and other conscious fibres.
Bode, who we spoke about a few weeks ago and her amazing craft of upcycling vintage textiles to create fashion that is relevant, very aptly won the award for innovation. For this collection, BODE featured overcoats and suits composed of reclaimed and remade equine show blankets, traceable and certified Merino wool jacquard knits inspired by stitch samples from a retired 1930s knitting factory, and housecoats built from hundreds of individually crocheted Merino wool fleurettes.
The other finalists did not disappoint either!
Designer Feng Chen Wang draws inspiration from traditional Chinese medicine in her Woolmark Prize collection to show how garments can contribute to wellbeing and mindfulness. From the use of natural dyes over chemical to the inclusion jade and agate embellishments that follow the map of the meridian system, this is wool as wellness.
Matthew Adams Dolan explores the weather-proof and water-resistant properties of wool in his Woolmark Prize collection, with luxuriously double-faced fabrics and high-tech yarns making up his nautical-inspired, effortlessly tailored garments.
The most prestigious award for emerging designers, just went a notch up with everyone tracing back to the supply chain and keeping it transparent. These emerging designers have set the tone for the years to come!