NEW England Merino stud breeder Chris Clonan found out that innovative wool growers and top garment designers have a lot in common recently.
During an on-farm visit by the design duo from 2015/16 International Woolmark Prize womenswear winner Teatum Jones, Mr Clonan told designers Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones that as a breeder he liked to create something new and different.
“As a stud breeder we are always trying to breed the next top animal or something a bit different that is going to be recognised.
“They were saying a similar thing as designers, when trying to create a new garment or fashion idea that will taken up by the industry.”
Mr Clonan said it was important that innovation in wool aligned with innovation at the design and garment creation level.
“We are all being innovative and when you look at what the processors have been able to do, to process coarser wool that handles like finer wool.”
He liked the concept of the IWP, but would love to see an Australian designer win it.
“It’s all about promoting wool, and if you’ve got designers out there happy to promote wool and talk about it, then that’s great for our industry.”
The designers visited Mr Clonan’s Alfoxton Merino stud property near Armidale, New South Wales, recently, before the limited edition collection that won Teatum Jones the 2015/16 International Woolmark Prize for womenswear was launched before going on sale in selected David Jones stores in Australia.
The designers said it was amazing to be on a wool-producing property to see the passion and dedication wool growers have towards the fibre and their animals.
“As designers we have a lot in common with wool growers as we use both traditional and modern technology to create a product for a specific market, a season and of course a price.
“It’s great to have us all linked by the one great natural fibre,” Catherine Teatum said.
As one of the original retail partners for the International Woolmark Prize, David Jones is the exclusive stockist in Australia for the Teatum Jones collection. The collection will be available globally through International Woolmark Prize retail partners including Boutique 1 (Dubai), Boon the Shop (Seoul) Harvey Nichols (London), Isetan Mitsukoshi (Tokyo), LECLAIREUR (Paris), mytheresa.com (online), Saks Fifth Avenue (New York) and Verso (Antwerp).
Australian Wool Innovation said David Jones is Australia’s leading retailer known to showcase several luxury brands, offering customers the finest options across fashion, beauty and home. David Jones’s philosophy perfectly aligns to that of the International Woolmark Prize: fostering the development of emerging international designers and being constantly on the lookout for the next big name in fashion, AWI said.
David Jones’s general manager womenswear, Damian Burke said the collection offered something new, exciting and incredibly fashion-forward for wool garments.
Teatum Jones was chosen as the Woolmark IWP womenswear winner during New York Fashion Week in February after a global search that nominated 41 emerging womenswear designers from across the world.
The design duo used fine Australian Merino wool for their winning collection, partnering with a specialist guipure lace mill in France to create innovative and vibrant geometric Merino laces. The designers then developed a stretch wool that feels similar to a scuba suit, upon which they bonded the Merino lace, creating a luxurious lace fabric that performs as a structured tailoring cloth.