Award winning wool designs fascinate crowds

By Olivia Duffey

The best wool day wear, sportswear and formal evening wear the industry has to offer was elegantly on display at the Elders Riverina Sheep Expo on Friday.

Local models strutted the catwalk in a picturesque Waring Gardens for the sheep expo crowd, and then inside the Multi Arts Hall to showcase some of the pieces to Thrive Riverina attendees. 

The fashion show is curated by talented local designer Jane Frazer who said 20 outfits were worn by models from Deniliquin, Griffith and Jerilderie.

Ms Frazer said the show was more about innovation in the fabrics than the designs themselves.

"The fabric innovation and new technology that goes into producing those fabrics is incredible and was able to be showcased," she said.

"They are all woollen fabrics, but they have different purposes for sport, evening wear and others in the way the fibres are bred and used, to how it is formed and knitted together."

Ms Frazer said the fashion parade is intended show to showcase just one of the industries stemming from the sheep industry.

"The whole point of doing a fashion parade is that we see the end product. So, you could see everything right from the beginning of the wool production and the sheep themselves to this final product on the day," she said.

"It was great to share with a completely different crowd at Thrive Riverina, which also suited the event."

The show included looks from Australian Wool Innovation and pieces from the Fleece to Fashion design competition. Featured designers included Stella McCartney, MJ Bale, Country Road, Witchery, Sportscraft, Trenery, Saba, Sam Stolhand, Diana Wei and Ms Frazer.

Ms Frazer's featured wool gown recently took out second place at the Fleece to Fashion design competition, in the evening wear category.

"I am proud of the design; it is probably one of my favourites," she said.

"I just like doing that particular type of construction and it was nice to have a different sort of fabric with paint on it.

"It was heavier than I would normally want but I wanted the paint on it because it was very different. It was like liquorice which is what I liked about it.

"When they are heavy, they flow differently so I loved seeing the model doing a little swivel and spin. It is always nice to see your designs on a real person."