AS one of the jewels in London Fashion Week’s crown, a star-studded judging panel – including Victoria Beckham – gathered in London’s ME Hotel to decide the winer of the International Woolmark Prize 2013.
With a moving emphasis away from glamour and onto new global talent, Donnatella Versace, Posh Spice, Diane Von Furstenberg, Franca Sozzani, Tim Blanks, Andre Keith, Carla Sozzani and Paula Reed judged the six finalists’ collections examining innovative wool designs and experimental techniques.
With the ultimate prize of £65,000 on offer and the chance for their designs to sell in the exclusive worldwide boutiques of Harvey Nichols, Bergdorf Goodman and judge Carla Sozzani’s Milan based 10 Corso Cosmo, the competition was fierce but produced the ultimate winner of Dutch designer Christian Wijnants.
With a dynamic range of woolen pieces, Wijnants designs were heavy weight, dip dyed creations that embodied the diverse nature of Merino wool. Experimenting with such original techniques of unraveling a piece and then reknitting it, his collection worked on a basis of starting with a single white yarn and exploring all of its creative potential.
With colours originating from bold mineral and crystal inspiration his collection worked around a distinctive natural muse. This continued in the soft yet structured form of his clothes, with rounded sleeves, and cocoon volumes to create an overall waist accentuating effect.
“Christian invented a new shape and made it possible with an industrial production process.’ says Franca Sozzani, Editor in Cheif of Vogue Italia, ‘His designs are flattering, feminine and sexy, a modern interpretation of wool.”
Christian Wijnants’ collection is set to appear in partner retailers globally from September 2013.