Mark the 7th July on your social calendar, as the PLC Armidale Astra Arts Centre will be the venue for one of the most glamorous events of the season! The Fleece to Fashion Awards will celebrate wool in all of its dimensions and across all stages of production – the highlight of the evening being a fashion parade of finalists’ garments. Liz Foster fills us in on the finer details of the event …
Hi Liz. Many of our readers will know you for your extensive work within the wool industry over the years – particularly with the Australian Wool Fashion Awards (TAWFA). What’s your role with The Fleece to Fashion (F2F) Awards?
I’m a board member of the Fleece to Fashion Awards, am heavily involved in presenting the parade, but more importantly I’m mentoring Lucy Virgona and Mary Carter to transition into my job!
What’s the history behind Fleece to Fashion?
Fleece to Fashion is a new not for profit organisation. Between all board members we have 100 years of experience in the wool and fashion industry.
What’s the aim of the event?
The aim of this event is to bridge the divide between the Australian wool and fashion industries.
Representing both the local and global spheres, this award event celebrates and promotes wool in all of its dimensions, and all stages of production.
F2F invites everyone to celebrate the compelling story of Australian Merino wool production and its esteemed presence within the top fashion and textile manufacturing capitals across the world.
Our core business is to educate and inspire the next generations of designers to continue to experiment and explore the many qualities Merino wool has to offer.
Our purpose is to influence the industry from the grassroots, with the goal of seeing wool as the number one used natural fibre in Australian and global fashion. Promoting wool as a natural, biodegradable and sustainable fibre is central to F2F.
Where and when will the awards be held this year?
The Awards Presentation Night will be held in the PLC Armidale Astra Arts Centre, Crest Road, Armidale, on Saturday 7th July – commencing at 6pm.
What categories can people enter at the awards – and are entries also open to students?
There are seven categories, starting with Secondary School students; the brief is “Splash of Colour”.
Young Emerging Designer – this is for students who are studying or have studied fashion at a university, TAFE or recognised fashion college; most entrants are under 30.
A new category is Active Outdoor Wear.
Sustainable Wearable Art is for recycled/upcycled garments or blankets, giving them a new life in art.
Racewear – an outfit fit for the like of Melbourne Cup Day.
Evening Wear – glamorous gowns fit for any red carpet event.
And a favourite always is Bridal Wear – wedding gowns fit for any cathedral wedding.
Please run us briefly through the event programme. When will garments be judged, and when can we look forward to seeing the fabulous fashion parade?
Judging is to be held on Friday 6th July, something new, just a day before the big night. Entrants are invited to dress models chosen by F2F for judging, but this isn’t compulsory. Many entrants do like to see their creations go to judging presented the way they visualise; sometimes these instructions are hard to put on paper.
The Awards presentation night will start at 6pm, with guests arriving in their black tie winter woollies. They’ll be served a complimentary drink, followed by substantial canapés in the form of a three course meal: entree, main meal and dessert. Food will be provided by Nathan and Enora Walker, Aurora Catering and served by hospitality students from Armidale and Duval High Schools.
The fashion parade of finalist garments will commence around 8pm and after a short break, the presentation of prizes will begin.
What special guests/exhibitors/judges are you expecting at the event this year?
Our celebrity judges for 2018 are well known Australian Designers Akira Isogawa and Charlie Brown, who will be joined by freelance journalist and regular New England Living Magazine contributor, Emma Downey.
Local talented singer Stephanie Murat will entertain during the evening.
Whom would you like to thank for helping to make this year’s Fleece to Fashion Awards possible?
The entrants; without them we wouldn’t have a completion.
The guests attending, who make the night a glamorous and fun night out.
But more importantly, without the generosity of sponsors and supporters, the event would not be possible. We would like to acknowledge NSW State Government, Armidale Regional Council, Landmark, Cressbrook Merino Stud, Roberts & Morrow, Bayer Better Choices, Quality Hotel Powerhouse Armidale, New England Wool, Bluey Merino, Jessie Street Drycleaners, New England Surveying and Engineering, Charmac Merino Stud,Meyer Vandenberg, New England Living Magazine, Grazag, Focus Magazine, Armidale Carpet Choices and the Royal Hotel Armidale.
Where can we purchase tickets to the event, or find out more information?
Tickets are on sale at: www.fleecetofashion.com – hit the purchase tickets button. A site map will come up, and you can choose your seats.
Tickets have been selling extremely well; my advice is to hop online now and make your purchase.
If you have no access to the internet, please call me on 0407 456 056, have your credit card ready and I can purchase for you.
Interview: Jo Robinson.