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The 32nd Australian Wool Fashion Awards Wrap Video – Armidale

April 1st, 2013

The 32nd Australian Wool Fashion Awards – Armidale

March 26th, 2013

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I had the absolute honor of being selected as a fashion judge for 32nd Australian Wool Fashion Awards in Armidale, NSW.

A role which needed to be taken seriously, I was one of five talented professionals, Bonnie Lythgoe (So You Think You Can Dance), Peter Everett (TV Presenter), Faye De Lanty (Fashion Writer) and Jo Nathan (Designer at Woolli Woolli) who had to critique 90 garments from many categories submitted by designers all over Australia and New Zealand.

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With many categories including evening wear, race wear, bridal, recycled wool and the very fun Alice In Wonderland theme, things were very competitive and the designers had to make sure there was a minimum of 60% Merino wool used in their designs.

Choosing the ‘best of’ in each category was quite a task, it’s so hard to not make every designer a winner when the build and design quality was so great.

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We all had so much fun and worked so collaboratively to make sure the best of each category was selected because this is the future of our young (and some old!) designers who deserve every opportunity to win scholarships or grants at the countries leading fashion colleges.

The Australia Wool Fashion Awards strives to find and award the best designers. It also creates an incredible platform for these designers to enter and submit their work.

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On the big night of nights, the finalists we had selected were sent down the runway in the gardens of the Historic Saumarez Homestead in Armidale where a colourful array of outfits were paraded. The very professional, funny and gorgeous Deborah Hutton hosted the night, keeping everyone entertained.

Laura Davis from All Saints Anglican School Merrimac on Queensland’s Gold Coast took out first prize in the School section before taking out the three-year, half-fee degree Scholarship to study at North Sydney’s Raffles College of Design.

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Laurel Judd from Napier, New Zealand won both the Racewear and Knitwear sections as well as the Supreme Award, winning a gold and diamond pendant and earrings worth $10,000 donated by Margot Edwina Rees Antiques, Tenterfield.

Workwear winner was QUT student Shea Cameron of Biggera Waters, Queensland while Larissa Murdock from Werribee in Victoria took out the recycled wool category with an outfit made from knitted jumpers sourced from Op Shops. Long time entrant Judy Bond from Buronga, NSW crocheted her way to two second prizes and a first in wearable art.

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Jane Frazer from Deniliquin won the evening wear category with a stunning cream and gunmetal pleated gown made from Wool Charné fabric. Libby Spring and Celia Fraser from Fullarton South Australia won the bridal wear with a gown trimmed with Nanna’s lace curtains.

Whitehouse Institute of Design Drawing Scholarships went to Jessica McClatchy from PLC Pymble, NSW and Bianca Scott and Sarah Scott from All Saints Anglican School, Queensland.

Academy of Design Scholarships went to Armidale students Nichola Eliott from New England Girls’ School, Miriam Lott and Edith Rose from Armidale High School.

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THE 2013 AUSTRALIAN WOOL FASHION AWARDS

Section One – Secondary School Award – Alice in Wonderland
Highly Commended: Danielle Rawle, All Saints Anglican School, Merrimac QLD
Highly Commended: Evie Weir, Duval High School Armidale
2nd Prize: Miriam Lott, Armidale High School
1st Prize: Laura Davis, All Saints Anglican School, Merrimac QLD

Section Two – Young Designer Award
2nd Prize: Tara Barker, Academy of Design, Robina QLD
1st Prize: Nichola Eliott, New England Girls’ School, Armidale

Section Three – Knitwear
Highly Commended: Janice Ward, Young NSW
Highly Commended: Stephanie McGuigan, South Hurstville, Raffles College of Design, North Sydney
2nd Prize: Judy Bond, Buronga NSW
1st Prize: Laurel Judd, Napier New Zealand

Section Four – Workwear
2nd Prize: Taree Birse, Academy of Design, Robina QLD
1st Prize: Shea Cameron, Biggera Waters QLD, QUT

Section Five – Racewear
Highy Commended: Rycki Symons, Robina Academy of Design, QLD
2nd Prize: Sam Stolhand, Young NSW
1st Prize: Laurel Judd, Napier New Zealand

Section Seven – Recycled
2nd Prize: Lucy Virgona, Strathfield, UTS
1st Prize: Larissa Murdock, Werribee VIC

Section Eight- Wearable Art
2nd Prize: Julie Thornton, North Rockhampton QLD
1st Prize: Judy Bond Buronga NSW

Section Nine – Evening Wear
Highly Commended: Taree Birse, Southport QLD, Academy of Design
Highly Commended: Azulant Akora, East Victoria Park WA, Edith Cowan University
2nd Prize: Judy Bond, Buronga NSW
1st Prize: Jane Frazer, Deniliquin NSW

Section Ten – Bridal Wear
2nd Prize: Rycki Symons, Robina QLD, Academy of Design
1st Prize: Celia Fraser & Libby Spring, Fullarton SA TAFE

SPECIAL AWARDS

Whitehouse Institute of Design Drawing Scholarship
Jessica McClatchy, PLC Pymble

Whitehouse Institute of Design Drawing Scholarship
Bianca Scott All Saints Anglican School Merrimac QLD

Whitehouse Institute of Design Drawing Scholarship –
Sarah Scott – All Saints Anglican School Merrimac QLD

Academy of Design Scholarships
Nichola Elliot – New England Girls’ School, Armidale
Miriam Lott – Armidale High School
Edith Rose – Armidale High School

Raffles College of Design Half fee 3 year Degree Scholarship
Laura Davis – All Saints Anglican School, Merrimac QLD

SUPREME AWARD
Laurel Judd – Napier New Zealand

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It’s incredible how emotional I was on the night. Watching these amazingly gorgeous girls and boys develop and give life to each of the garments they paraded. They kindly donated their time, also with the organiser Liz Foster – who has been running the awards from day 1! Amazing efforts!

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The amount of work and time that goes into every one of these garments is truly outstanding.

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This gorgeous red dress was a clear favourite the moment it appeared on stage.

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Detail, detail, detail. Like nothing I’ve ever seen! Impressive!

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All the fun after the show – such an amazing evening!

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Post awards fun outside. Here we are getting interviewed by Kate Lillian Muir of Australian Wool Innovation.

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The impressive Saumarez Homestead, Peter Everett, Bonnie Lythgoe, myself and Bonnie laughing away.

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Here are the judges, such a privilege to announce the winners with Deborah Hutton.

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Where Would I Rather Be?

May 11th, 2010

Where would I rather be? I’d rather be at the Huka Lodge, New Zealand.

It’s one thing to escape Sydney for a weekend and head to the Southern Highlands for unwind and relax. But where do you go when you want to unwind and relax, for a longer period of time and in one of the world’s most beautiful countries only a short plane flight away? That would be Huka Lodge in Taupo, in the central North Island of New Zealand.

Never before have I seen such uninterrupted splendour and grace. A calm climate and relaxed environment sourrounded by snow-capped mountains, wild forrest and the crystal clear streams and lakes make this seem like you are in a fairy tale. It’s like looking at pictures of something in Canada, but it’s not Canada. It’s New Zealand.

The levels of accommodation available are second to none. They by far surpass anything my eyes have ever landed on. For instance, the highest level of accommodation Huka Lodge has to offer is “The Owner’s Cottage” which is classified to be one of the best in the World! It’s a four bedroom cottage, over looking the river, with it’s own infinity pool and furnishings that rest your mind, body and soul. I’ve attached the images below because it needs to be seen to be believed. The main image is of “The Owners Cottage”. Ahhhh-mazing!

Fishing, hunting, hiking, mountain biking, golf, jet-boating, para-sailing, sky diving, V8 Supercars – you name it, Huka Lodge and it’s surrounding towns have it to offer to you. Whether you want a jam packed trip or a relaxing one, you have the choice.

The options to dine are endless. You can privately dine in areas all over the Lodge, under chandeliers, in courtyards, by the pool or in hidden gardens, away from prying eyes. How about your own private chef? Now that sounds like my cup of tea!

Speaking of prying eyes, if you are a celebrity, you will definately be coming here to hide from the cameras – the same way hundreds of the worlds most famous and influential people have stayed. Just about every Queen, King, Prince, Princess and Dame has been here, including Queen Elizabeth II. Then the likes of Bill Gates, Joan Collins, Kate Winslet, Barbara Streisand, Bette Midler, Robin Williams… The list goes on…

So where would I rather be right now? Huka Lodge, New Zealand.