Belgian designer takes home Woolmark Prize

Belgian designer takes home Woolmark Prize (Getty)

Belgian designer Christian Wijnants took home the prestigious International Woolmark Prize this weekend during London Fashion Week.

After some stiff competition, he came out on top and received 100,000 Australian dollars (£66,474) in prize money, as well as the chance for his winning collection to be rolled out in large retailers across the world.

This includes Harvey Nichols in the UK, Bergdorf Goodman in the US, 10 Corso Como in Italy, Eickoff in Germany, David Jones in Australia and Joyce in China, who will all begin selling Wijnants designs come September.

His show at the ME London managed to stand out to the judges thanks to his unusual seamless garments.

Inside his capsule Merino wool collection, Wijnants showcased items knitted all in one piece, using a combination of hand knitting and hand dyeing techniques.

This involved deep colours inspired by natural crystals and minerals, which he had to experiment heavily with to ensure they were striking and not at risk of shrinkage.

"Christian invented a new shape and made it possible with an industrial production process," commented Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia and L'Uomo Vogue and member of the judging panel.

"His designs are flattering, feminine and sexy. A modern interpretation of wool," she went on to add.

Supported internationally by fashion councils, the global fashion competition recognises creativity in merino wool use and aims to develop a new generation of fashion talent.

It covers 16 countries and finalists represent Australia, China, Europe, USA, Japan and India, involving 70 designers who are each tasked with making their very own capsule collections from wool.

Commenting on the competition, Stuart McCullough, Woolmark company managing director, said that this year's content saw "exceptional artisanship and design presented".

Next year's award ceremony will take place in Milan, with 2015's ceremony due to be located in Paris.

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