Woolmark Prize highlights outstanding knitwear designs

Woolmark Prize highlights outstanding knitwear designs

This year's Woolmark Prize European Award has helped to promote outstanding talent from around the continent.

If you're looking for creative inspiration then there were ideas aplenty on offer at the re-launched competition, which taught everyone about the natural beauty and potential of Merino wool.

Christian Winjants, a 34-year-old knitwear designer from Antwerp, Belgium has just been announced as this year's winner, beating 17 of the most talented European designers.

Chosen by industry figures such as Vogue UK editor Alexandra Schulman, Vogue Germany editor Christiane Arp, designer Giles Deaken and artistic director for Lanvin, Alber Elbaz.

Mr Elbaz said: "Christian's work was right for the project, it was about knitwear, construction and technique."

Mr Winjants will now make it through to the finals in February where he will have the opportunity to try for the global International Woolmark Prize.

The winners of each regional competition will then receive grants and travel to the London Fashion Week in February 2013 where they will be able to present an entire capsule collection of Australian merino wool.

Commenting on the judging, Ms Arp explained the importance of wool in the fashion industry and why it deserves to be given a separate design platform.

"It was wonderful to see that merino wool is such an emotional fibre; we saw it in so many ways it can be used," she said.

The winning designs included a fusion of neon brights and different tensions and stitches to create loose-fit jumpers and cardigans using graduated dye techniques to blend colours gradually.

In its past guise the event recognised a young Karl Lagerfeld and an 18-year-old Yves Saint Laurent, and now with its much-anticipated relaunch it's certainly an exciting time to be a knitwear designer!Merino wool in particular is popular in luxury fabric and high fashion due to its soft texture and versatile nature.

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