An award winning international designer set the catwalk abuzz and took the Henty Natural Fibre Fashion Awards onto the world stage with her cream lace supreme garment.
It was a back-to-back at win in the award for New Zealand designer Laurel Judd, with judges David Tester, Albury, Roxanne Cooper, Sydney, and Beryl Brain, Narrandera, unanimous in their decision.
The supreme garment was a cream lace felted formal dress with a circular overskirt, matching hairpiece and earrings.
It was capably modelled by Billabong High School Year 10 student Ashleigh Mulloy, Holbrook.
Ms Judd also won the Best Knitted or Crocheted garment with a figure hugging grey knitted dress with cerise ruffle highlights.
The garment had leggings, a petticoat, anklets and matching boots, earrings and stocking socks.
Open to amateurs and professionals, the awards recognise the innovative use of natural fibres – from paddock to catwalk – in creative but wearable clothing.
The judging emphasis was on visual appeal, creative and innovative use of natural fibres.
The 14th Henty Natural Fibre Fashion Awards were a highlight of the Country Lifestyle program at the Henty Machinery Field Days on September 19-21.
Awards organiser Lyn Jacobsen said the natural fibres could include wool, alpaca, angora, mohair, cashmere, cotton, silk and linen.
Mrs Jacobsen said the awards had attracted almost 90 entries from around the nation, as well as New Zealand and a traditional Nepalese design.
She said Laurel Judd’s back-to-back win in the supreme garment would continue to lift the profile of the awards internationally.
Mrs Jacobsen said the judges were impressed with the many design elements of the supreme garment.
“We had more than 80 entries, including 28 millinery entries, and they were supported by big crowds each day to watch the parades,’’ she said.
“We have been grateful for Bev Frohling’s contribution to stage decoration and this year was her final year.’’
Ms Judd received a Bernina B350PE sewing machine valued at $2199 plus $1000 cash prize money.
Wodonga designer Cathy Upton won the accessories section with a pink and grey felted bag with matching coin purse.
Ms Upton said the bag used a seamless felting method, taking up to 18 hours to complete.
“It is all about durability or small, slow fashion and having an item which lasts more than a season,’’ she said.
“The bag can be put into the washing machine and easily pushed back into shape.’’
Ms Upton said technique would be lost unless young and upcoming designers were supported by competitions like the Natural Fibre Fashion Awards.
“There was some fantastic student entries in the awards – the winning design was so elegant,’’ she said.
“These awards show how wool can be used in more than one way – it can be used in any garment because it breathes and absorbs perspiration.’’
Karen Hyde, Wagga, won the millinery award for her gold and dove grey boater.
Anne Bilston, Rutherglen, won the student encouragement award for her classic black and white polka dot dress.
The winning garment was modelled by Maddison Clancy 15, of Culcairn, with the judges complimenting the design, style, handiwork and finish.
She received a Bernina Activa 125 sewing machine from Bernina and Julia’s Fabric Boutique, Wodonga.
Compere for this year was Albury designer Peta Schaefer, with modelling by Billabong High School Year 10 students, hair styling by Wendy Percy, Allison Judd and Debbie Barnes, and makeup by Ashleigh Weule, Jane Lieschke and Kay Dean, Arbonne.