Turning natural fibres into wearable art at Henty awards


Holly Johnson, Renay Watson, Ashley Mulloy, Gina Heritage and Maddison Clancy model the winning garments in the 2017 Henty Natural Fibres Fashion Awards.

Designers with a flair for converting natural fibres into wearable art will compete for around $5000 worth of prizes this year.

The 15th Henty Natural Fibre Fashion Awards will showcase designers who have created garments containing at least 70 per cent natural fibres.

The fashion awards have grown into a prestigious event attracting high profile designers, with the 2018 entries to be paraded in the Country Lifestyle marquee at the Henty Machinery Field Days on September 18-20 at 1pm each day.

Last year, the award winners again expanded across international boundaries with the supreme entry from New Zealand for back-to-back wins.

The supreme garment was a cream lace felted formal dress with a circular overskirt, matching hairpiece and earrings entered by Laurel Judd.

Entries number up to 80 this year, including two New Zealand designers and Australia’s only legally blind fashion designer, Nikki Hind, of Albury.

Open to amateurs and professionals, the awards recognise the innovative use of natural fibres – from paddock to catwalk – in creative but wearable clothing.

Awards organiser Lyn Jacobsen said the natural fibres could include wool, alpaca, angora, mohair, cashmere, cotton, silk and linen.

“In the past we have even had entries made from bamboo – as long as the entry contains 70 per cent natural fibres, it is eligible,’’ Mrs Jacobsen said.

“I believe the awards well and truly arrived in 2012, with the winner going on to take out the Australian Wool Fashion Awards.’’

Fashion designers will vie for the chance to win a Bernina B350PE sewing machine valued at $2199 plus $1000 cash prize money for the supreme garment made of natural fibres.

Prizemoney of $500 each is offered for the best knitted or crotched garment, accessory and millinery item.

Julia’s Fabric Boutique, Wodonga, is donating a sewer’s pack valued at $250 as an encouragement award for the best garment by a student designer.

Student designers are also eligible to win the major prize.

Judges this year are Wagga milliner Rose Organ, former Golden Gowns winner Colleen Smith, Lockhart, and former textile and design teacher, Beryl Brain, Grong Grong.

The judging emphasis is on visual appeal, creative and innovative use of the fibres.

Compered by Albury’s Peta Schaefer, the winners will be announced after the 1pm parade on the Thursday.

Year 10 students at Culcairn’s Billabong High School will model the entries, however, designers are welcome to supply their own models.