A navy hand felted overcoat stole the limelight in the catwalk at the Henty Natural Fibre Fashion Awards to win the supreme garment.
The outfit was designed and entered by Pat Meehan, Albury, NSW, and capably modelled by Billabong High School student Maddie Mohr, 16, Holbrook.
The 16th Henty Natural Fibre Fashion Awards were a highlight of the Country Lifestyle program at the Henty Machinery Field Days on September 17-19.
Fashion designers vied for the chance to win a Bernina 325 sewing machine valued at $1599 plus $1000 cash prize money for the supreme garment made of natural fibres.
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.
This year’s judges were Rose Organ, Wagga, Beryl Brain, Grong Grong, and Colleen Smith, Lockhart.
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 entries from around the nation, as well as from a New Zealand designer.
The knitted and crochet section was won by long time supporter of the awards, Judy Bond, Buronga, NSW, with a reversible dress and matching coat in magenta.
The student’s encouragement award was won by Augusta Glasgow, Wagga, and modelled by Tahlia Francis, Billabong High School.
Margaret Connor, Burradoo, NSW, won the accessories category with a felted jacket in plum tones, modelled by Taylor Roulston, 16, Henty.
Maggie Jamieson, 15, Holbrook, modelled a pink hat to win the millinery section for Karen Hyde, Wagga Wagga.
Albury textile artist Pat Meehan was thrilled to win the supreme garment award for the first time after taking out the accessory award last year.
Her navy overcoat was called “Flower Power” and featured felt flowers on the bottom in autumn tones with silk silver thread for the veins in the leaves.
It was made from 19.5 micron Merino wool with the flowers and leaves hand stitched to the garment.
The Henty competition is the only one Pat enters each year.
“The garment was made from navy wool obtained from the Nundle Woollen Mills and the flowers were hand made and individually sewn on,” she said.
“It was quite a labour of love and took about six months in the making.
“I had the design and had to search Australia for the navy pure Merino wool – I love working with wool and often use pure silk as well.”
Wagga milliner Karen Hyde drew inspiration from waves for her pink headpiece, notching up back-to-back wins on last year.
An administration officer, Karen does millinery as a hobby, entering three headpieces, and making the finals with two.
“I wanted something to hold into the head shape and added a wavy shape at the back,” she said.
“Pink is my favourite colour and is on trend for spring racing.
“It is amazing to win here as there is so many beautiful hats.
“The imagination, skill and creativity with natural fabrics here is great to see.”