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  It was coming up roses for NZ fashion designer in Henty awards
The final designs in the Supreme Award were modelled by Ruby Lenton modelling Myra Farrells garment, Lauren Treharne in Zoe Bishop’s garment, Emily Browne in Laurel Judd’s garment, Caitlen Cumberledge in Two Sister’s, Lauren and Erin Ritchie’s garment, and Brianna Dennis in Margaret Connor’s Garment.

It was coming up roses for NZ fashion designer in Henty awards

A knitted body-hugging Merino wool dress with a stunning three-tiered hat titled “Coming up Roses” stole the limelight on the catwalk at the Henty Natural Fibre Fashion Awards winning the supreme garment for an international designer.

Past winner Laurel Judd, of New Zealand, returned to the winner’s circle with a $1000 cash prize and Bernina 325 sewing machine for her felted top, knitted skirt in grey, pink and white, and three-tiered hat embellished with crocheted roses, paired with matching accessories. 

It was one of three entries sent by Ms Judd.

The 18th Henty Natural Fibre Fashion Awards were a highlight of the Country Lifestyle program at the Henty Machinery Field Days on September 19-21, drawing 87 entries from almost every state and internationally with the winners announced on Thursday. 

Fashion designers vied for the chance to win a Bernina 325 sewing machine valued at $1499 plus $1000 cash prize money courtesy of Bernina Australia and Sew Fab, Narrandera, for the Best Garment in Natural Fibre. 

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 Colleen Langtry, Wagga Wagga, Leanne O’Toole, Wodonga, and Lisa Schaefer, Grenfell.

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

Mrs Jacobsen paid tribute to the models from The Riverina Anglican College, Wagga Wagga, trained by Peta Schaefer, compere Bernadette Torresan, MC Steve Bowen, the sponsors, judges and assistants out the back.

The best garment designed by a student was won by Wodonga Institute of TAFE student Sharon Heard, Shepparton, with a blue jumpsuit matched with a white shirt and blue, white and red scarf.

Myra Farrell, Blue Mountains, NSW, won the accessories category with a 100 per cent cashmere coat in red, grey, tan and black patches.

Karen Hyde, Lake Albert, notched up back-to-back wins on 2022, taking out the millinery section for her entry “Autumn Mood” adorned with hand dyed and cut felt leaves. 

Long-time entrant Judy Bond, Buronga, NSW, also made it back-to-back wins on last year in the knitted and crochet section with a black evening gown made from 100 per cent Merino wool with sequins threaded through the back. 

The Australian Made Award, sponsored by JMP Developments, Wodonga, and winning $500 was Jessica Durman, Kooringal, NSW. 

Mrs Durman teaches fashion design and dress making at Sew Me School of Fashion and Design, Wagga Wagga, and entered five garments in conjunction with her mother-in-law Fiona Durman.

The winning garment was a two-piece flared, high waisted pants with side slit pockets matched with a cropped and gathered top. 

“It was my first time entering the awards, but I was here last year to support several of my students,” Mrs Durman said.

“I have been here for the three days and watched the parades, looking at the other garments on the stage, and I was not expecting to win at all.

“I was dumbfounded to win – I am more about technique but now next year I’m going to up the ante with something more flamboyant and out of my comfort zone.”

Mrs Durman, 30, is expecting her third child and juggles her young family with her teaching.

“They were riding their bikes around the studio while I’m trying to sew – I’m not going to quit my family for my business, it all has to meld into one.”

She is planning to spend her $500 prizemoney on a new door for her sewing studio.

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