International Woolmark Prize: Australia finalists announced

STRATEAS.CARLUCCI wins Australia regional event

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With Australian designers firmly making their mark on the global fashion stage, competition was always going to be fierce at the 2014/15 International Woolmark Prize Australia regional final.

Home to the hero of this fashion award - Merino wool - Australia presented nine of its finest rising stars and their work to a panel of esteemed judges, each one vying for a position at the coveted global final.

The 2014/15 International Woolmark Prize Australia nominees
at Pier One Sydney Harbour.

THE POWER OF TWO

It was a double win for Melbourne-based label STRATEAS.CARLUCCI, with the design duo winning the 2014/15 International Woolmark Prize Australia regional final for both the menswear and womenswear categories.

Peter Strateas and Mario-Luca Carlucci weaved their way into the fashion history books, becoming the first label to win both categories of the coveted award at a regional event.

With fine construction and tailoring embedded in the label’s DNA, STRATEAS.CARLUCCI outfits also adopt utilitarian elements and create garments that are timeless through structured and minimal styles.

A judging panel comprising Roland Mouret, Fashion Designer; Deborah Foreman, David Jones General Manager for Menswear; Sophie Clarke, David Jones General Manager for Womenswear; Edwina McCann, Vogue Australia Editor-in-Chief; and Kellie Hush, Harper’s BAZAAR Australia Editor-in-Chief selected STRATEAS.CARLUCCI as the winners, at an awards event held at The Stables, Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney.

“It was a pleasure to be a part of the International Woolmark Prize,” explained Roland Mouret at the awards presentation.

“The experience allowed me to have a personal opinion regarding the future of Australian design and I am a big believer that with the support of The Woolmark Company they will succeed.”

Inspired by Indigenous artist Emily Kngwarreye, STRATEAS.CARLUCCI was praised for their exquisite tailoring of woven Merino wool. Supplied by Woolmark licensee Nikke, the woven fabric had a water repellent finish and the complementary detailing between their menswear and womenswear outfits allowed the duo to showcase their brand across the two categories.

“We’re absolutely thrilled, overwhelmed and grateful for this amazing opportunity,” explained Mario-Luca Carlucci shortly after the announcement. “We’d also like to say a big congratulations to the other nominees for their amazing designs.

“Having Roland Mouret as part of the judging panel was amazing and his honesty struck a chord with both Peter and myself. The constructive criticism and feedback from someone from that calibre - and from all of the judges - is an amazing experience.

"The outfit was comprised of three stages. We wanted to celebrate the diversity of wool. The overcoat was a hybrid wool jacquard fabric, which the design was inspired by late Indigenous artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye. The two-piece suit was comprised of 100 per cent Australian Merino wool, which had been coated in a polyurethane resin, which not only retains the handle and natural properties of the wool, but also prolongs the life span of the garment.

"The final stage, we created a light weight fabric with a sheer silk handle using the finest micron."

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