50 years of fashion and music

How wool has helped shaped the global fashion industry


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As the Woolmark brand celebrates its golden anniversary, The Woolmark Company has teamed up with British animator Cyriak Harris and Australian musician Ben Ely to produce a snapshot of the past five decades of wool and fashion, in a film titled 50 years of fashion and music woven together.



In 1964 the iconic Woolmark symbol was born. For the past 50 years it has acted as a quality assurance mark, and with more than 5 billion products adorned by the iconic symbol, Woolmark has become the best-known textile brand in the world.

The Woolmark Company - owner of the Woolmark brand – has teamed up with British animator Cyriak Harris and Australian musician Ben Ely to produce a snapshot of the past 50 years of fashion and the influential role wool has had within the global fashion industry.

Known for his surreal short web animations, Cyriak has taken footage from The Woolmark Company’s archives to showcase a kaleidoscopic mash-up of fashion from the 1960s to today. Presented to the tune of Ben Ely’s composition, the musician from Australian indie rock band Regurgitator has mixed musical genres to complement each decade of visuals.

“Condensing a journey through 50 years of fashion into one minute was always going to be a surreal experience, and in a way the models at fashion shows seem like living photographs to me, so it made sense to create a dream-like living photo-montage out of them,” explains Cyriak upon completion of the film.

“The idea was to divide the film into sections representing decades from 1960 to the present, each decade having a different look that somehow mirrored the period while also being modern. I wanted it to be a kaleidoscope of fashion imagery that was visually intense but still retained recognisable moments from well-known designs and models from the past.

“I'm happy for it to be a minute of hypnotic visual excess, but hopefully it will also strike a subliminal chord with people who are familiar with the 50-year history of the Woolmark brand. It was a very interesting project, one of those happy times when the final video was more or less exactly how I imagined it.”

For the music, Ely said he simply followed his instincts in regards to the styles from each era to complement each decade of visuals.

“I usually start with a drum track and build it from there. With the 60s I had to have a bossa nova beat as that style was new and popular during that time and I also wanted to add a droning sitar like guitar part. The other decades were pretty straight forward: 70s disco funk, I wanted to do punk although I saved that sound for the 90s grunge section, 80s flock of seagulls colliding with men without hats, and 00s intense banging electro music.  I discovered as long as the tempo and the key signature were the same then the different parts seemed to fit together fine. It was a bit of a roller coaster ride, but I like it like that.

“I think it will surprise anyone who watches this as it is very much grounded in reality with the images and music, though it bends and breaks a lot of barriers with its genre-hopping and psychedelic imagery,” Ely says. “It’s the perfect entertainment for our short attention-span modern world.”

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