The Woolmark prize goes to… Christian Wijnants

The fates are against Christian Wijnants and I being in the same room at the same time. Owing to a series of unfortunate events I missed both the Woolmark Prize (which he won) and his Paris fashion week show. Thank you flu, and a badly sprained ankle respectively (the latter quite literally happened while on my way to his show.)

But thankfully you don’t even need to see Wijnants’ designs in person to understand why he was handed the much coveted prize. Though up against some seriously tough competition (including Australia’s Dion Lee, a worthy opponent indeed), the Belgian designer made it over the line for having “invented a new shape” and making it possible “with an industrial production process”, according to Franca Sozzani of Vogue Italia.

Christian Wijnants Woolmark Prize

The Woolmark Prize (http://www.woolmarkprize.com) is a massive coup for any designer, winning them $100,000 AUD and prestigious stockists around the world. Perhaps the most important thing about the award is that it honours more than aesthetics, taking into consideration knitting and dying techniques and innovative use of fabrics. Rewarding true craftsmanship is something the fashion industry always needs more of.

Woolmark Company Managing Director, Stuart McCullough, summed up the purpose of the award thus: “The International Woolmark Prize seeks outstanding and emerging talent from around the world… The prize is our commitment to supporting the future of the fashion industry and we are honoured to have received support from the global industry by way of our premier retail partners and judges both at the international and regional level.”

Congratulations to Christian Wijnants, who showed a beautiful fall 2013 collection in Paris last night. Perhaps, fates allowing, I’ll get to see it in person next season.

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Some people's wardrobes are about a small selection of pieces that all fit within one aesthetic - Tania Braukamper isn't such a person. With a wardrobe that spans three different rooms, her approach to fashion is a mixture of current-season key pieces mixed with vintage finds she's sourced on innumerous shopping trips around the world's more cultured capitals. Despite a disparate approach to shopping, Tania is adamant that the key to mixing vintage with new season is to stick to key looks and colours that work for oneself. And it's a theory that she works into her writing for Fashionising.com, where she serves as the publication's Editor.