Merino reigns supreme

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By MARY-JO TO­HILL

Wanaka de­signer Heather Kerr has en­tered the WoolOn Cre­ative Fash­ion Event hall of fame by win­ning this year’s supreme award for her felted cre­ation ‘‘Chic in Merino’’.

After en­ter­ing the Alexan­dra Blos­som Fes­ti­val clos­ing event for the past four years, her painstak­ing ef­forts in fi­bre-rich art paid off on Satur­day night.

She not only won the felted sec­tion and took the supreme award with her short, off-white nunofelted three-piece cre­ation, but she also placed highly com­mended in the ac­ces­sory sec­tion, which was won for a sec­ond year by Roxburgh de­signer Gil­lian Shaw.

Taradale de­signer Lau­rel Judd won the menswear sec­tion and Alexan­dra’s Daphne Ran­dle won the knitwear cat­e­gory, and picked up a highly com­mended in streetwear and menswear.

Dunedin de­signer Si­mone Mont­gomery, also pro­vided stiff com­pe­ti­tion with her avant garde win­ning en­try, along with Becs Calder of Lauder with her spe­cial oc­ca­sion en­try and young de­signer sec­tion win­ner Kim­ber­ley Ram­sey of Queen­stown.

Kerr de­scribed her­self as ‘‘a late starter’’, who had fol­lowed many ca­reer paths in life, first as a nurse, then a type-set­ter and with a hand-knit­ting business in In­ver­cargill for 10 years. It was her love of merino wool that led to her pas­sion for felt­ing and dye­ing, us­ing nat­u­ral plant-based prod­ucts.

Al­ways one to ‘‘push the bound­aries of fab­ric art’’, in her ac­cep­tance speech she also urged new de­sign­ers and WoolOn reg­u­lars to en­ter again next year, and that she was sure ‘‘I have a few more de­signs in me yet’’.

Edgy out­fit: WoolOn’s supreme win­ner Heather Kerr’s gar­ment ‘‘Chic in Merino’’.

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