De­signer wins fash­ion award

Hastings Leader - - Gardening - BY BRENDA VOWDEN

Lau­rel Judd’s win at the Woolon Fash­ion Awards last month in Alexan­dra is an­other feather in the cap for the Taradale-based cham­pion in the wool and fash­ion in­dus­try.

Lau­rel won the spe­cial cat­e­gory with her en­try Barcelona and the Avant Garde cat­e­gory with Mir­ror Im­age. Both were ma­chine knit­ted with some hand­work. En­tries had to be 75 per cent wool and all win­ners are on dis­play in the Cen­tral Sto­ries Mu­seum and Art Gallery in Alexan­dra. Lau­rel has won the Supreme Award at the show on three dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sions and says the ad­di­tion of Ru­ral Women as the new spon­sor has re­ally lifted the pro­file of the show.

“It’s all about pro­mot­ing wool, about the fan­tas­tic qual­i­ties of wool and show­ing its ver­sa­til­ity. This is also the first time there was a big Face­book pres­ence.”

Lau­rel’s his­tory of craft­ing ex­quis­ite gar­ments out of wool has taken her from teach­ing craft — ma­chine knit­ting, felt­ing and jew­ellery mak­ing — to en­ter­ing and or­gan­is­ing a range of com­pe­ti­tions, fash­ion shows and fes­ti­vals. A re­cent sell-out show in Hawke’s Bay raised more than $7000 for the Child Can­cer So­ci­ety. The event show­cased her knit and felt fash­ion gar­ments, a ready-towear col­lec­tion and some chil­dren’s de­signer wear.

“The chil­dren stole the show. It was a plea­sure and ex­cit­ing to get th­ese gar­ments on the cat­walk for Hawke’s Bay peo­ple to see,” Lau­rel says.

An­other claim to fame is her win at the Aus­tralian Wool awards two years ago — the first New Zealan­der to do so. She is one of five de­sign­ers from Hawke’s Bay cho­sen as a fi­nal­ist for this year’s World of Wear­able Arts (WOW) event held in Welling­ton — the third time for Lau­rel.

Fi­nal­ists from 17 coun­tries will vie for the ti­tle of supreme win­ner.

“It’s just so big now — there’s a 20 per cent chance of get­ting in.”

Lau­rel’s en­try in the open sec­tion took 11 months to as­sem­ble and three more months get­ting it ready to send, in­clud­ing the oc­ca­sional rum­mag­ing through bins to find just the right pack­ag­ing for the pre­cious cargo.

Napier res­i­dent Anna Grapes, Clive woman Kelsey Rod­er­ick and Have­lock North res­i­dents Kate MacKen­zie and Rhys Richards have also been se­lected as fi­nal­ists in this years’ show.

■ For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.lau­ Barcelona

Lau­rel Judd won the spe­cial cat­e­gory in the Woolon Awards with her en­try mod­elled by Paige Ran­dell.

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