Australia, the land ‘girt’ by sea – yes that’s right, we know what the word means (despite how ridiculous it sounds), we accept having extremely salty yeast extract with avo on toast for brekkie as the norm, we wear thongs on our feet and have 3 national Frisbee teams, we worship meat pies, have 1500 species of spiders (yuck) and hearing phrases such as ‘Bazza playing Acca Dacca to Maccas’ makes perfect sense. Here’s something else you can take to Friday night trivia; amongst the many outlandish things that we’re known for we actually have more sheep than people here. 150 million to 23 million to be exact; equating to roughly 6 sheep to every person. It’s no wonder that wool is one of our largest commodities – don’t worry, this isn’t an economics lecture.
I was approached late last year by The Woolmark Company to work on an exciting Chinese New Year project with a select few Chinese designers that have received their International Woolmark Prize. It was only fitting that we shot some of the amazing pieces from designers such as Doris Q, VMajor, Ban Xiao Xue and Fake Natoo on the streets of Chinatown, Sydney. It was an incredibly fun but hot afternoon spent with some talented individuals. Traipsing through the streets in thick wool pieces on a 30-degree day with a very curious crowd of people assembling everywhere we went made for an extremely compelling experience.
I’ve always looked forward to this part of the year as it means seeing my family gather together for an extravagant feast consisting of traditional and modern culinary masterpieces put together by my grandmother and dad. As you can see the looks have a predominate feature of the colour red which you would characteristically associate Chinese New Year with as it’s used liberally throughout the season. Adults give children red pockets to suppress evil spirits and firecrackers are rolled up with red paper to ward of evil spirits and bad fortune.
I have always been an avid fan of wool and there are many reasons why a predominant part of my wardrobe constitutes of wool pieces; the main reasons being that it is natural, renewable and biodegradable. In a world where fast fashion chains can be found on the corner of every major intersection in metropolitan cities – we sometimes compromise quality with quantity. I find myself constantly battling with the temptation of indulging in fast fashion but found that these pieces have a significantly shorter shelf life in my wardrobe – pun intended. Most importantly, the fibres are generally synthetic which generally means chemicals and lets face it – the production of synthetic materials is no friend to mother nature.
Wool is one of those natural fibres that are on high rotation within my wardrobe and whilst most will associate this as a winter textile – I’ve found myself wearing wool even in the middle of summer. Investing in wool staples is always high on the agenda each year and after many years of carefully curating my wardrobe basics; I’ve amassed a comfortable collection.
What I love about designers that use wool in their pieces is that it takes advantage of those natural benefits including breathability; wearers will be less prone to irritations that synthetics tends to cause. It’s versatility means that you can wear garments with wool even during the middle of summer as the active fibre adjusts to the changes in the your body temperature. Sounds fancy, I know – but if anyone else owns as many wool pieces as I do, you’ll understand where I’m coming from. It’s also the sensible and responsible choice for us as environmentally conscious consumers as sheep consistently produce new fleeces, which makes the fibre completely renewable.
I’ve probably digressed a little with this post with these technicalities but it’s incredible how emerging designers are factoring sustainability into their designs by utilizing natural textiles such as wool. An affiliation with the Woolmark Company will guarantee savvy shoppers quality and assurance that what they’re investing in, is worth every penny. With that said, it was an absolute pleasure to work with such talented Chinese designers and the Woolmark Company. Hopefully you’ll enjoy these Chinese New Year inspired looks as much as I do and I have provided full details on each outfit.
Let’s have a great year guys and thank you again for your unwavering support of this site and my vision!!
Outfit 1: Ban Xiao Xue Wool Dress, Dinosaur Designs Earrings & Cuffs, A-Esque Clutch, Max Mara Shoes
Outfit 2: Doris Q Wool Sweater & Skirt, Karen Walker Bag, Francesco Russo Shoes
Outfit 3: Fake Natoo Wool Coat, Ellert Skirt, Karen Walker Top, Dinosaur Designs Earrings, Le Specs Sunglasses, Gucci Shoes
Outfit 4: V Major Dress, Le Specs Sunglasses, Karen Walker Clutch, A-Esque Clutch, Stuart Weitzman Shoes
Photography: Jordan Graham
Styling: Jolyon Mason
Make-up: Sasha Nilsson