Each year, the International Woolmark Prize aims to seek out and spotlight fashion design’s brightest and most promising designers from around the world. This year, The Woolmark Company scoured six regions – Australia; Asia; British Isles; Europe; India, Pakistan and the Middle East; USA – in order to elect six menswear and six womenswear labels to compete in the 2015/16 finals. In July this year, the chosen designers were announced.
Cue Kitty Callaghan, a digital and collage artist living and working in Sydney, Australia, and contributor to ELLE Australia and fashion label Ellery. Appropriating parts of inspirational images submitted by the finalists, along with paint and found imagery, Callaghan has created surreal visual landscapes, influenced by the individual designers’ stories, for each winning outfits to exist within.
Using still imagery and animated GIFs, it was the perfect way to highlight some of the world’s most promising talent in fashion design right now, and an ideal showcase to bring together wildly varying aesthetics from all corners of the globe The resulting portfolio highlights the innovation and creativity that’s made possible through working with Merino wool.
Taking part in the project was a thrill for Callaghan “I’m excited by this year's International Woolmark Prize because I have seen in the past what this award has done for designers,” she says. “Dion Lee is an examples of a great Australian designer that made it to the finalist level and has achieved much on a global scale since.”
The next stop for the International Woolmark Prize regional winners is the finals in 2016, with the menswear event happening in Florence during Pitti Uomo in January and the womenswear show playing out during New York Fashion week come February. Callaghan, at least, will find it hard to choose the ultimate winner. “Looking at each piece for long periods of time whilst making my works made it impossible to pick a favourite.”
Six events, 20 countries, 67 labels, 12 winners: see our regionals recap of the world-renowned award for fashion design
Your crib notes to the International Woolmark Prize line-up for 2015/16