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This year’s WoolOn Creative Fashion event will feature some "exciting" new elements, but they are under wraps for now, organisers say.
The event, which used to be held annually in October in conjunction with the Alexandra Blossom Festival, last year was separated from the festival to become a separate entity.
No WoolOn was held last year and this year’s event had a new date, May 26-27, WoolOn chairwoman Clair Higginson said.
A final call for entries was being made this week, and the closing date for entry forms had been extended by a week, until March 24, Ms Higginson said. Designers then had another month to complete the garments, which had to be handed in by April 27.
Ms Higginson said this year’s WoolOn would be held in a new "industrial-style" venue in Alexandra, but organisers could not yet say where as consents were not in place.
Other "exciting" new elements were being added to the event, but they were also being kept under wraps.
"We’re trying to make better connections between the wool on the farm and the wool on the fashion catwalk. But just how we will do that is going to be a surprise."
Rural Women New Zealand was the new naming sponsor of the event and WoolOn organisers were excited about the partnership, believing it would bring extra focus to the raw product
the WoolOn garments were created from.All garments must be at least 75% wool and there are eight categories in the event, as well as an Under 23 Emerging Designer Award.
The event will still feature a Friday night "First Look" event with a "fashion show feel", and a Saturday gala evening, when winners will be announced.
This year’s judges are Deirdre Mackenzie, of Tauranga, who was one of the people to establish WoolOn in its present format; Simon Swale, a design lecturer at the Otago Polytechnic, in Dunedin; and designer Jaimee Smith, of Dunedin, who has her own fashion label, "Florence".