Oh, the humble sheep. With its age old reputation for a lack of intelligence, individual thought and general ordinariness, it has in fact provided creatives with the medium to turn out some of the most innovative, practical and fashionably fabulous products in modern life.
In fact, in the past 50 years, Woolmark has helped reinvent wool into an incredibly multipurpose material; from being used underfoot in carpeting to stalking down runways as haute couture. And as Australia's annual Mercedes Benz Fashion Week draws inexorably closer, what better time to celebrate this well-loved and well-worn textile of fashion and function with global travelling exhibition the Wool Modern 2012.
Besides being one of the world's great natural fibres, wool is comfortable and versatile for everything from the finest threads to the chunkiest knits, and drops some seriously heavyweight names for the Wool Modern to boot. The latest Aussie contingent of these include fashion favourites such as Josh Goot, Ellery, Gorman and camilla and marc, all whom have been commissioned to design one-off pieces for the exhibition. They will be displayed alongside archived wool works from Akira Isogawa, Willow, Romance was Born and Jenny Kee, with interiors from Sarah King, Emma Elizabeth and Henry Wilson.
Galliano, Lanvin, Mark Fast, Maison Martin Margiela, Lacroix, Rick Owens and Giles Deacon have all been included in the exhibition, with the archives of Thierry Mugler and Sonia Rykiel being plundered for an exclusive look into their history with wool. Erdem, meanwhile, have even designed a red carpet especially for the Wool Modern.
With wool being championed by one of fashion's most esteemed black sheep, Dame Vivienne Westwood, not to mention his most sheepish Highness, the Prince of Wales, this humble herd animal is officially high fashion (and royally endorsed).
Wool Modern opens on April 25 at Pier 2/3, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay and runs until May 1.