Fashion show features reused wool


Nothing was quite as it seemed.

The drinks were mocktails, the models were audience members and most of the garments started life as something else. However, it was all fabulous.

Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery in Alexandra was transformed on Saturday night with a catwalk replacing the usual shop for a fashion show of garments created from wool.

The audience ordered mocktails and dessert plates to enjoy while watching the models.

Fashion designer Diane Dynes, of Winton, who used recycled wool garments in her designs, began the evening by explaining the beginning of her journey into upcycling wool garments.

Mrs Dynes had a shop where she sold her one-off designs.

On a whim she made tops from a couple of old woollen jerseys found in an op-shop at a time when “you kind of didn’t want to be seen in an op-shop, not like now”.

They sold straight away and she realised she was on to something.

Sustainable living and a passion to reduce waste was the foundation of her life and work, Mrs Dynes said.

The early collections of upcycled clothes were sold at markets and the interest people showed in their construction inspired the next stage of her business, she said.

After teaching dressmaking at SIT in Invercargill for a couple of years, she developed her own workshop programme and now travelled teaching how to turn discarded, worn or damaged garments into something new and fashionable.

Her models, selected from the audience as they arrived, showed off unique garments all greater than the sum of their humble parts.

Merino wool, denim and small decorative details were all sourced from a range of cast-off jerseys, coats, jackets or jeans, and then reassembled into new creations.

Audience members were able to stop the models for a closer look at the techniques involved in the clothing they were showing off.

The second part of the evening was a showcase of winning garments from previous year’s WoolOn creative fashion events.

WoolOn committee member Frances Anderson said when preparing for Saturday it did not matter which box of archived garments they opened there was treasure inside.

A remarkable range of styles and materials were displayed with all garments being at least 75% wool, as per the competition’s requirements.

Lauder designer Becs Calder had two garments on show.

One was knitted then sewn on to satin, the other featured crochet with tiny pearls in it.

Entries for this year’s WoolOn event are open now.

Mrs Dynes will be running a workshop in Alexandra, in March.


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