A BEVY of beauties took to the Australian Sheep and Wool Show runway at the weekend to showcase the country’s finest woolen fashion and wearable “woolcraft” art.
A number of big names in fashion paired up with students and independent designers from Eltham to Buronga to present a cross section of accessible and high fashion garments, with Camilla & Marc and Collette Dinnigan among them.
Structured lines, tailoring, layered textures and recycled materials dominated the line-up at the woolcraft parades held over Friday, Saturday and yesterday.
Commercial parades featured items available for purchase from store holders, which were set up at the showgrounds over the course of the show.
This year marks Melbourne-based stylist Franco Schifilliti’s second stint behind the reigns at the fashion show.
“We loved it so I came back but I think this one has even topped that again,” he said.
Mr Schifilliti said he was proud of the diversity and creative use of wool demonstrated in the parade, and hoped it would serve as inspiration for guests.
“With one garment the designer had used scraps of different sort of yarn and put all those together to create this piece,” he said.
“It’s embracing this sort of philosophy of re-using things.
“I tried to pick out the garments that were more spectacular, even down to the kids’ wear, but there was also a man who makes beanies so we had a real cross-section on show.
“I think it’s just wonderful to see the great creativity, all these wonderful designs and ideas out there.”
The fashion event attracted people both young and old from across Australia.
Canberra resident Robyn Fetter said she made the annual journey to Bendigo especially for the parades and this year’s showcase did not disappoint.
“It was just wonderful, always inspiring – I loved it!” she said.
Closer to home, Bendigo’s Lorraine Kelly, Jill Cauldwell, Lorraine Beattie and Ouida Marchingo, who were seated front row, said the garment titled the “Shearer’s wedding dress” was their favourite.
Mrs Cauldwell said the wool and silk spun gown was created for the daughter of a poor sheep farmer who could only offer her “the wool off the sheep’s back”.
“It was absolutely beautiful,” she said.
Mrs Cauldwell, a regular at the Sheep and Wool Show, said the 134-year-old event seemed more popular than ever.
“I’ve been around for 70 of those and I can’t remember it ever being as popular as what it’s been for the last 10 years,” she said.
“We come every year, we love it.”
TWELVE-YEAR-OLD Eaglehawk student Shardae Sharp showed off her culinary prowess in a Bendigo Festival of Lamb cook-off on Saturday, defeating ABC radio personality Corey Hague.
The two were pitted against each other in Bendigo’s own Junior MasterChef competition, as part of the Australian Sheep and Wool Show program.
Shardae was crowned Bendigo’s top Junior MasterChef after winning a similar cook-off with her grade 6 classmates at Eaglehawk Primary School earlier this year.
Both chefs were required to create a lamb cutlet dish during competition on Saturday.
The youngster created dukkha lamb with chickpeas and homemade bread patties, which was selected over her counterpart’s lemon lamb and cucumber, and goat’s cheese salad combo.
Shardae told the Bendigo Advertiser she was quietly confident going into the showdown and was happy with her performance.
Meanwhile Corey was graceful in defeat, commending Shardae for her skill in the kitchen.
“I’m happy to have lost to such a worthy opponent,” he said.
Watching on was Shardae’s proud teacher, Eaglehawk Primary kitchen specialist Helen McCutcheon, who runs the school’s Stephanie Alexander kitchen garden.
Eaglehawk Primary is one of five regional schools to offer the program, which encourages children to grow, harvest and cook using fresh foods. Other schools to offer the initiative include St Patrick’s Pyramid Hill, Inglewood Primary, Dayleford Primary and most recently Heathcote Primary.
“It really is wonderful. The program provides a different way of learning that translates back into the curriculum,” Ms McCutcheon said.
A host of Bendigo and visiting chefs also took to the Sheep and Wool Show stage at the weekend to serve up meals using local lamb, including Channel Ten’s Junior MasterChef finalist Lucy Bonanno and Bob “The Butcher” Dewar.
Participating businesses included Whirrakee, Dispensary Enoteca, Masons of Bendigo, Wine Bank on View, The Golden Vine, Goldmines, Mt Edgecombe, Pratty’s Patch, Erindale Farm and Bendigo Wholefoods.