A NEW featherweight wool fabric developed by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and Sydney-based knitter DPK has made its Paris fashion week debut.
Celebrated Australian designer Akira Isogawa chose the 100pc Australian Merino fabric to be used in his new autumn/winter ready-to-wear collection, which was on show to international retail buyers in Paris last week.
Two fabrics were developed by AWI and DPK, after Mr Isogawa challenged AWI to develop a wool fabric for him that had the softness, handle and drape of the silk fabrics that typically feature in his collections.
AWI product commercialisation manager Stuart McCullough said working with leading designers such as Isogawa helped to enable the passage of innovative wool fabrics into the market.
"Through fashion collections such as these we are able to showcase the best qualities of Australian Merino wool to the world," Mr McCullough said.
"Designers set the fashion trends, and Akira is a celebrated and internationally recognized designer, so we are thrilled to be able to work with him.
"The pure wool knit highlights the softness and silky drape that can be created using Australian Merino Wool.
"A wool/Modal blend knit was also developed, and is a beautiful example of how well wool works with other fibres."
According to Mr Isogawa, AWI welcomed the challenge to develop the new featherweight fabric.
"They embraced my idea to develop ultra-fine, ultra-soft, trans-seasonal wool products that I can use for both my autumn/winter and spring/summer collections," Mr Isogawa said.
"Australian Merino wool is suited to this because it is a natural fibre, thereby providing excellent breathability.
"The knit allows total mobility and stretch, and it can be sculptured over the body.
"The fabric feels luxuriously gentle against the skin, dispelling the myths that wool is itchy and generates heat no matter what the season."
Mr Isogawa opened his first boutique in Sydney in 1995, and has since gone on to achieve international recognition for his contemporary designs.
His designs are shown and sold globally in exclusive fashion locations, including Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, L'Eclaireur in Paris, Biffi in Milan, and Browns of London.
He has shown collections in Paris to international buyers twice a year since 1998.