Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Michelle Jank helps reimage Oz wool


Sydney is certainly a fashion hub this week – and the inaugural Rosemount Sydney Fashion Festival doesn’t even officially kick off until tomorrow. After yesterday’s Fashion Laureate announcement, this morning Australian Wool Innovation relaunched its new corporate identity and brand stable – together with a spectacular A$120million campaign styled by Paris-based Australian fashion and jewellery designer Michelle Jank.

Couldn’t get to this presentation either (I’m flat out with other work - thanks for hanging in there on the blog) but I do have a story about the launch in today’s WWD.

I thought I would share some of the images not used in the story.

The new relaunch includes three new brands: Australian Merino, Superior Merino and Superior Merino Blend.

The new marketing push aims to relaunch Australian merino wool into the global market as a clean, green - read sustainable and biodegradable - luxury fibre.

Images 1, 2 and 3 are from the Superior Merino campaign, styled by Jank and shot by David Mandelberg.

Images 4 and 5 are from the Australian Merino campaign – once again styled (and designed) by Jank. John Macarthur also provided knit garments for this shoot, which took place in the Kimberleys in WA. The photographer is Georges Antoni.

The ideas of “clean” wool and corporate social responsibility vis-à-vis the Australian wool industry probably won’t go down well with the animal rights lobby.

The latter regards the industry as barbaric and has been on its back over the past four years over the mulesing issue - and even with the industry commitment to a 2010 mulesing phaseout, still does not appear to be satisfied.

PETA would presumably like nothing better than for Australia’s 55,000 woolgrowers to shift to hemp production and for Australia’s 80 million sheep to be released into the wild - where they would irrefutably die agonising deaths from, take your pick, predators, flystrike, parasitic infestation or heat exhaustion.

Or perhaps PETA could rescue them and then simply put them all down en masse? As with the 10,000 animals it reportedly euthanised from 1998 to 2003.

While PETA has been busy trying to win over retailers to its anti-wool cause, apparently you can’t keep designers away from wool.

Over the past eight months the rollcall of designers putting their hands up to become involved with various AWI initiatives, from the Protégé Project to the Woolmark Prize, has included Karl Lagerfeld, Donatella Versace, Paul Smith, Francisco Costa and Sonia Rykiel.

At today’s presentation that designer rollcall also included the winner of the 2008 Woolmark Prize Qui Hao from China, Jank and Sydney-based Jayson Brunsdon and Ben Pollitt.

Merino suits from Herringbone were modelled by Wallabies players.


Anonymous said...

I dont think Images 1, 2 and 3 is very dynamic at all,its rather boring.The styling is dull and dosnt highlight anything great about Australian wool. It looks like a fad,its trying too hard to be cool and edgy.
I'm sure Michelle Wank will come up with an amazing explaination about something to do with escaping the real world and peace and fantasy and trying to explore
the surreal world and the need to dream bla bla
I'm sure she is a nice girl but she is living in her own head. Its great if you're an artist but it sux when you are a stylist and a designer.
there is really nothing that speaks the moment (except that its youth driven) or create any interest for Australian wool.
Wow a few Millions down the drain! Hooray!

Anonymous said...

Unlike other natural textiles like leather and fur, wool does not harm an animal in it's extraction, and whats more is that the said animal lives on for more seasons to come, just as it's fleece grows back. While PETA may have their cynicism toward the use of wool in fashion, such is comparable to (sustainable) production of vegetables that are grown, picked and eaten, before rejuvenating once again.

As for Jank's images: I believe that by using such an iconic fashion figure (she's on the cusp in Australia and gaining quite the status overseas) that Australian Merino is sending a strong message to the world through Jank's credibility. Furthermore, her images (with thanks, also, to the photographer) are dynamic, striking and incorporate the Australian landscape (city-based as well as natural) as well as fashionable, wool-based garments.

Well done to Merino- a great relaunch for their wares (wool), and for Australian fashion.

Anonymous said...

Iconic fashion figure ???WTF
What pills are you taking? Iconic fashion figure ....perhaps maybe someone like Martin Grant.........but certainly not Janks...ummm Victor and Rolf anyone?

Anonymous said...

If I got to potter around the world, doing vanity projects, producing one off collections and walking away from them when they cant turn a dollar. I'd hope I could produce something better than this.

Patty Huntington said...

anon #3 (my we're imaginative with our names):

And what page are you on? I described Carla Zampatti as "an Australian fashion icon" in the previous day's post concerning the Australian Fashion Laureate, not Jank.

Anonymous said...

Paddy I was ready comment number2 from Anonymous no.2!
love anon #3 x

Patty Huntington said...

anon #3: Ah I see!

So hard to keep up with these anonyms...

All Things Bright and Beautiful... said...

Patty - great write up and fabulous pictures. How have I not found your blog before?! I love it.

And as for Michelle?

I am a true die hard fan - she's innovative, talented edgy and I wish her the very best - she is one talented lady

Anonymous said...

I prefer Jordy ASkill! Now thats a real talent. Michelle have a creative eyes but she is not original.

Anonymous said...

*From Anonymous 2*:
Agreed, Martin Grant is a fantastic example of Australian talent, and I highly respect his work, however, I don't really think he is an advocate for Australia. Not that Jank is wrapped in the flag, either, but she works in both Europe AND Australia (re: recent RAFW collection) and represents many creative fields.

I'm not sure that Victor and Rolf have any association to Australian Wool- in saying that, nor does Jank- but she is, at least, Australian and working in the same industry.

Anonymous said...

Jank copied Victor and Rolf a few years back... I think that was the conection??!! am I wrong?.....

Anonymous said...

WOW - to anonymous who commented 'Unlike other natural textiles like leather and fur, wool does not harm an animal...'...I think you're a little misinformed.

A lot of Aussies are oblivious to the practice of mulesing, which is being phased out over the next few years. Personally I clarify the cutting away of flesh from buttocks and anus of a sheep as harmful. Not that I'm saying we should let sheep get flystrike - that's clearly not an alternative either.

The Australian wool industry needs all the help it can get with a re-image.

Anonymous said...

As experience has taught me, the talentless,insecure and weak always feel the need to shoot a bullet into soaring talent. I suggest whatever misfortunate soul you are should keep your lowflying comments to yourself. Perhaps you should redelegate your time to creating a nice space inside your head to live in so you have less time to fester in your own shittiness. Just a thought...

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