Monday, 11 October 2010
Sheep Herding in Savile Row
While we are all familiar with the glamorous round of Fashion Weeks - New York, London, Milan, Paris - a number of ''alternative'' events have recently been established here in the UK offering a more nuanced engagement and showcasing of specific aspects of the fashion industry. Following hot-on-the-heels of High Street Fashion Week in September comes today's opening of Wool Week (11th-17th October 2010) as a showcase of all things wonderful and woolly. Not only limited to London, with stores such as Harvey Nichols, Liberty and Jigsaw dedicating windows to the event, this initiative of the British Wool Marketing Board also includes events in Cumbria and at the Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead. This promotion of wool is part of British Wool Marketing's ''Campaign for Wool'', which even has the backing of HRH Prince of Wales, who attended its original launch in January. Now in the midst of autumn it is an appropriate time to turn our attention to wool as we seek out new winter coats in the shops, or search in the back of cupboards and drawers for old favourite scarves or pullovers. This is also an interesting example of a re-configuring of the idea of a Fashion Week to focus on a specific aspect of what is a sometimes forgotten aspect of Britain's rich textile culture. It is also a reminder that there are many mills in the North of England and Scotland, in particular, who remain key-players as producers of woollen cloth, sought out for their high-quality products. While it might be possible to pick up a cashmere sweater from M&S or Uniqlo for £60 or so there remains nothing quite as satisfying as pulling on a pullover made out of 100% wool, a fibre that has helped to keep as both warm and stylishly attired for hundreds of years. A bastion of the British fashion industry, Savile Row is also to be seen backing the event, in spectacular style, with a ''greening'' of the Row complete with grass and a heard of sheep!
For more information visit the British Wool Marketing Board at: http://www.britishwool.org.uk