The talented Indian designer Suket Dhir was declared the winner of the acclaimed 2015-2016 Menswear International Woolmark Prize yesterday at the Pitti Uomo in Florence on Wednesday 13th January. Competing for this $100,000 men’s wear Woolmark prize were 21 designers from six regions around the world, and the five other finalists were Australia’s P.Johnson, Asia’s Munsoo Kwon, Britains’s Agi & Sam, Europe’s Jonathan Christopher and USA’s Siki IM. Dhir represented the region of India, Pakistan and Middle East. With Rahul Mishra having won the 2014 Woolmark Prize for women’s wear in 2014, it is heartening to see the Indian designers getting their due global recognition of the creativity and original work.
Surart McCullough, MD of Woolmark and one of the judges on the panel found the Dhir’s designs “romantic”. The other judges were Suzy Menkes, Editor of Vogue International, designer Haider Ackermann, Imran Amed, Founder and Chief Editor of Business of Fashion. Commenting on the selection of Dhir as the winner, Suzy Menkes said, “In fashion, I’m always looking for emotion, for the heartbeat, for the feeling that something excites me – it may come from an ancient skill but it seems fresh to me.”
Asha Baxi, who was also present at the Pitti Uomo in Florence said, “ It is indeed a great achievement that the fashion capitals have to recognize that india has a fresh story to tell, produce authentic craft and offer a new aesthetic order to the disillusioned world of luxury.” Asha was previously the Dean of the National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, and has trained and mentored some of our top designers in the country.
The collection was constructed with natural and sustainable materials like bamboo, cotton and silk blends, using the traditional technique of hand-tied and dyed yarn (Ikat), and described as follows, “The collection aims to trace the mellowed and faded experiences of the past memories through the ombre pattern. Seamless molding and heat setting of the fabric reinforces the garments, while the age-old technique of Kasui, a traditional hand embroidery, creates geometric, grid-like patterns in an update on the classic quilting stitch.”
The Woolmark prizes encourage young designers around the world to use Australian merino wool. In the year 1953, the Women’s wear Woolmark International Prize was launched, and some of the famous early winners were Karl Lagerfeld and the late Yves Saint Laurent. The menswear prize was launched last year.
Tags :Woolmark, Suket Dhir, Menswear, Pitti Uomo, Woolmark Prize, Rahul Mishra Suzy Menkes