We do love a competition here at Ten Towers. And so we were more than happy to be invited to be part of the prestigious Advisory Council for the International Woolmark Prize and fly to Hong Kong and help choose who will go on to the finals next up in London in 2019. In the group of 12 semi finalists there were some good contenders and eventually, after some wrangling, a final four were selected to go forth and sample their respective six piece submissions. And conquer. Light fly weight merino wool spun almost into candy floss, it was so fine by I-Am-Chen Hong Kong designer ZHI Chen – aced it. Her colours, oranges and sky blue, all optimism and originality; Angel Chen’s Chinese East meets West philosophy for her unisex collection, cut through, all fishing nets and waterproofed wool. Conceptual and focused. We were intrigued by the journey that Yohei Ohno will take us on with his vintage wool samples rediscovered and now to be reissued, reinterpreted in new suiting for women. Korean label, Youser, (as in You – User) and designer Mooyeol Lee’s inspired Windigokan warriors promised an animated world which we are currently obsessed by. Totally gamer vibes. Fellow judge and designer, the divine Rahul Mishra kept us all entertained with his wisdom, wit and sage advice for the would be contenders. And he should know, scooping the International Woolmark Prize in 2014. Next up London and New York semi-finals… stay tuned.
by Alison Veness
Above: Angel Chen, semi-finalist
Below: Left to right, Mooyeol Lee, Youser; Dhruv Kapoor; Yohei Ohno; Tina and Nikita Sutradhar, Miuniku; Xiao Li; Leandro Cano; Angel Chen; Dai Bao, I-Am-Chen; Ka Wa Key; Chen Peng; Teppei Fujita, Sulvam; Younchan Chung, The-Sirius; Cynthia & Xiao.