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David Jones

How Wool Travels

When New York-based designer M.Patmos stepped up to receive the 2015 International Woolmark Prize for Womenswear in Beijing last March, it was for a collection designed for the global traveller. Yet away from the glittering runway of the historic mansion where the awards were held, or even from Brooklyn, where Marcia (the M. in M.Patmos) resides and designs, the merino wool that inspired her winning collection have already done some travelling itself. At an event held by Woolmark in Goulburn, NSW, we discover the journey it had taken from farm to fashion, and the concept behind the M.Patmos collection which is sure to inspire more travelling to come.

The Woolmark Event, held at Ahgunyah Station

Set amidst rolling green hills and open blue skies, Ahgunyah Station is picture-perfect on the day of the M.Patmos 2015 Woolmark collection launch event, held alongside its exclusive Australian stockist David Jones. Ahgunyah Station is one of the 25,000 woolgrowers that Woolmark represent, and is run by fifth-generation woolgrower Carina Doran and her husband, Andrew. With 12,000 merino sheep under their care, this farm is one of the sources for the type of wool that inspired the M.Patmos collection.

The launch event was also a journey for Marcia, who as part of her visit to Australia, travelled to visit the source of her starring fabric, and meet all of the woolgrowers who came out to provide support, and also to marvel at the final products of their produce. “I’m very hands-on [with the farm],” says Carina, “So I love seeing the final product and find out how it all works.” 

M.Patmos' winning Woolmark collection

The M.Patmos Woolmark Collection

Presented at the launch event was the M.Patmos International Woolmark Prize collection. The collection, which is now stocked in-store and online at David Jones, drew attention to the exceptional versatility of merino wool and its year-round, world-over adaptability. “I wanted to create a wardrobe for the modern woman who travels for work and a little bit of pleasure,” says Marcia. “I started with the Woolmark symbol with its rounded shapes and looped lines, which got me to thinking about travel, and crisscrossing the latitude and longitude lines of the world.”

Combining her knowledge of wool, a sensitivity for slow fashion, and a thoughtful and modern approach to design, Marcia created a collection that is utilitarian yet luxurious. This translated to functional pieces like a woven and knitted coat which converted into a sleeveless vest, a reversible fleece trouser-pant, and even a ‘sleep-hat’ that you can pull over your eyes to act as a sleeping mask. “Merino wool is a perfect match for a travel-focused wardrobe…and [my collection] really underlines the importance of travelling with ease and luxury.”