Glamour and glitz are not words I would expect to use in the same sentence as sheep yards. But on Tuesday night a handsome flock of Merino Rambouillet sheep in a designer farmyard took pride of place at the glamorous Vogue Fashion Night Out event on Rue St Honore in the heart of the Paris fashion district.
This was all part of the launch of Campaign for Wool’s presence in France and the start of Paris Wool Week 16-21 September 2014. Along with The Woolmark Company, CFW were co-sponsors with Vogue for the VFNO event. This is a big do for fashionistas with activities like make-up demonstrations, a photo-shoot set as well as retail stores offering lucky draws, goody bag specials, champagne, cocktails and so on. With a free invitation included in the September issue of Paris Vogue and the map and guide to all the events from the wool-focussed VFNO guide, my DB and I dressed up and headed along for a look. Even if we felt a little out of place (and old!) it was an interesting experience. The streets were packed with fashionable young men and pretty, red-lipsticked women. The queues to make it inside the boutiques were patrolled by doormen so elegantly dressed they could have stepped out of the magazine pages themselves.
The sheep have now relocated to the Berges de Seine for the continuation of Wool Week activities over this weekend. There will be sheep shearing demonstrations, educational information about wool and exhibitions of interior design and fashion with wool.
For the next two weeks there’s an installation of photographs and information about wool at one of Paris’s most loved and busy department stores le BHV. I happened to be there when a camera crew from London were filming under the watchful eye of the Woolmark Company people.
Does this all make a difference? According to the Campaign for Wool’s website, their activities since launching in 2010 have “influenced a new demand for wool on an international scale”. If my amateur assessment is anything to go by I’m pleased to say yes. Amongst the winter clothing ranges in stores here there are even more beautiful wool garments than I noticed last year. The fashion glossies like Vogue are full of models snuggled, wrapped or elegantly suited up in wool; wool is getting serious attention. Fashion is only one aspect of the campaign, but as a wool lover, knitter and proud New Zealander I’m pleased to see the best of wool being promoted here in the fashion capital.
And now I need to get on with my knitting, I’ve had an awful lot of inspiration and encouragement this week.