MODELS donning the very best in wool fashion and design will strut the catwalk in Armidale tonight.
The Australian Wool Fashion Awards (TAWFA) will be held at the Saumarez Homestead where the 2013 winner will be announced.
The awards were held at Sydney’s Royal Easter Show for the past couple of years but have returned to Armidale with this year’s theme, Alice in Wonderland.
More than 100 entries have come in from up and coming designers from around Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the USA.
TAWFA managing director Liz Foster said contestants came from all walks of life.
Some are still at school, studying fashion and textiles, while some are more seasoned designers.
Mrs Foster recalled some former contestants who were in their 70s.
She is expecting about 250 people to attend the 32nd annual event tonight.
“There’s a garden party first up and then it’s into the marquee for the parade,” Mrs Foster said.
Models sourced from around the region will show off the best designs before the nine different category winners and seven other special awards are announced.
Categories include workwear, knitwear, men’swear and race wear.
Mrs Foster said the bridal and evening wear entries were what most people looked forward to seeing.
The entries have already been judged by some some high-profile people on this year’s judging panel.
They include former So You Think You Can Dance judge Bonnie Lythgoe, former host of Ready Steady Cook and Celebrity Apprentice contestant Peter Everett and television personality Faye De Lanty.
This year’s supreme prize is a diamond jewellery set from Tenterfield’s Margot Edwina Rees Antiques – but it’s the scholarship prize that’s most sought after by the design students.
Open to Year 12 students studying textiles and design, Mrs Foster said the award involved a scholarship to study at Raffles Institute of Design and Commerce.
She has seen a lot of young designers who entered the awards move on to bigger and better things, as well as models – one who even made it to the runways of Europe.