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Meet the high school student tipped by Woolmark as one of Australia’s best budding design talents


We all remember that Harry Styles Vogue cover shoot, right? The heartthrob is blowing up a blue balloon while wearing a lace Gucci dress that broke the Internet. Well, the iconic cover was styled by Harry Lambert. 

The sneaky Harry Lambert reference is how I discover that this years Wool4School winner is a Harry Styles stan. “​​I think my biggest dream is to design for Harry Styles,” Sara Regan tells me.

Discover more up-and-coming local designers in our Fashion section. 

Like most 17-year-old girls, Sara is listening to the former boyband member while studying for her upcoming exams. The difference? Sara has also been recognised as one of Gen Zs brightest fashion design talents. 

For close to a decade the Woolmark Company, an Australian non-profit organisation championing the wool industry, has been holding its annual Wool4School student design competition. Since 2012, the Wool4School program has involved over 100,000 students worldwide and gets them to think innovatively about one of our greatest exports – and one of our most sustainable fabrics – wool. 

With the Woolmark Company describing itself as the global authority on wool”, it wants young designers to reimagine our future with the 100 per cent natural, biodegradable and sustainable resource as the material of choice.

We know that Gen Z is caring more about the environment than generations past, and Sara notes she enjoyed working with the environmentally-friendly fibre. 

Wool is suitable for so many different environments. Whether its raining or sunny it’s got all these forms of protection to make you feel safe and secure,” she says over the phone. 

I also found it so interesting how you can transform the wool fibres as well. You could turn it into suit pants, or a really nice warm jacket or blanket. I guess that’s what my outfit is all about as well. It’s transformable, you can make it whatever you want it to be.” 

Saras transformable” winning design is a collection called Go, Go, Go. With this years Wool4School theme being Wool On the Go, Sara reimagined a modern uniform for design students commuting around the inner-city.  

The outfit includes a transformable coat, bag and trousers as well as a knit jumper made from 100 per cent Merino wool. Looking like its walked straight out of a Hunger Games film, the collection is as futuristic as they come. 

There are pockets made from recycled plastic bottles and a cardholder built into the sleeve on a retractable cord, perfect for those of us who scramble for cards at the bottom of our tote bags. The merino wool coat has detachable sleeves, able to be transformed into a vest for our ever-unpredictable climate. 

I ask the Swinburne Senior Secondary College student where her inspiration for the innovative collection came from. 

My friends and I all do folio subjects. When the brief said to follow a sustainable method of transport, I thought, well, my friends and I all catch public transport and that reduces emissions dramatically. Why not create a comfortable outfit for my friends and me to go to school while carrying all our folios?” 

The irony of Sara working on a commutable design project during the pandemic when were not commuting anywhere isnt lost on her. 

I only started catching public transport full-time at the start of last year! I don’t have much experience with public transport either, so I sort of just gave it a go.” 

With the 17-year-old creating a blank canvas”, unisex, almost uniform-like collection, it feels like an appropriate winner in a year when we have no idea what the future will look like. Just like Saras collection, were all feeling like a blank canvas in our own way, wondering whats next. 

Like most young people though, Sara isnt too worried about the current state of the fashion industry because shes set on creating her own version of it. 

The future of fashion is sustainable. In the sort of society were in now I also hope its inclusive for everyone regardless of sexuality, gender, body size. I’m really trying to encourage that with everyone.”

Our conversation loops back to which designers Sara finds inspiration in.

I’m not really inspired by specific designers. I’m more inspired by stylists and how they use the products that theyre given. Im specifically inspired by Harry Lambert and how he uses sustainability but also caters to the end-user to make them feel comfortable and happy within themselves all whilst pushing boundaries.” 

The boundary-breaking, gender-fluid Vogue cover comes to mind as I realise that the Woolmark Company was right in selecting Sara Regan to be Australias next shining fashion designer. 

I ask Sara if theres anything else shed like to add. 

I hope Harry Lambert reads Fashion Journal.”

To learn more about The Woolmark Company, head here.

This article Meet the high school student tipped by Woolmark as one of Australia’s best budding design talents appeared first on Fashion Journal.

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