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Jessica Leclere wins Woolmark Company Texprint Award 2015

24 September 2015 by Roger Tredre

Texprint's long links with The Woolmark Company are celebrated each year with the award of a prize in Paris at Première Vision Designs.

The judging for the Woolmark Company Texprint Award takes place right at the heart of things – at Première Vision Designs itself (September 15–17). And the judges were immediately impressed by Jessica Leclere's intricate handmade work.

Working with a focused, understated colour palette, the Anglo-French designer, who studied at Chelsea College of Arts and the Royal College of Art, explores structure and shape with exceptional imagination, also developing her knitted textiles into garments to show off their qualities. Both Emily Grieves and Gilles Werbrouck were highly commended.

The judges reviewing the work of designer Stephanie Rolph

This year's two judges were Franco Fabrello, head of design at Italian textile giant Marzotto, together with UK fashion designer Kit Neale. “Jessica has developed her craftsmanship and technique into something contemporary and distinct,” noted Fabrello.

Texprint designers eligible for the award must incorporate a minimum of 60% of Merino wool into their textiles, and demonstrate a good understanding of its qualities and potential application in fabric.

Leclere said: “I like to use Merino wool because of the way that it falls and because of its luxurious feel. Winning The Woolmark Company Texprint prize means that I will be able to investigate manufacturing and it will be invaluable in sourcing wonderful yarn.”

Jessica Leclere with Franco Fabrello, Rosita Missoni (prize presenter) and Kit Neale

Designer and judge Kit Neale, who launched his own label in 2011, enjoyed exploring all the work: “The overall standard is very high. Each designer has their own unique style and individual approach, which is really impressive and a great expression of Britain’s design graduates' creativity and artistry.”

Franco Fabrello commented on the high level of technical and creative ability demonstrated by all the Texprint designers. “I really liked the combination of the modern and the artisanal. These young designers are showing strong colour sense, technique and experimentation while recognising the reality of the commercial world.”

Round table discussion to select the winner

Rob Langtry, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at The Woolmark Company, was delighted with the choice of winner and emphasised the importance of Texprint's work. “Texprint has been and remains one of the key programmes we support. It is critical to the future of fashion – and textile designers are the key to matching emerging consumer demands to products that can meet those aesthetics.”

Judges review the work of designer Emily Grieves

Judges review the work of designer Áine Byrne

Judges review the work of designer Alex Pengelly


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