The fashion pack gathered at Industria Superstudios last night for the announcement of the 2013 International Woolmark Prize, first won by Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent back in 1954. The $100,000 U.S. regional award went to the very talented Joseph Altuzarra, who will now go on to compete against the other regional winners with a six-piece Merino wool collection to be shown at an event during London Fashion Week in September. His pale pink hour-glass dress with a peplum waist — and equally chic matching wool pumps — modeled by Shu Pei Qin, featured a unique "needle punching" technique that must have won over the judges, one of whom was Alexander Wang. "I wanted to try something different in a way that still felt true to the brand," said Altuzarra, shortly before accepting his award.
The other nine finalists — which included Creatures of the Wind designers Shane Gabier and Chris Peters, Giulietta's Sofia Sizzi, and Tucker's Gaby Basora — provided some stiff competition. Standouts included Bibhu Mohapatra, who said "I was just going back to my craft," referring to his wool-lace and chevron dress and jacket combo, as well as Daniel Vosovic, who showed a shrunken boyfriend sweater and white trousers with a leather and zipper detail. "It's simplified, not simple," he told us. Also worth mentioning are Timo Weiland and Alan Eckstein, whose denim and wool ensemble seemed to be a crowd pleaser. "I am really inspired by what everyone has done," said Eckstein. "I can't stop looking around." We'd have to say the feeling was mutual.