Mandurah Wearable Art Showcase 2017 | Photos

A colourful extravaganza of dresses, dancing and live music took over the stage of the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre (MPAC) on Saturday night to present this year’s Wearable Art finalists and winners.

Every year, as part of the Wearable Art competition, the best garments are selected for the showcase, a creative and innovative catwalk surrounded by music, theatre and dancing.

The show, packed with comedy, talent and creativity, gathered state-wide, national and international wearable art entries in five different categories.

Since its first year in 2011, the showcase has developed form a small-scale fashion show into an international competition and full-length theatrical production, attracting entries from as far away as Switzerland and Italy.

“From humble beginnings, the event has grown from a small designer show featuring 18 garments to become a major event on the city’s annual calendar,” Mandurah mayor Marina Vergone said.

“Im so excited by the outstanding calibre of the wearable art garments this year, it’s clear to see all the time, effort and passion our artists have dedicated towards these pieces.”

This year’s competition revolved around the topic Oceania and featured garments inspired by rising sea levels, coral bleaching, Pacific islands tribes, and the continent’s invaluable fauna and flora.

The judging panel was made up of eight judges, including Dunja Rmandic, Ashely Hay, Lesley Wilkinson, Diane Binns, Paul O’Connor, Megan Salmon, Leisa Landre-Ord and Tahlia Jones.

The 2017 Wearable Art Mandurah Artist of the Year award went to Marie Gallin and Jude Tupman for their nature-inspired Boab design. 

The unique hand-crafted piece hoped to highlight the importance of Australia’s fauna and flora for past and present cultures, and the role of the Boab as a representation of both the beauty of the country’s wildlife and the need to respect the land and cultures.

It used materials such as twigs, nuts, feathers, nests and bark form the forest as well as recycled plastic cans, plastic bottles and furniture packing. 

Other winners included:

  • Silver Chain for Sands of Time
  • Svenja for Anthozoa
  • Elizabeth Morley for The Smashing Pumpkin(s)
  • Jacq Chorlton for A Fish out of the Water
  • Val Hornibrook for Coral Bleaching
  • Helen Coleman for Icarus Rising
  • Louise Wells for Everlasting Love?
  • Sophie Lance for Kitchen Couture
  • Gem Vessallo for Covered Media
  • Catherine Kelly for Take Flight
  • Kirsten Springvloed for Waving Goodbye.

Due to a sell-out in tickets in the 2016 showcase, the organistion booked two shows for the 2017 season, one of Saturday and one on Sunday.

The Sunday show will include a designated seating area for visually impaired spectators, who will be able to touch and discover some of the artists’ materials in a special tour and enjoy the showcase through audio description. 

Tickets for the Sunday show can be bough online at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre website, in person at the box office or by phone on (08) 9550 3900.