Wearable Art Mandurah 2018: Judging days reveal impressive garments ahead of showcase

Unique and extravagant garments filled the performing arts centre on Saturday, as part of a colourful judging day for Wearable Art Mandurah 2018. 

Models, designers, hairdressers, make-up artist and judges filtered around the precinct throughout the day to bring the event to life.

A key component of the growing competition, the day provides judges an opportunity to evaluate each piece in a closed session. 

The day gave the creatives the full experience of Wearable Art Mandurah, including professional photography, hair and makeup, and a chance to put their creativity on show.

On Saturday afternoon, judges were onto the tertiary education category. 

Bentley-based South Metropolitan TAFE lecturer Lisa Westover-Piller was at the event with 10 of her students, who were selected to compete. 

Ms Westover-Piller said since joining the competition in 2017, the TAFE had incorporated Wearable Art Mandurah into the courses it delivered. 

She said the competition had been weaved into the the coursework of students undertaking a certificate four diploma and advanced diploma in applied fashion design and merchandising.

"Our certificate four, first year students have done their wearable art pieces in a unit called sustainability,” she said. 

“They've had the challenge of creating a creative reuse garment fully recycled and commenting on something that the student was passionate about.”

One of those students was Deb Ridley. 

The Coodanup resident said he piece was inspired by the negative effect the “fast fashion” industry had on the environment and workers in third world countries. 

Ms Ridley said on average people making garments from factories in third-world countries were getting paid 44 cents per hour. 

“That’s not enough for their living standard. A lot of people are unaware of it,” she said.

Her garment depicts a sewing table and underneath the tablecloth is a jail. 

She said workers were trapped by the fast fashion industry. 

Ms Ridley up-cycled various objects to create the piece, anything from an old lounge suite to a garden hose. 

South Metropolitan TAFE student Deb Ridley's piece inspired by the impacts of "fast fashion". Photo: Caitlyn Rintoul.

South Metropolitan TAFE student Deb Ridley's piece inspired by the impacts of "fast fashion". Photo: Caitlyn Rintoul.

Ms Westover-Piller said Ms Ridley’s work stood out to her because of its strong underlining message.

“Deb's has got a great message behind it,” she said.

“One of the big topics of that particular sustainability unit was the environmental impact of the fast fashion industry but also the ethical impact on some of the developing and third world nations and the garment workers in those environments.

“Deb cleverly integrated the two by ensuring there was very minimal waste in her up-cycling of her resources.

“All of her scraps of fabric are pieced together from garments that she has made in the past and they're all the leftover textile waste.”

The 10 TAFE students set to appear in the showcase were pre-selected, by the Mandurah Wearable Art team, from a pool of applicants at the Bentley campus. 

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“We've also selected another 20 on top of that, which will take part in an exhibit in the foyer space for the week around the showcase itself,” Ms Westover-Piller said.

“We’ve got some fabulous work on display at the college now that we'll bring down and curate for the duration of the showcase the other side of it. 

“I think it's just a lovely culmination of a lot of hard work. 

“There are tears and there's sleepless nights trying to achieve the outcome that they envisaged so to see them down here today watching the make-up artists and the hair artists… there's big smiles all round.

“To have a professional photo shoot with a stylist and professional photographer is pretty gorgeous. 

“They've all been nervous about the judging but they've all done really, really well. It has been a lovely end to a lot of investment of work for them. 

She said the TAFE would continue to partner with the event. 

“We've had a great experience and learnt a lot last year. We're really looking forward to this year and definitely do it again next year,” she said.