Strut your stuff – the Australian Wearable Art Festival is back in all its avant-garde trashion glory
Have you ever looked at a floral arrangement or a solitary piece of rubbish floating in the breeze and thought, “Wow, that would make a stunning outfit”? Perhaps you are just captivated by all things fashion, from the humble little black dress to the Met Gala’s over-the-top extravagance. Either way, if you feel divinely inspired at the thought of throwing together a creative ensemble and crave the opportunity to sit front row at a catwalk, get excited because the Australian Wearable Art Festival is coming to the Sunshine Coast on May 21.
Returning from a two-year hiatus, the Australian Wearable Art Festival is back and ready to entertain, inspire and captivate audiences with some seriously jaw-dropping fashion. After a sold-out show back in 2019, the curiously creative costume designers, sewers and sculptors have had plenty of time to fine-tune their pieces ready for the grand unveiling at the shows on the Sunshine Coast.
We should warn you, though, this isn’t your average catwalk. The designers have swapped fabric for repurposed coffee pods and denim for fresh flowers to curate fashion worthy of being framed. The artists hail from a wide range of backgrounds and have congregated around the fusion of sculptural art and haute couture. Nothing is off limits, so keep your eyes peeled for unique ways to fashion bottle tops, native flowers and even fruit and vegetable packaging into your next outfit.
Hosted at Venue 114 in Bokarina, a festive courtyard fit with a 25-metre-long catwalk will come alive with more than 40 national and international creatives. Artists are coming from Karnup in Western Australia to Kureelpa in Queensland, and acclaimed designers are even making the journey over from Argentina, the United States, Singapore, and New Zealand. While each designer will likely be inspired by the unique elements of their own country and lived experiences, the artwork will be crafted to suit one of the four competition categories: Avant-Garde, Trashion, Sustainability and Floriana. While we have no idea what to expect, we will be severely disappointed if there isn’t a dolled-up bin-chicken-inspired entry to the Trashion category.
This curiously colourful evening will be hosted by Damian Anthony Rossi, otherwise known as ‘Mr Hollywood in Oz’. His larger-than-life personality will play the perfect role in giving these grandiose designers and models the introduction they deserve. There will also be three judges tasked with the tricky job of picking a winner for each category. Thankfully they boast plenty of experience, with Sydney-based Peter Dwyer renowned for his wearable art, Mildred Eilwood recognised for her fashions on the field prowess and Sunshine Coast haute couture specialist Judy Copely rounding out the trio of eagle-eyed fashion fanatics.
If you’re ready to dip your toes into wearable art and get up close and personal with the artists and their masterpieces, we recommend getting your hands on a ticket as soon as possible. Due to the massive demand in 2019, the Australian Wearable Art Festival is putting on two catwalk sessions – a matinee at 1:00 pm and a gala show at 6:00 pm, where the winners will also be announced. We recommend making an event out of it by frocking up in your inspired attire, sipping on a drink or two from the pop-up bar and nibbling on a delectable delight from one of the food trucks. Tickets start at $50 for the matinee and $75 for the gala, with options to upgrade to VIP seating if you’re keen to feel like a proper celeb sitting next to the catwalk.
The Australian arts industry has taken a serious hit over the past few years. With this in mind, it has never been more important to rally behind events like this to help fuel creativity, art, music and design in our communities. And hey, if supporting the arts means sipping bubbles while watching models strut in some exquisite wearable art, how could you possibly say no?
This article was created in partnership with our friends at Visit Sunshine Coast.