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Curtin students taste success at 2014 Wool Fashion Awards

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Curtin honours student Cordelia Gibbs has won two prestigious awards at the 2014 Australian Wool Fashion Awards.

Ms Gibbs, from Curtin’s School of Design and Art, won the Supreme Award – presented by noted Australian fashion designer Akira Isogawa – for her collection of four garments, titled ‘A Life in Wool’. She also won the Young Designer Award.

Two other Curtin School of Design and Art students were winners in the Recycled Wool category – Jayde Christie took first prize and Melanie Lam was awarded second prize.

The awards were presented at Tamworth in New South Wales last Friday.

With a background growing up on a sheep stud Ms Gibbs said her garments were inspired by elements of the farming environment. Her designs featured hand-rusting, using found metal objects from her family farm, and accessories gleaned from old shearing equipment.

Ms Gibbs said the accolades made her hard work worthwhile, as she had put years of energy into ideas, research, planning, development and production for her graduate collection.

“Being part of these awards and having people appreciate the ideas, time and passion behind my work makes all the effort worthwhile. The support is incredibly humbling and is a huge motivation to continue my journey in fashion.”

“Curtin’s fashion course supports alternate thinking for the development of fashion products. It also pushes the advancement of strong concepts to drive the work, which creates strong outcomes,” Ms Gibbs said.

“I am passionate about wool and hope to continue working with and promoting the fibre as I move forward in my career. These awards are a priceless experience and an opportunity to learn and improve my work to develop my profile as a wool fashion designer.”

Knitwear items in Ms Gibbs’ collection were developed with the support of Curtin’s Fashion HUB seamless garment knitting system and the technical staff support. The facility has brought new opportunities for students and industry in the development of short run customized knitted garments.

Commenting on her first prize in the Recycled Wool category, Jayde Christie said it was very satisfying to win the award in recognition of the hard work and dedication put in over the first semester.

“Winning the award has given me confidence in my abilities and I am sure it will benefit my future career in the industry,” she said.

Category runner-up Melanie Lam said the award was encouraging as it confirmed that hard work has its reward.

“I tend to be my own worst critic, and getting the award has taught me not to be too negative and critical about my own designs,” she said.

Head of Fashion at Curtin, Anne Farren said she was inspired by the students’ achievements.

“This is fantastic news and reward for the long hours that the students have spent working on their collections and preparing for the awards.

“We are very proud of their success and hope they continue to push the boundaries of design, and work ever harder to make an impact,” Ms Farren said.

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