Colourful frocks, fitted floor-length evening gowns and full skirts dominated the runway when Australia’s best new and emerging designers showed off their wares at the 20th annual Fashion Awards Australia.
Held at Encore Events Centre in Hoppers Crossing, budding designers from around the nation and design students from TAFE, secondary colleges and tertiary campuses displayed their works across a range of categories, including evening wear, chic day wear and recycled wearable art.
Designer Sia Zacharis took out both Australian Gown of the Year and Australian Designer of the Year, wowing judges with a floor-length black and purple gown with a thigh-high split and one-shoulder detail.
In the secondary school category, Anh Hoang, from St Albans Secondary College, won three awards – best long gown, young designer of the year and most outstanding garment. She came second in chic day wear.
Competition among the schools was fierce, with only three points separating John Claringbold School Cup winners Ballarat Grammar and second-placed St Albans Secondary College.
Awards director Heather Marcus said she was also impressed by the quality of designs from first-time entrants at Thomas Carr and Templestowe colleges.
“It was wonderful to see new schools come in and able to win prizes when you’ve got strong schools such as Ballarat Grammar, Geelong College and St Albans Secondary College competing,” she said.
Ms Marcus said this year’s awards attracted 320 entries, including 262 from secondary college students.
“The quality of the garments in the secondary college [section] was very, very high,” she said.
“Work was extraordinary in every category and the show itself was just amazing.”