Launch event gives valuable insight from some of Australia’s most exciting designers

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Acclaimed fashion designers, wearable art masterpieces, designer workshop stations and fashion parades are just part of the line-up of Runaway Art – the official launch of the Australian Wearable Art Festival – being held at the Imperial Hotel, Eumundi, Sunshine Coast on Friday 31 August.

Sunshine Coast Council’s Horizon Festival has proved the perfect opportunity to give both locals and visitors to the region a taste of what wearable art is and how people can be a part of the much larger event, set to be held in May 2019.

Event curator, Wendy Roe is excited to welcome artists, designers and arts appreciators to Eumundi to learn how spectacular this wearable art form can be.

“It is where Gaultier meets Picasso and everything in between,” said Ms Roe.

“We have costume designers, fashion designers, seamstresses and sculptors all getting excited to be part of a national showcase of wearable art and Runaway is a lead-up event educating people on techniques and styles and providing inspiration for works to be exhibited next year.”

The Australian Wearable Art Festival will have six main categories as part of its gala parade competition next year – Haute Couture, Avant Garde, Floriana, Natural Dyeing, Trashion and Sustainability, as well as additional prizes for best headpiece, best indigenous work and best tertiary and secondary student pieces.

For Runaway, some of Australia’s most exciting designers will be on hand to inspire people to get started on their entries and will even create pieces live on stage at a cocktail evening presentation.

The renowned Peter Dwyer, senior academic of the prestigious Whitehouse Institute of Design and previously fashion design head of Karl Von Busse Institute of Design, will co-present with Cindy Vogels, acclaimed fashion designer to the stars.

“I draw inspiration from what’s on-hand, thrown out, recycled or just plain fun and I’m always looking for materials that have a sense of authenticity, have their original features or unexpected characteristics,” said Mr Dwyer.

One work that may be partly created on stage on the night is made from discarded shade cloth.

“The strip of cloth was found with the original fastening straps and huge industrial eyelets for passing ropes through. Immediately I saw these features as a neckline and by passing a new rope through the existing casing, I could gather up the strip into a dynamic ruffle.”

“I have a studio full of other strange prototype experiments and exciting ‘materials’ not previously destined for the body. I am looking forward to bringing some of these pieces to life in Eumundi.”

Best known for her work as a contributing designer for Lady Gaga, Cindy Vogels’ pieces are all meticulously handcrafted and she has a special interest in ‘slow fashion’ or works that are ethically created.

“I love working at this unique intersection of fashion and costumery and I am particularly excited to see that next year’s event will have ‘Sustainability’ and ‘Trashion’ categories where people will need to think creatively about working with reusable materials and how a garment might last over time,” said Ms Vogels.

“In the Runaway event we will be looking at how everyday materials and recycled materials can be used to create something extraordinary and how we can push the boundaries of fashion into the realm of sculpture.”

Ms Vogels will also be showcasing a much anticipated new work entitled ‘Lady of The Light that is an exploration of how certain fabrics respond to black light.

“Without giving away too much, this will be a human installation with a model wearing pieces that are illuminated and it will be a show-stopper.”

Six local artists – Yanni van Zijl, Faith Tawhai, Karen Jones, Larissa Salton, Lucy Yule and Kait Manchip – will have designer stations on the night where they will be working on individual headpieces as well as displaying their own wearable art works. Pendragron Shoes will also display their wearable art footwear in a static display.

Wendy Roe believes 200 people will attend the event and anticipates tickets will sell fast.

“It is going to be an inspiring night of fashion and art and everyone is encouraged to dress up in their best threads,” said Ms Roe.

Runaway Art has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Department of Communications and the Arts’ Festivals Australia program.

Runaway Art will be held on Friday, 31 August from 6.30pm until 10pm at the Imperial Hotel, Eumundi. Tickets cost $38 and includes a complimentary drink on arrival with nibbles and then a cash bar throughout the evening.
To find out more or to book visit https://www.horizonfestival.com.au/event/runaway-art