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Uncovering the wow

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Uncovering the wow

High-profile judges have been named for the upcoming Australian Wearable Art Festival, where fashion meets creation on the Coast.

The Australian Wearable Art Festival (AWAF), to be held on August 11 and 12, is shaping up to be one of the must-attend arts events on the Sunshine Coast. And now two exciting artists have been secured as judges for the unique extravaganza – where fashion and art converge.

One of the judges, Brisbane local Bethany Cordwell, achieved international notoriety when Beyoncé wore her black-and-white bodysuit – made out of 55,000 hand-cut plastic office binders – for the Renaissance album artwork in 2022. Then, using this technique, Ms Cordwell went on to win the Avant Garde category at last year’s World of Wearable Art Festival (WOW).

“Wearable art is such a unique platform where sculptural form, technique, wearability and the ‘wow’ factor all play such an important part in delivering a winning piece,” Ms Cordwell says.

“Garments exhibited at the festival are crafted from a range of unlikely materials, including in the past ring-pull tabs, bicycle tyres, flowers, teabags, feathers and all sorts of found or repurposed objects, which have been transformed into avant-garde pieces.”

Fifi Colston, a world-class artist and creative from Wellington in New Zealand, brings her award-winning expertise as an illustrator, writer and costume and props maker to the AWAF judging panel.

“I have been creating wearable art for more than 25 years and over that time, I have watched designers move away from largely costume-based, fairly literal solutions and instead use the medium as an exciting canvas for both performance and static exhibition,” Ms Colston says.

“It’s an exciting time for wearable art designers as they push the boundaries of art, fashion and costume design.”

Festival curator Wendy Roe says she is proud the event stands at the forefront of the Australian wearable art movement, providing a platform for artists and designers to showcase their creations.

This year’s event will feature 40 national and international works showcased on a 27-metre catwalk and spanning three shows.

For tickets, go to australianwearableart.com.au/.

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