Tafe fashion Hello Sunshine

Fashion Re-Generation

Image source: IN Noosa Magazine

The fashion future is bright on the Sunshine Coast. Carlie Wacker spent time with the 2021 TAFE Queensland graduates as they shared their capsule collections that mimic the way young people see the world right now.  

The 2021 Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising graduates have proved that resilience is a superpower and despite a tumultuous two years in the world our young people can adapt, reimagine and pave a way to a successful future. 

Nine emerging fashion designers presented their catwalk collection as the final assessment in their course. I was honoured to be on the guest industry panel to witness the students share their labour of fashion love – the finished designs and business plan for their brand. 

Alongside teachers Amanda Knights and Jodie Araya I gained real insight into the changing face of fashion post pandemic and as a new generation of designers enter into the industry. 

“These students started the course just as the pandemic hit in 2020. I feel it gave them more time to explore their creative side and the outcome has been quite different to previous years,” Amanda said. 

The overriding theme in the students’ work has been regeneration with waste reduction, sustainability, recycling, upcycling and ethical production featured heavily. I was so pleased to see a movement towards quality over quantity and a real desire to see the industry push forward on a path towards putting people and the planet first. 

One student Nicola Hatfield of Lioness Nila Fashion presented a collection named “Garden Craft” with the intent to spark a regenerative movement. 

“I want to inspire creative methods to upcycle,” she said. Her designs were salt of the earth with almost zero waste, even using the leftover thread from sewing garments to create a bird nest inspired embellishment for one of her pieces. 

A trend towards gender neutral dressing was also prevalent in the works to emerge from the students. Savannah Whites collection of non-gendered ensembles explored the societal views on roles and the personal presentation of people based on sex. 

Inclusivity in size options available in the market facilitated collections by students Missy Harwood and Maddy Crowhurst to offer fun and young fashion to a demographic oft forgotten. 

There was  an epic festival vibe through some of the student’s work which suggests to me that our young people are ready to make up for lost time and head out to festivals, music gigs and nightclubs. 

As the entrepreneurial capital of the country our fashion future is safe in the hands of these rising design stars. 


TAFE Queensland offers several options at its Mooloolaba campus for locals seeking to develop their skills in the fashion space, including: 

• Beginners Sewing (non-accredited short course) 

• Certificate II in Applied Fashion Design and Technology (available through TAFE at School) 

• Certificate III in Applied Fashion Design and Technology 

• Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising 

• Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising / Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising (dual award) 

About the Author /

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Carlie Wacker has worked in the media entertainment industry for over 20 years. From television to stage and radio she has been lucky enough to work her way around the whole country. Over the last 10 years she has styled and choreographed innovative fashion parades and talent shows and brings her love for fashion and entertainment as our Fashion Editor. She is also an MC, voice-over artist and radio announcer.

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