10 years of treasures from, well, very cheap stuff


2555 sustainable Jen Standish White OKBy ERWIN CHLANDA
Disclosure: As a bloke for whom his wife has taken over from his mother the function of selecting his clothes every morning (except for beach holidays), the task of writing a fashion review is daunting.
I hope all the silly things I am saying below will be excused in the light of the above.
In fact I can be more lucid about the location than about the garments: The crowd in the Aviation Museum’s hangar was so huge last night that next year there will need to be chairs on to top of the DC3 wings.
They are strong enough. (I’m pretty sure I have parachuted out of this former Connair workhorse.)
I have certainly instructed gliding in the Kookaburra dangling above the crowd, the little yellow Australian-built sail plane made from wood and fabric. See, I do have some knowledge of fabric!
What’s more I have looped it a few times, before chief instructor Tom Bird mentioned casually that she is not rated for aerobatics, especially loops when one’s weight is increased four-fold  – that’s four Gs – at the bottom of the dive.
“Did you hear the white ants complaining?” asked Tom.
As good luck played a role there so did it for the creators of the works shown in the Sustainable Couture 2018: The good fortune of finding stuff, usually free of charge, from which to make great clothes.
Finally, here comes my stab at fashion journalism. Having lived in the Bush most of my life I have great admiration for people making something great out of very little.
And hating waste further pre-conditioned me for the show (as have all the other nine preceding ones I have enjoyed very much).
Second-hand shops such as Vinnie’s have shot up in my esteem because that is where much of the materials came from: Old table cloths, bed sheets, pre-loves clothes, and so on.
Proportionately my admiration has also skyrocketed for the 10 coutoureuses (I looked that up) who had great looking young women (and a couple of blokes) displaying their creations as the 10th Sustainable Couture unfolded.
Brigida Stewart and Amanda McMillan have excelled in other fashion shows including being in the top 10 Melbourne Cup Fashions.
Christine (Nina) Long has working with textiles in her blood, her mum being a sewer, her great-grandfather a tailor and a great aunt had a dress making business in Melbourne.
It was Kimberley Zeneth’s first collection.
Curtin Springs is an unusual domicile for a fashion designer until you learn that Amee Porter’s creations are exclusively made from paper produced from native grasses growing on that cattle station near The Rock.
Margaret Johnson gets her inspiration from the colours and textures of the Central Australian landscape.
Carmel Ryan is an Alice local much acclaimed for her fashions made for theatre and Wearable Arts.
Sarah Hill was back after a break, putting to great use again her creativity inherited from her parents – knitting and spinning from her mother and painting, landscaping and sculpting from her father.
Kate Fletcher has a Sustainable Clothing stall at the Salamanca Market in Hobart.
And Jen Standish-White promotes her ethical fashions by using mostly natural fibres.
Here are some of their works, and see part of the night’s glamour in our video.

AT TOP: By Jen Standish White
2555 sustainable Kate Fletcher OK
By Kate Fletcher
2555 sustainable Carmel Ryan OK
By Carmel Ryan
2555 sustainable Franca Frederiksen OK
By Franca Frederiksen
2555 sustainable Marg Johnson 2 OK
By Marg Johnson
2555 sustainable Amee Porter OK
By Amee Porter
2555 sustainable Kimberley Zeneth OK
By Kimberley Zeneth


  1. Love what these women do. Recycling and coming up with wonderful, wearable clothing.
    Happy 10th to all you creative people.

  2. Beautiful and colourful creations. Great show – thank you to everybody involved for putting up such a great event for a decade!


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