From pharmacy to fashion, Sarah wins Sheepvention young designer award

Terry Sim August 7, 2017

Sheepvention Young Australasian Designers Award winner Sarah Twyford, left, with model Bonnie Elvin.

PHARMACIST Sarah Twyford was a latecomer to fashion design, but she took a big step toward creating her own label last night when she won the Sheepvention Australasian Young Designer Wool Award and scholarship.

The 30-year-old studied to become a pharmacist at the University of Adelaide, but decided to study fashion after working in London for a few years with her partner.

When they returned to Adelaide, she did a night class at TAFE SA to learn how to sew.

“I think I’ve tried to teach myself multiple times, pretty unsuccessfully.”

Sarah said designing garments for her own label had always been her dream. She is now in her second year of an Advanced Diploma of Fashion Design and Technology.

“Pharmacy is great; it’s great at problem solving, but it is not necessarily creative in the way that designing is.”

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The major award for 2017 is the $10,500 Handbury Award & Scholarship including the chance to attend a two-week residential (northern) summer course in Fashion Design at the Istituto Marangoni, Milan, one of Europe’s most famous fashion schools.

Sarah told ACE Radio chief executive officer Mark Taylor at the Sheepvention award last night that she was overwhelmed with her unexpected win.

“At the moment, my heart is going a million miles an hour, but I’m really excited at the prospect of hearing how it (the summer course) can really change what direction you go in and what opportunities you have.

“I can’t wait, I’m so excited – I think you should put that on the pamphlet next year.”

Sarah said she used laser-cutting technology to create her winning Racewear section cape coat and “bustier-style” dress, with traditional beading for the floral motif.

“I guess the actual motif actually stemmed from some art nouveau wallpaper and it had a romantic-type theme.

“The cape outer is a wool crepe, with 70 percent wool, 10 pc cashmere and 20pc polyamide its lining is 100pc wool.

“The dress is 100pc wool in a dobby weave fabrication.”

Connor left soccer for sewing

Sheepvention Young Australasian Designers Awards secondary school winner Connor O’Grady with his mother Lindy.

The winner of the secondary school student award was 16 year-old Year 11 Brisbane Boys Grammar School student Connor O’Grady who said he had wanted to be a designer since the age of four. He place second in the evening/formal and racewear sections of the awards.

“When I was seven I was begging my parents for sewing lessons and finally scored them, though firstly they put me into soccer lessons, which was an epic fail, but here I am now.”

He designed his first dress at eight year-old and intended to study fashion and work for a label to learn about the business side of the trade.

“At the moment I am making a suit for myself.”

His mother Lindy said when Connor was four years-old he said he wanted to be a fashion designer. But her husband Allan opted for soccer lessons instead.

But we only really went to one soccer lesson – it was disastrous – so then we went to the sewing lessons and he hasn’t looked back.”

Former Young Australasian Young Designers Award winner Nadia Foti, centre, with 2017 evening-formal and fantasy theatrical winner Jade Guerin, left, and street-sports wear winner Kira Gagliardi.

2017 Australasian Young Designer Wool Awards results – Corporate wear: Courtney Lemke, Gordon, 1st; Renay Webb, Gordon, 2nd; Jade Guerin, Whitehouse, 3rd.

Evening/formal wear: Jade Guerin, Whitehouse, 1st; Connor O’Grady, Brisbane Grammar School, 2nd;  Katherine Kostas, TAFE SA, 3rd.

Fantasy/Theatrical wear: Jade Guerin, Whitehouse, 1st; James Greig, RMIT, 2nd; Frankie MacKay, TAFE SA, 3rd.

Racewear: Sarah Twyford, TAFE SA, 1st; Connor O’Grady, Brisbane Grammar School, 2nd; Apissara Chairattanamanckorn, RMIT, 3rd.

Street/Sports wear: Kira Gagliardi, TAFE SA, 1st; Kali Rees, RMIT, 2nd; Imogen Matich, RMIT, 3rd.


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