Agriculture always in fashion

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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It is back with a passion and this year's Act-Belong-Commit Ag Art Wear design winners will be announced next week at Dowerin.

With an opportunity for the Avant-Garde category winner to receive an all expenses paid trip to the 2013 New Zealand National Field Days and $1000 in cash, the competition brought together a great collection, according to event co-ordinator Jenna Freind.

"Like last year's inaugural competition, all of the Avant-Garde designs were WA-made out of recycled agricultural products," Ms Freind said.

Judges were told to approach each of the four Ag Art Wear categories differently with the Avant-Garde section being awarded on the 'wow' factor.

"Out of the eight garments entered in the Avant-Garde, judges were to come up with the most unusual design as their winner."

First-time designer, Colleen Quartermaine of Narrogin, used dermo wool as a material to create a dress with a statement.

"My subject matter had to do with poor mobile phone service in country areas," Mrs Quartermaine said.

First-time designers were encouraged to enter their garment into the designer/traditional section as an entry level into the event.

There was also an under-21 section which encourages younger and occasionally first-time designers to get creative.

Nineteen-year-old Azka Anum Malik, of Parkwood, entered her wedding dress made of nut washers.

In the Landcare awareness section, the list of suggested materials included horse hair, turkey feathers and seed pods to name a few.

"It is definitely a challenging section to create a garment made from flora and fauna found within Australia," Ms Freind said.

Designer Natalie Tonkin of Moora, used vine and fallen bird nests shaped into a traditional dress to emphasis the impact humans have on the environment.

"My piece challenges modern-day living and the obsession with large houses and urban sprawl that encroaching on productive farm land," Mrs Tonkin said.

The other entry Mrs Tonkin designed was a garment that represented the commitment and sacrifices that woman must submit towards a life on the farm.

Dowerin visitors are invited to watch the Ag Art Wear garments being paraded at the fashion show pavilion.

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