Doubleview student wins SunSmart fashion design competition

Posted 4 Nov 2019.

A 20-year-old Curtin University student has been named as Cancer Council WA's 2019 SunSmart Fashion Project winner for her unique design inspired by the humble tennis skirt.

Doubleview resident, Abbey Telfer, said the design, a modern-smock style dress with UV protection, would appeal to youth.

"The challenge I faced was to design a dress that would demonstrate that sun protective clothing can be both fashionable and effective," Abbey said. "I deliberately designed a simple, elbow-length contemporary dress with clean lines and top stitching that would meet the SunSmart criteria while appealing to young people.

"As the design had to be influenced by sport, I included pleating on the skirt which was inspired by women's tennis apparel."

Students who undertook the ‘Garment and the Body' fashion unit were asked to design functional sun-protective attire which would appeal to their peers.

"I realise how important sun safety is which is why I wanted to create an outfit that had good body coverage, a high neck and made from quality UPF fabric."

Curtin University Coordinator of Fashion Design Dr Anne Farren, and one of the judges, said being involved in a health promotion project as significant as the Cancer Council WA's SunSmart Fashion Project for the past five years had greatly benefitted students.

"The SunSmart program provides an opportunity for our second-year fashion students to work on a real industry brief as well as offering the winner the invaluable experience of direct engagement with industry to prepare their design for production," Dr Farren said.

"Real-world experience is a focus of the Fashion Design course at Curtin and the SunSmart program is a great example of this."

SunSmart Manager, Mark Strickland, said Cancer Council WA was impressed by Abbey's design.

"Melanoma is the most common cancer in young Australians between the ages of 15 and 39," Mark said.

"Because protective clothing is so important to reduce UV exposure, young people need to know that they don't have to sacrifice style to be SunSmart."

Abbey's design has been awarded a limited run and will be for sale at Ruck Rover General Store, 242 William St Northbridge.

The launch of Abbey's winning design coincides with National Skin Cancer Action Week (18-24 November) which this year urges young people not to get caught out by sunburn this summer. 

Cancer Council WA's 2019 SunSmart Fashion Project was supported by funding from Healthway.

Visit for more information about the fashion project, UV radiation and sun protection.


Found in:  News - 2019 | View all news