The traditional fashion and textiles craft skills found in many urban cities contribute to the vitality of our culture. In contemporary society these creative communities struggle to survive amidst a fast moving fashion industry that seeks to produce cut-price fashion at the cost of a localised, specialised industry. Nevertheless, these creative industries, small in scale and often associated to the luxury or high fashion sectors of the industry, have continued to exist through revivals in the hand-made and a resurgence of interest in craftsmanship and skills.

Alison Gwilt, in conjunction with Zoe Sadokierski (illustrator), Steve Woods (screen-printer,) and Helen Parsons (embroiderer) have collectively created the ornate sleeve as an example of localised skills working together in a collaborative model of practice. As the couture industry within Paris works on overcoming the continuing struggle to produce the haute couture womenswear fashion collection, so in cities like Sydney, the fashion industry continues to need the specialised skills and knowledge of these creative communities.

Image: Alison Gwilt, Journey of an ornate sleeve, 2009.
Credit: Photography by Silversalt Photography

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