A former Warrnambool high school student's fashion design success hopes to change perceptions of clothing in regional areas.
Brauer College graduate Jake Sapstead's VCE textiles project from last year earned a Top Designs 2022 award and is on display at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) until July 10.
The 17-year-old's dress, called 'Vampy Rose', was one of the final seven textile pieces from students across the state selected to be showcased at the NGV's Season of Excellence exhibition.
Mr Sapstead said gaining one of the top stops and having his garment on public display was "amazing".
"After working so hard for seven to eight months, to be able to showcase my work to the public, and especially to a large audience like Melbourne, feels unreal," he said.
Mr Sapstead said his dress' combination of structure and fluidity sought to reflect his enjoyment of fashion.
"The cutouts are specifically in place to showcase the wearer's body and curves," he said.
"It's very organic but at the same time has a lot of structure to it which I enjoy.
"Fashion should be fun. It shouldn't be strict and form-fitting. It should be whatever makes you feel attractive."
IN OTHER NEWS
Despite his accomplishment, Mr Sapstead said it has been difficult at times to explore and push fashion boundaries in his hometown.
"Down here in regional (Victoria), we are a bit restricted with fashion," he said.
"We don't have as many shops as metropolitan areas, and a lot of the mindset is closed-off.
"The regions are getting better but not as fast as what the metropolitan areas are."
Mr Sapstead said he hoped his achievement would inspire others in the region to dress freely and pursue artistic endeavours.
"The past few years I have been dressing a lot more courageously as an individual," he said.
"Hopefully my recognition shows people that it is okay to be different, be a bit more creative, and a bit more artsy, without caring about how other people are going to receive it."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.