Dundee Wearable Arts

Posted: November 23, 2015

A Different Kind of Art


This autumn Dundee Wearable Arts returned after an extremely successful crowd funding campaign and support from local businesses to put on the second annual showcase of incredible imaginative work.

Iartsupplies was proud to sponsor one of the prizes for this year’s competition and we were very grateful for the VIP treatment we received from the team who put the show together.  The whole evening was a spectacular experience showing some incredible skill, both conceptually and practically, as well as some excellent individuals who helped to make each piece a performance and not just a costume.

A Great Turn Out

The event was incredibly well attended, filling the auditorium of Dundee’s Bonar Hall, and front row seats right by the catwalk is probably the closest thing we will ever get to fashion week.  The variety of work on display certainly showcased the wealth both of technical skill and creative inspiration kicking around our fair city.  Picking winners certainly wasn’t an easy job.


Irene Blair’s Tatty Sack Dress. Photo courtesy of Graham Black and Dundee Wearable Arts.

The pieces were shown in four sections; Environment, Olde World, Technology and Open.  Interpretive depth was in abundance. There were pieces which displayed humour such as Irene Blair’s Tatty Sack Dress and Linda Thompson’s She Scrubs up Well made of micro fibre cleaning cloths, and those which were also inspiring of more negative emotions such as Jill Skulina’s Perfect Mother and the inquiet Synthetic Biology by Neil McIntee.


The fact that we can talk about the emotions these pieces inspired hopefully illustrates to the reader that we are not just talking about fashion pieces here but indeed something more evolved and deeper.  Other pieces showed great thought involved in the way they moved, like Morag Taylor’s Chrysalis Pupa and Ana Inès Jabares-Pita’s Ignis, simple pieces in terms of size and materials but which had a big impact. Designs such as Captain America, combining elements of Native American dress with the all American hero’s costume displayed a jarring juxtaposition which showed that political messages can also be transmitted through this media. We could go into descriptions of every piece shown as all of them were truly amazing but it would be hard for us to do them justice, so we think you should check them out here:

Wellgate Exhibit & Workshop

And Here:




A Three Dimensional Experience

Great credit must also go to those who did the choreography, lighting design, hair and makeup which made the show a three dimensional visual experience, as well as mentioned above, the performers who modelled the work.  All of these elements brought life to the pieces which cannot be communicated in the photos, nor could the same effect have been achieved by displaying the pieces on lifeless mannequins or in a less inspired catwalk framework.  Credit has to be given to all hands involved for creating a very unique experience in which a great many facets of Dundee’s creative community’s talent was displayed as a combined effort.  Unfortunately this full effect cannot be transmitted in the photos, but trust us it was awesome.



Ana Ines Jabares-Pita, Ignis. Photo courtesy of Dundee Wearable Arts

And The Award Goes To….

Several prizes were awarded and all were thoroughly deserved.  The Spirit of Dundee prize was awarded jointly to Rachel Goodman for Ice Crystal and Ana Ines Jabares-Pita for Ignis. Samantha Bryan was awarded both the Best Innovative Use of Recycled Material and Technology Section prizes for Sheer Connection and Everlasting Spirals.  Jill Skulina’s Perfect Mother won the Best Use of Yarn award and Rhiannon Wright’s Ravens/Crows took the Best Use of Paper/Print prize.  Morag Taylor’s innovative Chrysalis Pupa won the Open section and Gabrielle Von Waldburg’s Deep Sea Diva took the Environment section.  The winner of both the Olde World section and the overall prize was Morag Nowell for her piece Ship Ahoy.


Morag Nowell, Ship Ahoy. Photo courtesy of Laura Mumby and Dundee Wearable Arts

Nowell’s work was inspired by Dundee history, particularly its connection to the sea and the importance of ships to the town’s economic foundations.  Materials used all had some connection to the city as well with Levi’s jean material, jute and muslin playing their role as well as papier mache from the Courier and Evening Tele.   As well as various vouchers including our own the winner will be enjoying one year of free membership of the Dundee Makers Space at the Vision Building.  We hope to see what great use this is put to in the coming year.


The Dundee Wearable Arts competition is a great opportunity for everyone involved.  For those participating, either as choreographers, makeup artists, performers and creators it is a great opportunity to showcase your work to an audience.  For that audience it is a great way to have a thoroughly different evening out and artistic experience. We look forward to seeing next year’s competition.



Fiona MacHugh