Jaime-Lee’s big future in fashion

By Lauren Ferrone

After 40 hours spent hand beading 2,000 sequins, Jaime-Lee Dunn’s Valentino denim-inspired dress will finally be unveiled at an Adelaide Fashion Festival runway show tomorrow (Saturday, October 22).

Presented by TAFE SA students from different disciplines, Fashion’s Future: A TAFE SA Student Showcase highlights the role TAFE SA plays in promoting creativity, independence and opportunity for each of its students.

Jaime-Lee is one of 11 TAFE SA students part of the runway show and a finalist in the Premier’s Design Awards, which encourages final year TAFE students to work on competitive and creative projects.

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Jaime-Lee’s Valentino denim inspired dress (worn by a model) was created as part of a TAFE SA project for Adelaide Fashion Festival

“We put our designs on a board and presented it to the judges. They were only supposed to choose five, but they found it difficult because all of the designs were so amazing… so they picked 11 designers in the end,” Jamie-Lee says.

The Premier’s Design Awards brief was to create a Spring/Summer themed evening dress using 70 per cent denim.

“I interpreted that to be a nice, short dress with statement sleeves and hand beaded 2,000 sequins… it took awhile,” she laughs.

“I just loved Valentino’s new collection and was really inspired by hand beading they had done on the dresses and of course the galaxy theme, which fit well with the colour of the untreated denim I chose to use for the dress, which was supplied by R.M. Williams.”

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TAFE SA fashion student, Jaime-Lee Dunn, has big plans to open a plus-size boutique in Adelaide

After leaving her government job a couple of years ago to pursue fashion, the 35-year-old now has big plans to open a plus-size boutique in Adelaide.

“I didn’t want to be in an office job anymore so I went into retail and started from there, although I had been sewing since I was about 15 so my interest in clothes was always there,” she says.

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It took Jaime-Lee 40 hours to hand bead 2,000 sequins on the garment

Jaime-Lee describes events like Adelaide Fashion Festival as the “perfect benchmark” to launch careers in the fashion industry.

“There’s a lot of opportunities now in Adelaide especially with festivals like this,” she says.

South Australian fashion designer Liza Emanuele is one of the mentors in the Premier’s Design Awards.

The Premier’s Design Award winner will receive a 12 month mentoring program and will be announced at Fashion’s Future: A TAFE SA Student Showcase at Adelaide Fashion Festival Runway – Victoria Square / Tarntanyangga tomorrow (Saturday, October 22) at 11:30am.