Fashion design graduate tops AGOTYA field

Fashion design Honours graduate Jessica Gregory declared overall winner of the Design Institute of Australia’s 2018 Australian Graduate of the Year Award (AGOTYA) last week.

Announcing her as the overall winner and the recipient of the 2018 Madeline Lester Award, the judges said that Gregory’s work encapsulated “the best qualities of a design graduate”, showed “clear evidence of high level thinking and process invested in the works” and demonstrated that she was “literate across the design process, not just that of her chosen discipline”.

The AGOTYA-winning portfolio, which also won her the Fashion and Textile Design category, included a range of contemporary fashion clothing that featured boldly printed extracts from social media messages.

Gregory turned to her own social network when creating the striking designs, noting that her collection was partly a response to the recent phenomenon of re-mixing and replicating information through memes.

“I turned texts, sent and received from my phone, into a haiku poem spread across a collection of garments in various scales,” she said.

“The project encourages discussion about the relationship between fashion and technology through worn text as a powerful form of communication.”

Celebrating emerging designers

Included as part of the 2018 DENFAIR Melbourne event, the AGOTYA competition celebrates the best young design graduates – Australia’s future designers.

AGOTYA is the Design Institute of Australia’s primary programme for emerging designers, with noteworthy design graduates nominated by their educational institutions across a range of design categories.

As overall winner of AGOTYA, Gregory received a cash prize, trophy and mentorship with a design practice.

Judges' comments on Jessica Gregory’s portfolio:


Strong conceptual lineage throughout the folio of work. Fun, playful and sophisticated in approach. Strong graphic and colour layout. Conceptual lineage through the pieces. Really good styling and overall presentation of the folio. Considered from inception to final realisation.

Story: Karen Phelan

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