Perth student proves fashion and sun protection a good fit

Abbey Telfer with model Chelsea Ryan (17) in her SunSmart dress design. Photo: Andrew Ritchie
Abbey Telfer with model Chelsea Ryan (17) in her SunSmart dress design. Photo: Andrew Ritchie

WOMEN no longer want to risk skin cancer in the name of fashion and a Doubleview student’s dress design means they do not have to.

Curtin University fashion student Abby Telfer (20) won this year’s Cancer Council WA Sunsmart Fashion Project for her modern smock-style dress with UV protection, which will see the dress sold at a Northbridge boutique.

“The challenge I faced was to design a dress that would demonstrate that sun protective clothing can be both fashionable and effective,” she said.

“I deliberately designed a simple, elbow-length contemporary dress with clean lines and top stitching that would meet the SunSmart criteria while appealing to young people.

“As the design had to be influenced by sport, I included pleating on the skirt which was inspired by women’s tennis apparel.”

The project was part of Ms Telfer’s fashion studies and required students to design functional sun-protective attire that would appeal to their peers.

Abbey Telfer (20) with model Chelsea Ryan (17) in her Sunsmart dress design. Photo: Andrew Ritchie

“I realise how important sun safety is which is why I wanted to create an outfit that had good body coverage, a high neck and made from quality UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) fabric,” Ms Telfer said.

SunSmart manager Mark Strickland said Cancer Council WA was impressed by the design.

“Melanoma is the most common cancer in young Australians between the ages of 15 and 39,” he said.

“Because protective clothing is so important to reduce UV exposure, young people need to know that they don’t have to sacrifice style to be SunSmart.”

Ms Telfer’s design will launch with a limited run at Ruck Rover General Store in Northbridge during National Skin Cancer Action Week, from November 18 to 24.