The world of fashion is constantly evolving. New technologies, new roles, new ways of manufacturing, new fabrics and blends and, most importantly, new emerging designers ……

Image Courtesy of Cotton Australia

But two constants remain the same. People want to look good in, and feel good about the apparel they buy and wear. They want high quality, well –manufactured, stylish clothing at a fair price. A discerning part of the fashion world also wants to ensure that the fabric they use does not come at a cost to the environment, or people. Many of these companies, designers and their customers are choosing sustainable, natural fibres like Australian cotton. These are chosen for their existing properties and performance and new fabric innovations.


The other constant in the fashion world is that behind every garment made of cotton fabric, is a farm and a farmer. Whilst this is the same, the science, technology, practices and innovation used to produce cotton in Australia are trail blazing enabling a product that is produced sustainably and recognised and valued throughout the world.


Cotton2Couture Awards 2016 


For the AATFA Cotton2Couture Award (open to secondary students from across the nation) the theme is ‘Cotton fashion forward’.


This award will be given to an innovative student at each State and Territory Final and the National Final. Working from cotton garments spanning the course of five decades, students will be asked to submit garments inspired by an element of one of the vintage garments and reinterpret it into something cutting edge and contemporary. They might be inspired by the colour, a detail, the silhouette… anything, as long as it is a clever reinterpretation of the garment by an emerging designer. Select your inspiration from the following:

Inspiration Garments 1920s - 1060s


The new garments can be anything the student envisions – womenswear, menswear, formal, casual, active wear, wearable art and can be made of either woven or knitted cotton (such as these these). The costumes in this category must be entered into AATFA categories in addition to the Cotton2Couture category on the condition that they meet the criteria for both sections.



$250 for each State and Territory winner

$250 for the national winner


Judging Criteria & Judging Rubric - Cotton2Couture 2016 - Click to Download


Social media updates  

Student designer progress will be tracked through social media. Students are encouraged to post photos with #AATFA2016 #Cotton2Couture #DarnellCollection on Instagram, Twitter or Flickr giving hints of the progress made. Not only will AATFA, Cotton Australia, cotton growers and the Darnell Collection see the inspirations taking shape, but so will all the fashionistas nationally following AATFA.



Types of cotton:

The benefits of cotton:

Australian cotton:

Cotton Fabric Innovation: 



About Charlotte Smith & the Darnell Collection


Charlotte Smith inherited her godmother's  vintage clothing collection in 2004.  The Darnell Collection contains over 8000 pieces representing 32 different countries. It is the world’s most accessible collection of fashion history. Included in the collection are designers such as Lucile, Vionnet, Dior, Chanel, Balenciaga, Pucci, Jean Muir, Zandra Rhodes, Westwood, Versace, Dolce & Gabana and Jil Sander among many, many other names.​

Charlotte recognises the importance of The Darnell Collection’s role in fashion history education as well as being a large design resource. “The collection's mission is to preserve, develop and enhance the collection's ability to educate, interpret and inspire existing and new audiences for the better understanding and appreciation of the art of fashion.” 


This Award is proudly sponsored 

by Cotton Australia