THE Ag Art Wear competition has become one of the most high-profile features of Elmore Field Days and seen the number of entries soar from the original nine to more than 50 in just a few years.
And in 2018 the Elmore and District Machinery Field Days Inc. will stage its 18th version of the fashion challenge.
A competition spokeswoman said the competition was for a wearable work of art, including accessories (hat, handbag, earrings, footwear etc), created almost exclusively from materials and items of an agricultural nature found on a farm.
“We’ve seen garments made from frost cloth, copper, grain, electric fence tape, and beer bottle tops, for example,” she said.
It seems the variety of materials used in the making of something artistic is endless.
The Ag Art Wear competition is open to everyone but one of the most important conditions is the garment must allow free body movement and not injure, scratch or be of a hindrance to the model wearing the garment.
It all started at the Australasian Field Day Conference in New Zealand before the turn of the centure, where Elmore visitors noticed an Ag Art Wear Competition.
They were so enthusiastic they came back and told the Elmore committee it should seriously look at holding such a competition.
The first year there were nine contestants, and it grew to more than 50 in 2016, with the standards of the designs improving yearly.
Today, the Ag Art Wear competition challenges designers to create a wearable art garment from materials found on farms, in farming related industries or sources from the land by taking these everyday materials and transforming them into unique garments.
Designs are then brought to life at the Elmore Field Days where they are modelled on the catwalk.
The Ag Art Wear has four main sections – Avant Garde, Designer, 18 Years and Under, and Novice – and a Hat section.
Rules stipulate the creation is durable enough to be worn at least six times during the duration of the field days, and that commercial dress fabric, hats, shoes etc are allowed but judges will deduct points for the use of non-agricultural materials.
The garments are modelled by professionals on the catwalk in the General Interest Area Auditorium during the three days.
A panel of judges select winners on visual inspection only, and announce their choice on the final day where entrants are encouraged to be present.
On the last day, the Elmore National titles will be awarded and the garment winners will each receive generous vouchers for travel within Australia plus cash.
The hat winner and second place and highly commended will also receive cash.