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Welsh student’s innovative wearable art wins at global competition

25 Nov 2022 3 minute read
Agnes Olah scooped the ‘Student Innovation Award’ at The World of Wearable Art (WoW) with her winning design, entitled ‘Beneath’, which was worn on stage as part of the show.

A Welsh student has won a global award for innovation at a prestigious fashion design competition held in Wellington, New Zealand.  

Each year in New Zealand’s capital of Wellington, the spheres of fashion and art collide at an epic show, The World of Wearable Art (WoW). 

It was here that Agnes ‘Agi’ Olah, a student at University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) found herself when her design scooped up a prestigious global award.

She was the only person from the UK to win a prize, which she collected at the opening night of the show alongside NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who surprised the crowds by making an appearance as a guest model.

The World of Wearable Art (WoW) is an annual fashion design competition with very minimal rules: the outfit created must be wearable, and must respond to one of the six chosen themes for the show. 

Agnes (Agi) scooped the ‘Student Innovation Award’ with her winning design, entitled ‘Beneath’, which was worn on stage as part of the show. 

Basing her work on vintage lingerie and armour, she aimed to convey how often people are perceived in a certain way, but that looks can be deceiving. 

Agi, who currently studies BA (Hons) Graphic Design at UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art and has a previous degree in fashion, was able to collect her award and attend the opening night of the show in person because of funding she received from UWTSD via the Taith scheme, which helps students with costs involved in working, studying or volunteering abroad. 

Out of tens of thousands of entries, Agi was in the top 2%, whose designs were incorporated into the show. 

“After Covid-19 I needed to feel creative again, so I decided to study an additional BA in graphic design at UWTSD,” said Agi. 

“The course encourages transferable, meaningful design processes which have really influenced my work in the creative industry.

“I am delighted that the university was able to support my attendance at the World of Wearable Art, which was an amazing experience that created opportunities to meet other inspiring designers.”

‘Absolute pleasure’

Donna Williams, Programme Manager for Graphic Design at UWTSD says: “Agi has embraced every opportunity that Swansea College of Art can offer. She always approaches all her projects with a depth of knowledge and aims for meaningful outcomes, and it’s an absolute pleasure to have her on our programme.

“Combining fashion and graphic design skills, she’s created an innovative and desirable piece of wearable art which is a perfect example of transferable skills. We are absolutely thrilled that the university was able to support her participation in New Zealand and offer Agi this incredible opportunity.”


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
4 days ago

The theatre and film world’s costume departments will be beating a path to her door…

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