Why sun smart is fashionably cool

A Curtin University student has won the Cancer Council WA’s 2019 SunSmart Fashion Project with her modern, smock-style dress.

Twenty-year-old Abbey Telfer, who studies Fashion and Design and is from Doubleview, said her unique design was inspired by the humble tennis skirt.

Abbey Telfer’s garment was inspired by the humble tennis skirt.
Photo: Tony McDonough.

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

Abbey said she included tennis skirt-inspired pleating because the design had to be influenced by sport.

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

Abbey’s sun smart design comes just in time for National Skin Cancer Action week (November 18-23) which highlights the importance of early detection and encourages all Australians not to get caught out by sunburn this summer.

Curtin’s ‘Garment and Body’ fashion unit asked students to design sun-protective attire that was both functional and appealing.

Abbey said she realised how important sun safety was and wanted to create an outfit that had good skin coverage and quality UPF fabric to provide UV protection.

The annual National Skin Cancer Action Week sees Cancer Council Australia and the Australasian College of Dermatologists come together to educate Australians on being SunSmart.

More than 2,000 Australians die from skin cancer each year, and the Cancer Council WA estimates Australia spends more than $1 billion annually on skin cancer treatment.

Young people don’t need to sacrifice style to be sun smart.
Photo: Tony McDonough.

SunSmart manager Mark Strickland said Cancer Council WA was very impressed by Abbey’s design.

“Protective clothing is so important and young people need to realise they don’t need to sacrifice style to be sun smart,” he said.

According to Cancer Council WA, most skin cancers can be prevented by the use of good sun protection.

This National Cancer Action Week Australians are urged to use the five forms of sun protection: slip, slop, slap, seek, slide.

Abbey Telfer’s SunSmart design has been awarded a limited run and can be found for sale at Ruck Rover General Store in Northbridge.