Stuck at home with only her immediate surrounds for inspiration, Amy Lawrance used 2020 to create brightly-coloured clothing that became her escape from the gloom of lockdown.
The RMIT University fashion graduate spent her honours year in the kitchen making what would ultimately be chosen from among student entries across Australia to feature in this year's Melbourne Fashion Festival.
The 29-year-old, originally from Bendigo, was honoured to be one of 10 designers in the National Graduate Showcase which premiered via video on Friday evening.
"I'm really wrapped to be included and feel quite humbled that they selected me," she told AAP.
Ms Lawrance describes her four outfits modelled in the virtual catwalk show as "other-worldly", "theatrical" and almost "costume-like".
She drew ideas from a suitcase of children's clothing patterns from the 1960s she was given and a box of Barbie clothes from the same era.
Ms Lawrance experimented with geometric, flattened shapes on the body, inspired in part by French designers Pierre Cardin known for his avant-garde style and Andre Courreges, known for his streamlined 1960s designs.
She hand-starched and hand-dyed silk fabric in bright colours and sewed everything herself.
Melbourne lockdowns prevented her from visiting her family in Bendigo, a few hours drive away, so she focused on her project.
"It was nice to channel my energy into something creative and positive," Ms Lawrance said.
"I found (the clothing) a nice distraction."
The other nine designers who featured in the graduate showcase were Xizhu Wu, Phoebe Pendergast-Jones, Olivia Fagan, Karis Zanetta, Joash Teo, Gisella Candi, Erin Novick, Carol Lan and Amy Baran.
Ms Lawrance, like her peers, is now applying for jobs in fashion design and is optimistic about her prospects in spite of the stress the industry has been in since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
There are online and in-person events in this year's COVID-safe Melbourne Fashion Festival, which runs from March 11 to 20.
Venues for in-person events allow for physical distancing while virtual runway shows have been pre-recorded and online masterclasses are free.
It's a risk-averse approach in the wake of last year's festival, which was one of the earliest major events in the country to be cancelled because of the pandemic.
Australian Associated Press