TAMWORTH girls will be strutting their stuff on catwalks as far away as Sydney and Melbourne in the future, thanks to a local fashion designer.
Designer Colleen Tighe Johnson came second in the Deadly Dress Competition in September, part of the Deadly Sunset Awards.
This was her third time as a finalist.
Modelling for her at the Sydney Opera House was Tamworth High student Tjanara Sampson, who she spotted on the street in Tamworth.
“I had the design and saw Tjanara on the street,” Mrs Tighe said. “I’m also the co-ordinator of the Youth River Revival at the Capitol Theatre and Tjanara was among nine young girls who did the June Dally-Watkins course.”
Mrs Tighe said all her dresses and gowns have stories – a connection to her country.
The dress Tjanara modelled was called Mehi Dreaming.
“It tells the story of my mum, the river and connection to country and campsites and animals. Where I’m from, the river and the birthplace of my mother,” she said
“The dresses are my way of telling the cultural stories of the Gomeroi nation.”
While Tjanara was modelling at the Opera House, Deadly Award winner Jessica Mauboy came up to her and congratulated her and Mrs Tighe on their finalist placing.
“The experience was so amazing,” Tjanara said.
“It was incredible and a big opportunity for me. It was so exciting when Jessica came up to me. It all happened so quickly, so it was a bit of a shock.”
Tjanara said she was interested in pursuing modelling further.
“I’m loving it so far,” she said.
“I love wearing high heels and getting to know new people, the make-up and the hair.
“I also love showcasing who I am.”