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The Dress with a Powerful Message

Melbourne sustainable dressmaker makes unique gown to spread the slow fashion message

Photography by Yana Klein

Victoria Konash, owner of VixEcoDesigns, is a dressmaker, sewer and artist who prides herself on ‘slow making’. It took Victoria months to make ‘The Golden Dress’; a unique piece of wearable art made from thousands of pieces of discarded thread.

The design is born from Victoria’s self-questioning of what type of country Australia is today – the place her family migrated to from the Soviet Union in 2013.

“Modern Australian society consists of many layers of migrations,” said Victoria. “And each layer has added to the development of the country in its own way. No one layer is superior to any other.”

“I only use recycled, reclaimed and natural materials for my unique designs.”

Victoria Konash

She said respect was shown to Australians from different ethical backgrounds, no matter how long ago they arrived in Australia, where they came from and what their mother tongue was. “This is the Australia I know and believe in,” she said.

With this in mind, Victoria created a dress that conveys an important ethical message.

Layers of meaning

“The upper layer – the gold dress – has been made entirely from tiny strands of leftover threads. And, when you lay the dress flat, you can see a map of the world representing the multicultural diversity of modern Australia,” said Victoria.

“All the continents and islands are connected together to create a three-dimensional shape that fits around the body.”

The skirt and the top beneath this layer are made from hemp and organic cotton fabric. Both pieces are reversible and can be worn inside out, separately or together.

The shape of this layer was inspired by the tribal hip wraps of the traditional owners of this land, and the intricate corsetry is a heritage of the British Empire. 

The dress was featured as the cover of Re:think Issue #22, be sure to grab yourself a copy online.

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