Garment Philosophies at WorldSkills

Vi Tran is a Garment Production Competitor at WorldSkills, 2008, at Darling Harbour in Sydney. Vi shares her designs that she's been working on, and tells us what's important about the garment production industry in Australia.

Garment production has a fundamental role in fashion - and Vi explains why. She shows some designs she's created over the years, and the range she's created. She goes through her tools and shares what's involved - and why she carries a fishing tackle box with her!

About Garment Making at WorldSkills:

Twelve competitors will participate in this year’s Garment Making category at WorldSkills, which is promising, compared to the slight lapse in competitors in previous years. 2008 also brings two contestants from Western Australia – a region that has not appeared in this category for many years.

Each competitor will be required to make a shirt from a pattern revealed to competitors prior to the date of competition. An element of design will also be critiqued and will be based on the competitors’ creation and construction of both a skirt and a blouse. The material being used is cotton voille – a heavy- weight cotton. This year there is an emphasis on extremely high quality in the outcome of all projects.

A professional level is expected on all tasks, to the point of only millimetre tolerances of miscalculation in measurement. The competitors will be judged on numerous skills, such as pattern making and cutting and layering. However, the proportions of the marks are swayed towards the actual construction of the garments.

Specific construction skills of quite a difficult nature will also be assessed, including pin-tucking and French seams, not often used in garment making.

For the first time, the category will not be including a group-based component. Instead, each competitor will be judged purely on their own individual skills, making 2008 the fairest year in terms of judging equity for competitors.

About Vi:

Vi is a quietly confident young woman who is polite and articulate when spoken to. She holds great passion for garment production and considers it fundamental in the overall process of creating beautiful, high-end garments that society desires.

In her senior years of high school, Vi studied Textiles and Design and also enjoyed Visual Arts subjects throughout high school. Her mother is a social worker who works with outworkers in garment production, who work at home and trying to be accredited in the industry. Vi considers herself practical, logical and someone who enjoys most things in life. In her spare time, Vi enjoys swimming and attending TaiKo – Japanese drumming in Ultimo.

Described by her mentor as a ‘quiet achiever,’ Vi is training hard to bring home the gold.’ Vi not only works for Gordon Smith in garment production, she has also created her own ‘fit-to-measure’ garment business on the side, which she uses as training for WorldSkills Nationals.

Working to schedule and perfecting technique, the business will hopefully aid Vi in her quest for gold. Vi is modest about her amazing talents. Her mentor, Tracy, adores her “fast-little-fingers” as she creates her garments.

VJ Thomas Greader