New fashion career for 75 year old Lynne

Wednesday, 14th February, 2018

Llynnette Neil won the Fashion Studio Award at Edith Cowan University. Photo: Carla Hildebrandt.

A 75-year-old Waroona woman has taken a hobby and turned it into a career, not letting her age become a barrier. 

After Lynne Neil’s retirement, the farmer’s wife had a studio built in the shearing shed, to focus on her sewing and garment making, which led to a new start in fashion. 

Lynne who believed, “if you don’t use it you lose it”, chose fashion at Edith Cowan University after feeling isolated studying online.

At the completion of her Contemporary Arts and Fashion course, she won the opportunity to collaborate on a fashion line with Perth agency Jennifer Gaye and Terri-Anne Heighway, after gradation. 

Lynne also won the Kindness and Commitment award at her beloved university, which she said was the experience of a lifetime.

“I found it an absolute joy from day one,” she said. There was no ageism. I learnt from the students, and they learnt from me. 

“They showed me how to grab from the present as well as the past. I have firm friends there, even though there is 50 or 60 years between us.”

Lynne said the support from her fellow students and tutors saw her through the demanding three-year course.

Lynn will travel to China, for the last component before graduation, to see how they produce clothing.

“We will be going to factories so that will be interesting to see how they manufacture clothes,” she said. 

Lynne takes her clothing inspiration from World War Two, using basic styles mixed with couture.

“I was born in the middle of it and I remember the rationing and the pressure we were put under,” she said.

“A lot of farm workers entered the forces and the women took over the jobs. They were given a uniform, which was breeches and jodhpurs.

“They did everything that was farm related. My work is based on their uniform.”

Mandurah Mail

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