Be wowed by the creations of six fashion design students at Westfield Chermside’s Couture Academy.

In the bubble of university, it can be easy for emerging designers to get lost in the whimsical world of high fashion, but it’s consumers who will one day buy their designs.

So it’s important that young talent keeps their market in mind when creating their beautiful pieces – a philosophy that Westfield Chermside’s Couture Academy tapped into by pairing six QUT fashion students with retailer mentors for a taste of real-world fashion.

Tasked with producing a one-off couture garment in a two-week workshop located in the middle of the centre, the designers needed to create a piece that was inspired by a spring/summer 2014 trend but also adhered to their retail brand’s aesthetic.

After collaborating closely with their mentors the students worked tirelessly in front of a shopper audience to produce a final garment which was then judged by industry experts and fashion media.

The lucky Ellie Price took out the prize; $2,500 to put towards a trip to a fashion capital of her choice.

Despite a family emergency and several last-minute disasters, Price pulled together a gorgeous tailored outfit which was reminiscent of her mentor label Cue.

“I’m so shocked – I had bets placed on the others!” she says of winning. “At 9am yesterday morning I had to redo the entire bodice. I was here until 10.30pm and didn’t even know if it would fit the model.”

Westfield Chermside stylist Christie Nicolaides says Couture Academy presented new challenges for the designers.

“It’s one thing to make designs but completely another to fit them to a model and see how they move on the body,” she says.

It was also a challenge to create pieces that were out of the students’ usual aesthetic comfort zone – Price in particular found the ‘menswear’ theme challenging as she is mostly focussed on sleepwear with her label EJPJs.

“It was really difficult – it’s been two years since I’ve done a lined garment,” she says.

Kylie Middleton, state visual manager for Cue, says despite the challenge Price’s garment was a great representation of the label’s aesthetic.

“It’s exciting to see our iconic brand still leading local fashion and up-and-coming talent,” she says.

The designs will be showcased at Westfield Chermside until 30 September.