For Aimee: The mental health dress

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EVERY fibre of this dress is layered with meaning but most of all it means Aimee Lea Koehler will be remembered.

From the heart-shaped bodice representing love for a little sister, to the full-tiered skirt symbolising the depths of mental illness, every detail carries a message.

And that’s the way Laura Koehler intended it.

Click play to watch Laura discuss the meaning behind the dress's design (iPhone app users tap the 'Videos' tab).

For her final fashion design project at Wodonga TAFE, Laura created a purple masterpiece in memory of Aimee, who took her own life in March.

“I definitely think this has helped my grieving process,” Laura said.

The dress, coloured purple to reflect the Border’s bid for a headspace centre, will feature as the finale piece at Thursday night's Wodonga TAFE student exhibition Merge.

Chosen by the other students as the catwalk finale, Wodonga TAFE fashion teacher Lisa Watt said her class recognised the need to end the suicide silence.

“It’s such a strong piece of work, it spoke for itself,” she said of Laura’s creation.

The exhibition, at The Cube Wodonga, features hundreds of works from students studying 11 different creative industries and will be open to the public tomorrow and Saturday from 10am to 3pm.

Local designers will feature their wares for sale at the exhibition’s designer market on Saturday from 10am to 2pm.

For more on Laura’s creative journey, see Saturday’s edition of Pulse.

END THE SUICIDE SILENCE: Campaign home

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