BOATHARBOUR teen Bonnie Graham is a local girl vying to be a fashion icon, and she's already getting recognition.
The 18-year-old recent graduate of Trinity Catholic College Lismore has spent her year designing, styling and creating a masterpiece of a dress - a mermaid-inspired piece for her HSC Textiles course.
And she was overjoyed when she recently found out her piece has been selected to go on show in the 2013 Texstyle exhibition.
It is just one of 20 HSC Textiles and Design pieces to be shown in the exhibition.
"I was quite surprised but very pleased; I was glad all the hard work had paid off," Bonnie said.
"It's always been something I've really enjoyed."
The inspiration for her piece came from a Book Week costume her mother made for her in Year 1.
"I kind of wanted to re-create that," she said.
The dress is made out of silk, with a hand beaded section at the top, which Bonnie said took weeks to complete.
Each of the scales on the bottom half of the dress is machine embroidered and hand painted silk.
"And on the bottom, for the tail, the silk flounces have been edged with fishing line," she said.
"Everything's very sparkly because mermaids have to be sparkly."
Bonnie said she'd chosen the fading purple colour scheme because of the way water reflects on itself.
After a year of work on the piece, instead of partying at Schoolies like most teenagers, she's instead spending her time setting herself up for a fashion career.