Small town boy making waves with Moscow in mind
Jason Chetcuti made it to the finals for Aussie Miss Universe contestant Olivia Wells

Regional Queensland designer Jason Chetcuti made it to the finals with a “dream dress” for Aussie Miss Universe contestant Olivia Wells and has high hopes of seeing his work on the catwalk in Moscow.

Australia’s stunning blue coastlines and abundant marine life were inspiration for one of four fashion creations that are finalists in this year’s Miss Universe Australia costume competition.

Made entirely by hand over more than 250 hours, the  pure silk and chiffon creation is intricately beaded and incorporates feathers, shells and jewels to recall the riot of colour and life found in the Great Barrier Reef.

He appeared this week with three other finalists on Seven’s Sunrise program which is hosting the competition. His gown can be seen and voted for at

Growing up in coastal Mackay, Jason knew he wanted a career in fashion design from when he was only15. Inspired by fashion legend Valentino he began by illustrating designs of his own.

“A family friend with refined skills in fashion and garment assembly became my teacher & mentor,” Jason said.

“I was soon entering and winning fashion competitions throughout Queensland with designs from evening wear to active sports.”

It was not long after finishing school that he winged his way to Paris to hone his talents with study in draping and design for haute couture. But love of Australia soon lured him back to establish his own fashion and business label ChETCUTI.

“Developing a corporate wardrobe for Bank of Queensland was one of my first jobs,” Jason recalls.

“At 20 I moved to Sydney to broaden my horizons and set up a made-to-measure design business from my garage in Kensington.

Miss Universe

“I had great fun making costumes for Mardi Gras, wedding dresses, and street wear for friends and clients. Eventually I had my own store on Crown Street in colourful Darlinghurst where even the occasional celebrity would come in to browse, chat and buy the odd frock.”

Jason says he has never been afraid of a challenge and that you have to be bold and work hard if you want to succeed in the fashion industry. To showcase his work and build profile he appeared on Kerri Anne Kennerly’s morning show, featured in SBS presenter Lee Lin Chin’s Fashionista documentary and was a contestant in the second series of Project Runway.

Since returning to Mackay in 2009 Jason Chetcuti’s ongoing work in fashion design has ensured locals can enjoy a taste of international glamour and flair.

“I may be a small-town lad in many ways, but I have always strived to have a global vision,” he said.

“While designing my gown for the Miss Universe competition I was fired up by the chance to win and have one of Australia’s most beautiful women seen wearing a little piece of Mackay by a billion viewers worldwide.”

Voting for the competition ends on the 26th of September with the winner announced on Sunrise on September 30.