Final-year students and recent graduates from RMIT University’s renowned fashion programs will be the highlights of the “Emerging Designer Series” at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week (3-9 September).
The fusion of traditional techniques with modern technologies is a key trend emerging from this year’s Bachelor of Design (Fashion) graduating cohort, who will unveil their work in the Student Exhibition (27 August-9 September) and the RMIT Student Runway (6 September).
Associate Professor Karen Webster, co-Program Director of Fashion at RMIT, said many of the designers had focused their final year of studies on discovering ways to combine old and new artisan techniques.
“It’s perfect for Melbourne – it shows a respect for history and tradition, while also revealing our vision for the future,” Associate Professor Webster said.
“Our graduating students have paid tribute to heritage techniques in their final-year work, using embroidery, traditional tailoring and bespoke methodologies.
“They are also combining the old with all the possibilities of the new, using techniques such as laser-cutting and 3D printing to craft designs that are truly innovative and contemporary.”
The ever-popular RMIT Student Runway at Melbourne Town Hall will unveil the capsule collections of 30 fourth-year students to industry figures and fashion media from Australia and around the globe. The Student Exhibition at 1000 £ Bend offers an alternative to traditional methods of displaying fashion, giving viewers the chance to immerse themselves in design through non-conventional media including film, installation and multimedia.
Co-ordinated by Associate Professor Robyn Healy, RMIT co-Program Director of Fashion, the exhibition will feature inventive and thought-provoking work by graduating students.
“The major concerns represented in the exhibition reflect how fashion responds to changes in the urban environment,” Associate Professor Healy said.
“Students have designed clothing which contributes to environmental adaptability, looked in depth at expressing new forms of luxury and domesticity, explored alternate making systems, as well as increasing interactivity and emotional connections with the world around us through the discipline of fashion.”
RMIT fashion graduates dominate the other events in the “Emerging Designer Series” – the Parallel Tensions Exhibition (30 August-8 September) and Tomorrow’s Heroes Runway (6 September).
Tomorrow’s Heroes Runway will feature six RMIT graduates, including work by Neo Dia, a collaboration between Bachelor of Applied Science (Fashion) graduates Gavin Lowes and Becky Chua, who bring inspiration from the masters of modern architecture to their sharply tailored prêt-à-porter collections.
Other recent graduates to show their work in the runway include acclaimed designers Livia Arena and Catherine Leon, as well as Amanda Cumming and Kate Reynolds, the duo behind menswear label PAGEANT. Six RMIT alumni will feature in Parallel Tensions, which highlights a new generation of fashion mavericks.
The exhibition will show work by Naomi Raggatt, of RAGGATT, whose complex designs revolve around an obsession with the manipulation of folds, and Christina Exie, who graduated with a Bachelor of Design (Fashion) last year and will show her experimental avant-garde designs.
Also featured will be emerging fashion stars and RMIT graduates, Naomi Tettman and Elke Doust, of TETTMAN.DOUST, Jason Hewitt and Melanie Bower.
Established designers and RMIT fashion alumni will have a significant presence in Melbourne Spring Fashion Week’s Designer Series, with MSFW Designer Series Runway 1 (4 September) featuring collections from Gwendolynne, Lui Hon, and Toni Maticevski.
above. LIFEwithBIRD and Thurley will show their work in MSFW Designer Series Runway 2 (5 September), while Dress Up, Megan Park, Obüs will be part of MSFW Designer Series Runway 4 (8 September).