A dress designed by student Tom Lake has been put into production and sold through Melbourne store, Alpha60.
Brother-and-sister team Alex and Georgie Cleary - Director and Creative Director of Alpha60 - were so impressed with his design that they are featuring it in their 2015 Spring Summer collection in Melbourne stores.
In the second-year of the Associate Degree, students focus on a capstone project that allows them to work closely with industry partners to design, make and present fashion garments in answer to a commercial brief.
Alpha60’s owners - who have worked with the Associate Degree program for five years now - were on the panel to whom Lake presented his designs.
Some of Lake’s items were based on a mood board that the panelists had previously given students.
However, Lake’s signature piece was inspired by the movie Alphaville, from which Alpha60 derives its name.
“There’s a really iconic twisting staircase in the film - I adopted that in the crossover at the centre-back of the dress.
“When I think about design I consider what defines a specific item of clothing, why it’s called a dress or a jacket for example.
“In thinking about the essential elements of defining a garment, I work within this idea of investigating the placement and versatility of these essential parts which can radically change the impact of the design.
“I enjoy clever designs - and observing how a garment has been manipulated and played with from a basic block.
“Alpha60 were fantastic and I’ve since done an internship with them, which allowed me to see how they worked.
“They took me through their whole design and production process, and I worked with their designers, visited their warehouse, and helped with a photo-shoot - seeing each facet of the organisation was really interesting.”
The dress and top are in store now in the Flinders Lane and Brunswick Street stores and are very close to being sold out, which is very exciting and a proven success.
The pieces have been titled under the name “Tam” – the ‘Tam Top’ and ‘Tam Dress’.
Lake’s interest in design technology emerged in his VCE - after being shortlisted in a fashion design competition, he chose to study the Associate Degree at RMIT as it was the best in Australia.
“I checked out all of the fashion programs in Victoria, and then went to the RMIT Open Day - the teachers were creative professionals in their fields, and I spoke to a few friends who’d done the course before who strongly recommended it.”
After successfully completing the two year Associate Degree, Lake chose to continue his studies in RMIT’s Bachelor of Design (Fashion) (Honours) allowing him to focusing on developing his conceptual design skills.
Through his own initiative, Lake has created an internship opportunity in Vietnam in early 2016.
This will give him the opportunity to have first hand knowledge and hands on practical experience in the country's manufacturing processes as well as forging valuable industry connections.
“Having an experience like this is once again invaluable.”
After completing his degree, Lake plans to work abroad and learn the ropes with an independent label for a few years, and then start his own label.
Alpha60’s Alex Cleary said: “It’s vital that students are able to work with within other people’s design parameters if they want to be able to get a job in industry.
“Tom’s design fitted so well into the brief and style of Alpha60 that we thought it could be incorporated into our range.
“We worked closely with Tom throughout the production process - and hopefully he will be proud to see his design available in our Brunswick Street and Flinders Lane stores.”
Story: Ash Hibbert