Ricarda Bigolin

Associate Professor Ricarda Bigolin

Associate Dean Fashion and Textiles Design

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Contact details

DSC | School of Fashion and Textiles


Centre for Materials Innovation and Future Fashion (CMIFF)

Performing Dress Lab - with University of the Arts London (UAL) Aalto University, Finland & RMIT


Emailricarda.bigolin@rmit.edu.au


Campus: Melbourne City


Programs

More information

An icon representing a person's profile photo.

Contact details

DSC | School of Fashion and Textiles


Centre for Materials Innovation and Future Fashion (CMIFF)

Performing Dress Lab - with University of the Arts London (UAL) Aalto University, Finland & RMIT


Emailricarda.bigolin@rmit.edu.au


Campus: Melbourne City


Programs

More information

Associate Professor Ricarda Bigolin is a practice-based researcher, educator and designer and the Associate Dean of Fashion and Textiles Design at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.

Overview

Ricarda’s research, teaching and design practice is recognised internationally. She is regarded as one of the establishing practitioners in the niche fields of critical and expanded fashion practice after completing a practice-based PhD on this area in 2013.

As the Associate Dean of Fashion and Textiles Design at RMIT (2019 – present), Ricarda oversees the strategic leadership and direction of the discipline, including a comprehensive reimaging of programs as part of a major School-wide new curriculum project. This has involved defining the vision and fundamental elements of fashion and textiles design programs including program structures, specialisations and ways to support diverse knowledge ways of doing, making and performing fashion. Prior to this role Ricarda was Program Manager for the Master of Fashion (Design) and Bachelor of Fashion (Design) (Honours) (2016-18), including founding ‘Advanced Fashion & Textiles Studios’ in 2018, a model of combined delivery of Honours and Masters Fashion and Textiles programs. Bigolin continues to lead capstone courses and dynamic fashion graduate showcases in programs drawing on diverse industry conditions and key shifts in the Discipline to expand the understanding of what fashion designers do. Since this 2018 Ricarda has also led collaboration with Nike Sportswear Australia, finding ways to translate practice research to industry, WIL and employment opportunities for graduates.

Ricarda has led various international research and education collaborations with other highly regarded fashion institutions. This includes ongoing teaching and research projects with the Swedish School of Textiles, the University of Borås since 2013, where Ricarda is a visiting Assistant Professor participating in research projections as part of the Body and Space research program as well as co-convening conferences, examining Masters and PhDs, giving seminars, workshops and teaching. Ricarda also has since 2015 given lectures, studio visits, program accreditation and examinations and is part of the learning community of the MA Critical Fashion Practices, ArtEZ, University of the Arts, Arnhem, the Netherlands. Ricarda is the RMIT leader in the ‘Performing Dress Lab: Materiality, Technology & the Scenographic Body' research in fashion, dress and performance with Aalto University, UAL and RMIT that focuses on research training for PhD students, networking and mentoring for supervisors. Ricarda supervises Masters and PhD students specialising in practice and project-based research, supporting them to develop highly original practice research, hybrid methodologies and international appeal.

Key to Ricarda’s design practice is D&K, a collaborative critical fashion practice producing garments, images, performances, exhibitions, ficto-criticim texts, poems, scripts and films in leading art and design museums, galleries, publications and universities globally. D&K won the prestigious international Han Nefkens Fashion on The Edge Award, in 2014 alongside Iris van Herpen (NL), Craig Green (GB), Digest Design (CN) and Lucia Cuba (PE), a commission and acquisitive prize in partnership with the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Netherlands. The practice has been shortlisted for Australian prizes and curated, acquired or commissioned by festivals, museums and libraries worldwide including A Shaded View of Fashion Film: ASVOFF 13 Film Festival, UTS Art Gallery, Amsterdam Warehouse, London College of Fashion, Central Saint Martin’s Special Collections Library, NSW Library, Melbourne Design Week, Melbourne Fashion Festival, Spring 1883, MCA Sydney, OCAT Shanghai, OCAT Shenzhen OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, RMIT Design Hub, RMIT Gallery and various commercial and artist-run initiatives worldwide. The monograph on D&K - D&K LOOK BOOK 2019 published by critical design and art publisher Surpllus in 2019 which was supported with worldwide launches and co-published with an edition of Mode and Mode on D&K's writing practice. Ricarda is regularly invited to present her practice and research in public lectures, chair panels, symposiums, and masterclasses to audiences across fashion, art, design, architecture disciplines worldwide. Key to this is engaging with the wider languages and the everyday significance and performance of fashion across art and design disciplines.

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Industry experience

Ricarda's design practice operates across fashion, art, design, architecture disciplines. A key element of her practice is exploring how fashion performance can be used as a site to critique fashion and engage in ideas more broadly around the performance and interactions of the body and dress and its capacity to influence. Adjacent strategies are explored in her writing practice and Ricarda is regularly invited to contribute performative text works, ficto-criticism, poems, scripts and short stories independent publications and exhibition texts including Press & Fold (NL), Warehouse Review (NL), Modus (UK/NL), Writing & Concepts (AU), Kunsthalle Bern (CH), Japan Foundation (AU) & Venice Architecture Biennale 2021/APE (CH). Ricarda also works in creative direction, costume and styling for film and performance.

Ricarda recently has been a guest participated panelist and research expert for Nike Australia, Move to Zero 2025 Strategy and part of the panel for Creative Victoria, Fashion Design Category Assessment Panel 2021.

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Research

Bigolin’s research explores the social, cultural, ethical and political context of fashion production and consumption. Ricarda has collaborated as PI on numerous research collaborations with the Swedish School of Textiles funded Swedish Research Council and Vinnova. The includes developing a range of design methods that highlight materials reuse, body, performance and material reuse for fashion design.

Research keywords

Critical and Expanded Fashion Practice, Fashion Design Methods; Fashion Performance, Image and Writing; Outlier Fashion and Dress Practices, Fashion Garments, Materials and Use

Research output summary

21

Publications

19 ($70,664)

Projects

2

Awards

Web

Supervisor interest areas

  • Fashion practice
  • Fashion performance
  • Exhibition
  • Image and writing; Expanded, critical and sustainable fashion design methodologies and practice

Supervisor projects

Current:

  • Alex Kirwood, M Des (Fashion & Textiles), (Key)framing fashion.
  • Chantal Kirby, PhD (Fashion and Textiles), ' Designing luxury: shifting experiences of materials and value through fashion practice'.
  • Kate Meakin, PhD (Fashion and Textiles), 'Front, back and side effects - the art of framing fashion'.
  • Remie Cibis, PhD (Fashion and Textiles), 'Fashionable Looks: Image, Garment, Wearer'.
  • Thomas McEvoy, M Des (Fashion & Textiles), 'Memories through Miniature Garments: Re-enlivening Historical Australian Fashion Practice'.

Completed:

  • Mathew Linde, PhD (Fashion and Textiles), 'Invitation to the Party: Lively Exhibition-Making for Unruly Fashion Practice'.
  • Laura Gardner, PhD (Fashion and Textiles), 'Mode and mode: tactics for publishing fashion in the margins'.
  • Hayley Thompson, M Des (Fashion & Textiles), 'Embracing mindfulness: Enriching slow fashion for human and environmental wellbeing'.

Feature publications

D&K Covers in A Shaded View on View Fashion Film Festival 2021 Selection: ASVOFF 13 ‘Fashion Moves’, 

Paris, France

Bigolin, R., Kirby, C., Meakin, K. (2021).

“To the naked eye, they look like shoulder pads” - fragments of fashion in counter and nefarious clothing practices

Dune: Writings on fashion, project and visual culture, Flash Art, Venice, Italy, vol. 002, no. n.001, pp. 42-51, ISSN: 2705-0084

Bigolin, R. (2021).

D&K LOOK BOOK 2019 — Surpllus #31, Shortlist

NGV Cornish Family Prize for Art and Design Publishing, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria

Bigolin, R. (2019).

Key publications by year

  • Bigolin, R., Kirby, C., Meakin, K. 2021, D&K Covers in A Shaded View on View Fashion Film Festival 2021 Selection: ASVOFF 13 ‘Fashion Moves’, Paris, France.
  • Bigolin, R. 2021, '“To the naked eye, they look like shoulder pads” - fragments of fashion in counter and nefarious clothing practices', in Dune: Writings on fashion, project and visual culture, Flash Art, Venice, Italy, vol. 002, no. n.001, pp. 42-51 ISSN: 2705-0084
  • Bigolin, R. (2021), '"I work in fashion and am used to hearing the names but am very bad at pronouncing them": fashion show reviews as performance of self/brand', Warehouse Review 002, Warehouse.
  • Bigolin, R. (2021). 'Fake News, Fashion Materials and Emotions Ricarda Bigolin' in Highest Mountain and Deepest Bay: Kiki Ando, The Japan Foundation Gallery, July 9 – September 25, 2021.
  • Bigolin, R. Blomgren, E. Lidstrom, A. de Oliveira, S. and Thornquist, C. 2021, 'Material Inventories for Responsive Design in Fashion Practice', in Proceedings of the 1st International Upcycling Symposium 2020, Kyungeun Sung. Jagdeep Singh, Ben Bridgens (ed.), Springer, Cham, Switzerland., pp. 47-54
  • Bigolin, R. 2019, 'D&K LOOK BOOK 2019 — Surpllus #31', Shortlist, NGV Cornish Family Prize for Art and Design Publishing, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria
  • Bigolin, R. and Themelios, N. 2019, 'D&K text works 2012-2019', Mode and Mode issue 7, Mode and Mode, Melbourne, Australia
  • Bigolin, R. 2019, 'Folio of creative writing on fashion', Various: Kunsthalle Bern, Press & Fold issue 0, Writing & Concepts 2016 volume 1 (published by Art & Australia), Modus (published by Onomatopee), Various, Bern (Switzerland), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Melbourne and Eindhoven (The Netherlands)
  • Bigolin, R. and Kirby, C. 2018, ''Artefacts of mass production: Swatch of Luxury'', ‘Fashion Colloquium: Searching for the New Luxury’, ArtEZ University of the Arts, Arnhem, Netherlands
  • Bigolin, R & Thornquist,C. Eds. ( 2017). Proceedings of the Conference Everything and Everybody as Material: Beyond Fashion Design Methods, Borås, Sweden, 7-9 June 2017.
  • Bigolin, R. and Themelios, N. 2017, 'D&K All or Nothing', High Risk Dressing/Critical Fashion, RMIT Design Hub Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
  • Bigolin, R. 2015, 'Fashion people: participating and producing fashion', in Fashion Design for Living, Routledge, New York, United States, pp. 97-111 ISBN: 9780415717724
  • Bigolin, R. and Themelios, N. 2015, 'D&K Hardly Brand - Softer Sell', The Future of Fashion is Now (TFOFIN), Han Nefkens Fashion on the Edge, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Bigolin, R. and Thornquist, C. 2015, 'Vital Materialism design methodologies for social change (Visual artwork)', Nordes 2015 Design Ecologies, Konstfack - University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Bigolin, R. and Nella, T. 2013, '#thathautecouturefeeling', #thathautecouturefeeling, Bus Projects, Melbourne, Australia
  • Bigolin, R. and Themelios, N. 2013, '#effortlessbeautytakesalotofeffort', Arcades, Centre for Style at Bus Projects, Melbourne, Australia
  • Bigolin, R. and Themelios, N. 2012, 'Dolci and Kabanna: Brand Delusions', Dolci and Kabanna: Brand Delusions, Bus Projects, Melbourne, Australia
  • Bigolin, R. 2011, 'Faux pas? Faking Materials and Languages of Luxury', in Proceedings of the 13th Annual Conference for the International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI) Fashion & Luxury: Between Heritage & Innovation, Sylvie Ebel, Olivier Assouly (ed.), Institut Francais de la Mode, Paris, France, pp. 219-226
  • Varcoe, A. and Bigolin, R. 2011, 'Fashion People', London Fashion Colloquia, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London, United Kingdom
  • Bigolin, R. and Varcoe, A. 2011, 'Hands on Heads', State of Design Festival, Craft Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
  • Healy, R. and Bigolin, R. 2010, 'The Endless Garment: The New Craft of Machine Knitting', L'Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
Web

Feature projects

Nike Sportswear and RMIT: Air

Nike Sportswear Australia 2020

Ricarda Bigolin, Chantal Kirby and Blake Barns

2020

Nike Sportswear Australia

Swedish School of Textiles

2013 - 2019

Key projects by year

  • Nike Sportswear and RMIT: Air, Ricarda Bigolin, Chantal Kirby and Blake Barns, 2020, Nike Sportswear Australia, 2020
  • Body and Space, Swedish School of Textiles, 2013-2019
Web

Awards

Han Nefkens Fashion On The Edge Award

Award date: 2014

Recipients: Ricarda Bigolin

Key awards by year

  • Han Nefkens Fashion On The Edge Award, 2014.
  • IFFTI Best Doctoral Research Submission, Institut Francais de la Mode, France, 2011.
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Grants

  • Nike Sportswear and RMIT: Air, Nike Australia, 2020
  • Body and Space, Swedish School of Textiles, 2013-2019
Web

Public and media engagements

2021

  • Speaker, Highest Mountain and Deepest Bay: Kiki Ando, The Japan Foundation Gallery, Sydney, September 25, 2021.

2020

2019

  • Symposium moderator ‘Fashion Graphics’, symposium, NGV Melbourne Art Book Fair, NGV Melbourne, 14 March 2019, Convened by Assoc. Prof. Brad Haylock, RMIT School of Design and Megan Patty.
Web
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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.