With a love of botany and the native Australian landscape, textile design alumnus Edith Barrett has combined passion with process to develop a new collection of “wearable head museums”.
Barrett, a 2012 graduate from the Bachelor of Arts (Textile Design), recently launched her Australian-made textile collection, Fossick
The silk headscarf range showcases delicate illustrations inspired by her botanical explorations in and around Sydney, where she relocated after graduation.
“I did much collecting and illustrating of specimens in the Blue Mountains, delighting in all the new flora and fauna New South Wales has to offer,” Barrett said.
“I have a strong interest in natural history, botany, and the native Australian landscape, which all carry strongly through this new range.”
Barrett, who specialised in surface design, including printed textiles, said her time studying at RMIT was unlike her perception of the archetypal university experience.
“We had pretty intimate class sizes, dedicated hours, a lot of hands-on learning as well as a strong education in sustainability and best practice throughout the program,” she said.
Barrett said the strong industry-based teaching practices at RMIT instilled a thorough understanding of the design process and an appreciation for professional creative focus.
“We were taught the traditions of textile design by hand; from repeats, screen-printing, painting and weaving looms to textile design via machines and technology,” she said.
“I think all of these things, as well as the industry collaborations available to us throughout the program, have carried on strongly into my practice.”
Bachelor of Arts (Textile Design) Program Manager Claire Beale said Barrett’s independent venture shows a dedication to sustainable process and practice.
“Edith is just one of many examples of Textile Design graduates going on to pursue a career that challenges their professional practice and fulfils their personal interests,” Beale said.
“Her venture is just one example of the growing small enterprise sector of the fashion and textiles industry.”
RMIT students are taught a combination of creative and commercial design processes that allow them to flourish in their specialisations, positioning them as leaders in the field.
“Edith’s work reflects the commitment the program has to encouraging graduates to make meaningful and innovative contributions to the industry,” Beale said.
RMIT’s School of Fashion and Textiles is an international leader in fashion and textiles education, with graduates exhibiting their expertise extensively across the globe.