As the city emerges from a winter slumber, Melbourne’s fashion scene is set to heat up when RMIT’s bright young fashion designers present their graduate collections at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.
The MSFW Emerging RMIT Runway is a launch pad for design students from the Bachelor of Fashion (Design) (Honours) program, one of the most highly regarded and prestigious in the world.
RMIT is the only institution to have its own dedicated runway at the MSFW Emerging series of events.
Dr Denise Sprynskyj, Acting Program Manager, said a broad range of collections will be on show at the 28 August event.
“Some students have chosen to investigate a palette of unusual materials by blending silicon with satin and acetate, or reshaping lingerie by inserting metal and jewelry techniques,” Sprynskyj said.
“Others have focused on the bigger issues within the industry by collapsing the division of fashion for men and women, and as a result some collections can move fluidly across the male and female wardrobes.
“The craft of tailoring techniques is sprinkled throughout and the audience can expect to see collections based around historical references and archives.”
Emily Cameron, Jordan Conder and Sherry Kwok will be among the 20 final year students who will take over the MSFW runway.
Kwok said she was so excited to be realising her dream of being selected for a runway show, presenting her collection Distorted Visions.
“The very first fashion event I ever attended was this exact runway and it was very inspirational. I remember saying to myself, ‘that could be me in the future’ and now here I am,” Kwok said.
Her collection features dramatically layered and flowing materials inspired by the kinetics of sport, and optical distortion of the body through transforming activewear garments.
“My pieces all have an element of transformation and encourage the wearer to be playful and express themselves.
“There is no right and wrong in terms of silhouette and colour, so I take advantage of that and make it as crazy as I can. The result is all about the layering and details, particularly the line work.”
Jordan Conder took inspiration from the “abundance of exciting ideas” his fellow students explored throughout their degrees.
“Everyone has developed and perfected their own niche over the past four years, so I’m really excited to see everyone’s work on the night.”
Conder’s collection, The Reigning Man, explores the notion of dressing up the everyday and “wrapping the mundane in a red ribbon”.
“I’m interested in challenging the perceptions of menswear as lacklustre and boringly practical. I’ve enjoyed studying why it has gained this reputation and why men wear things the way they do.”
Emily Cameron’s collection, Everything In Between, was inspired by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami’s “Superflat” style with its hyper-saturated colours and bold, exaggerated forms.
“My inspirations almost always come from art, music and film,” Cameron said.
“Constant references include the quirkiness and colour schemes of Wes Anderson, and the costumes and charisma of the late David Bowie.
“I visited a Takashi Murakami exhibition in Tokyo at the beginning of the year, and I’m really interested in how he ‘flattens’ the boundaries between art and commerce, as well as art and fashion.”
Paying tribute to the talent and skill of her fellow fashion students, Cameron said it was an amazing feeling to be recognised after all the long nights and hard work putting together her pieces.
“It’s a huge honour to be selected from such a talented pool of students to be part of the MSFW show.
“Being part of the show provides invaluable exposure, and hopefully will lead to further amazing opportunities. I am excited to see the response to my work.”
She said studying at RMIT gave her and her fellow students a unique perspective on the highly competitive fashion industry.
“The RMIT fashion program is about so much more than the making of clothing. There is a huge emphasis on the context and presentation of your work in the wider world, and preparing you for the world of fashion outside RMIT.”
The MSFW Emerging RMIT Runway is at Melbourne Town Hall on Sunday, August 28 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. Tickets are on sale now.
Story: Bradley Dixon