RMIT fashion graduate Vlad Kanevsky has won the prestigious Australian Fashion Foundation scholarship including $20,000 and a six month internship at a fashion house in the US or Europe.
Kanevsky’s winning graduate menswear collection explores the subjective and non?universal notions of taste, where he juxtaposes aspirations and imitations with luxury fashion ideas of "generalised good taste".
The Master of Fashion (Design) graduate was awarded first prize alongside Panayota Theodore from UTS and is the seventh RMIT fashion graduate to win the top prize from the list of 11 recipients.
The Australian Fashion Foundation (AUSFF) scholarship has connected Australia’s emerging design talent to world leaders in fashion since 2009.
Previous RMIT winners have interned with global fashion houses including Calvin Klein, Alexander McQueen and Louis Vuitton.
Malcolm Carfrae AUSFF co-founder and Global Head of Communications, Public Relations and Media at Ralph Lauren said Vlad, “demonstrated a fresh and multi-dimensional approach to fashion, his submissions showed variety, innovation and was an excellent self-marketer.”
Born in the former Soviet republic Azerbaijan, Kanevsky migrated to Melbourne with his family in 1992 after the collapse of the USSR.
The stark contrast of the two cultures has shaped his fashion practice, which explores his specific interest in post?soviet excess and contemporary perceptions of Western masculinity.
His often tongue?in?cheek references to ideas of subjective taste, specifically "a warped fashion sense", stem from exploring fragile connections between genuine self?expression and male narcissism.
He has a particular interest in shorthand tailoring and subverting menswear clichés, both through form and materiality.
How does it feel to win the 2015 AUSFF scholarship?
It feels great winning the competition. I'm so excited. I'm still kind of in shock but already counting down the months before I'm interning overseas.
I felt confident in my work, but I hadn't seen any of the other student’s work, so I really had no idea what to expect. The students in the competition are really talented and the calibre was high so I'm even more thrilled to win.
Part of the amazing AUSFF prize is an internship at a fashion house of your choice in Europe or America, Who would you like to intern with and what kind of experience are you after?
Ideally I’d like to be placed in an Italian fashion house, maybe Gucci or Prada. But nothing is confirmed yet.
I'd love to really get an insight into these large scale companies to see how they operate and how the design process is balanced with commercial needs. Both companies are really exciting at the moment and producing great work. I would love to be part of that.
Tell me what happened with your collection getting lost in transit before the AUSFF Interview? Is it correct the panel interviewed you without seeing your collection?
Well, the collection was lost thanks to the courier company on the way back from a Sydney photoshoot. It was not delivered and then subsequently misplaced at the warehouse.
I had hoped that it would arrive in time for the interview, but around 7:30pm the night before I had to give up hope on receiving my garments.
I couldn't bring myself to go to the interview emptyhanded so I ran to office works and printed out booklets from my collection photoshoot, and then cried.
Being the last to present I felt like a lamb to the slaughter, lucky the judges were really sympathetic to the situation.
Where do you see yourself and your career in five years?
It's difficult to say. In five years I'm hoping to be working my way up at a big fashion house, learning new things which will hopefully one day help me with my own projects. I'm very excited about this opportunity!
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Story: Scott Knight