Front row at VAMFF

From intimate runways to exciting exhibitions: the RMIT community stars prominently in this year’s Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival.

School of Fashion and Textiles graduates, Amanda Nichols, Benjamin Garg and Conor Utri, have been handpicked to showcase their work in the prestigious National Graduate showcase. They will appear alongside the brightest young design talent from across Australia on the runway under the Royal Exhibition building dome on 7 March.

As part of the Festival’s Arts program, spaces including the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) and First Site Gallery have been taken over with exhibitions dedicated to fashion and design, exploring issues like body diversity, ideas of luxury, identity and the role of female designers.

The Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival is held from 1 March to 10 March 2019. 

Benjamin Garg is one of the graduates handpicked to display their work in the National Graduate Showcase.


Spot RMIT at the following VAMFF events:


National Designer Award (1 March) (Invite only)

School of Fashion & Textiles Alumni – Chris Ran Lin and Jade Arnott from Arnsdorf will be vying for this most prestigious Award and acknowledging designer in their first five years of business.


National Graduate Showcase (7 March)

7pm, Royal Exhibition Building

A yearly highlight on the VAMFF calendar, the National Graduate Showcase celebrates the next generation of Australian fashion design talent. Watch out for RMIT graduates Amanda Nichols, Benjamin Garg from the Master of Fashion (Design) and Conor Utri from the Bachelor of Fashion (Design) (Honours) program.


Inaugural Australian Fashion Summit (8 March)

10am–6pm, The Deakin Edge Theatre

The inaugural Australian Fashion Summit has been created to offer industry an all-day schedule of business discussions. Be empowered to dream, explore innovative thinking, accelerate design abundance, prepare for technology impacts, unpack retail challenges, understand neighbouring trading market opportunities in Asia and take a stand on sustainability practices. RMIT is the Education Partner for this event.


Designing Women (28 September–25 March)

10am–5pm, NGV International

Presented by RMIT, Designing Women highlights the role of female designers from 1980 to 2018. From fashion design, contemporary jewellery, production design to architecture and innovation – female authorship has been a critical force in shaping contemporary design culture. Designing Women draws from the NGV collection to showcase over 50 significant works of design across diverse creative fields.


Lisa Walker: She wants to go to her bedroom but she can’t be bothered (29 January–4 May)

10am–5pm Tuesday to Friday, 12pm–5pm Saturday, RMIT Design Hub

She wants to go to her bedroom but she can’t be bothered is a retrospective exhibition of the practice of New Zealand jeweller Lisa Walker. Her body of work examines her question: is this jewellery? It’s a dialogue with jewellery’s past as well as current social and political issues. Lisa’s research practice, positioned around the history, future and boundaries of jewellery, takes us into the realm of extremes with the aim of making jewellery, and our encounter of it, more alive.


All the jewellery: Is jewellery a luxury? (6 March)

12:30pm–1:30pm, RMIT Design Hub

All the Jewellery is an exhibition running in partnership with Lisa Walker’s retrospective at RMIT Design Hub. Each week one question will be publicly debated and the responses will take multiple forms: discussions, mass gatherings and performances. Bringing together practitioners from a range of fields, Professor Robyn Healy will lead a discussion exploring the question: Is jewellery a luxury?


Changing Room (26 February–8 March)

12pm–5pm, Tuesday–Friday, First Site Gallery RMIT

Changing Room is a curated exhibition exploring the way fashion can be used to celebrate body diversity, in order to advocate for the importance of diverse designs and representations. The exhibition, held at First Site Gallery, showcases submissions from RMIT students across a range of disciplines, as well as emerging members of the artistic community in Melbourne.


Material Fetishes (7–10 March)

10am–4pm, Albert St Gallery

Presented by graduating students of RMIT’s Master of Fashion (Design), Nicole Anderson and Samantha Clark, Material Fetishes is a multimodal fashion exhibition that utilises performance to explore sensory relationships with clothing.


Catwalk Club RMIT Runway (8 March)

6:30pm, First Site Gallery RMIT

Presented in an intimate underground gallery in the heart of the CBD, this runway features approximately 20 designers from across various RMIT programs and design community who challenge the fashion system, present new ideas of luxury, new materials and things and new identity.


Nixi Killick: Cryptic Frequency (7–11 March)

Thurs 6pm– 9pm, Fri 12pm–6pm, Sat 12pm–6pm, Sun 11am–4pm, Vs. Gallery

The long-awaited release of RMIT Alumni Nixi Killick’s (NXK) new collection will present a heavily interactive and intimate exhibition experience. The event will allow attendees to interact with new developments at the forefront of wearable technology on a personal level.


Remix: Pageant X Pieces of Eight (28 February–21 March)

Mon–Fri 10–6pm, Sat 10am–5pm, Pieces of Eight Gallery

RMIT Fashion Alumni behind innovative independent fashion label PAGEANT will present a select collection of archival garments, adorned and embellished by a group of jewellers at Pieces of Eight Gallery.


Upcycled lewks with gun shy and string designs (2–3 March)

11am–4pm, SIGNAL

From the wild and wonderful minds of the RMIT Fashion alumni behind Gun Shy: a playful upcycling workshop for young people, presented together with String Designs. Using Gun Shy’s delicious fluffy, fake fur fabrics, as well offcuts gleaned from some of Melbourne’s hottest independent designers, transform an array of op shop garments into daring wearable art pieces and cool fashion looks.


Story: Jasmijn van Houten

01 March 2019


01 March 2019


  • Alumni
  • fashion
  • Industry
  • Arts and culture
  • Society

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