RMIT is globally recognised for developing fashion practitioners with highly regarded technical, creative and research capabilities.
Having spent the past four years exploring, creating and refining their artistic vision and design practice, 20 graduating students from RMIT’s School of Fashion and Textiles shared their designs with the public as part of the Melbourne Fashion Week (MFW) Student Collections Runway last week.
Groves said the way she designs her garments is fluid, with no clear outcome in mind, allowing her to experiment and adjust within the process of creating her collection.
“My design process is technique driven and places a focus on material exploration and textile development,” she said.
“I begin by experimenting with various combinations of materials and techniques that intrigue me and allow for the designs to emerge from the discoveries made in this exploration.”
In 2023 three RMIT Fashion Design students were named finalists for the coveted Student Award with Phuc Ung’s stunning designs nominated alongside Groves and Hay.
“Being nominated for the prize was quite surprising, as I always thought my work was a bit weird and unorthodox, but it makes me laugh and I’m happy,” Ung said.
His collection ‘I’ll never be as good as Hussein’ is a subversive parody of renowned fashion designer Hussein Chalayan’s iconic 2007 runway show, where the garments used embedded technology to transform from the mode of one period to the next, creating a story of the history of fashion.
“I realised that I could never make a collection as beautiful or refined as Hussein’s work, as I’m a student, on a shoestring budget, working in a complete solo practice,” said Ung.
“Therefore, I came up with this idea to make a tongue-in-cheek subversive parody of Hussein’s show where everything goes wrong.”
“All the elements are there – the electronics, engineering, couture construction techniques and design – but it is reimagined for the modern connoisseurs of fashion who trawl through Instagram and TikTok feeds.”
When assessing what drives his ideas, Ung says it’s difficult to put it down to one factor.
“I think my creativity generally comes from my ability to be a very keen observer,” he said.
Looking ahead to life after graduation, Groves says she plans to gain experience and confidence working for brands and designers in the fashion industry that use a more experimental approach.
“I plan to explore opportunities in Europe next year, perhaps in the UK, France or Italy, as they have a very rich textile industry,” she said.
“While I'm currently keeping my career path open-ended, I see myself working in textile and knitwear development, collaborating with different designers and artists.”
Story by: Finn Devlin