Posted on City Journal (31/3/13)
Twelve budding design graduates were celebrated on Saturday night at the Sportsgirl National Graduate Showcase, six of whom were RMIT alum.
The showcase, held at the Docklands, was part of the annual Loréal Melbourne Fashion Festival, a week- long event celebrating fashion, beauty and business.
The graduates were handpicked from 72 applicants coming from renowned design institutes and universities across the country.
Unbridled by normal design restrictions, such as wearability or consumer demand, the designs celebrated pure creative energy and craftsmanship.
Each graduates works were unique and fresh, drawing inspiration from every facet of life. Head to the Sportsgirl website to see a glimpse of each designers collection.
The RMIT Graduates
Nixi Killick, stylist and RMIT graduate, opened the show with her out-of-this-world collection of Perspex bustiers, exaggerated proportions and waves of colour (see picture).
Bernadette Francis, also an RMIT alum, mixed turquoise and peach with metallic beading to highlight the aural way clothes interact with the body.
Kara Lui drew from her scholastic background and focuses heavily on the functionality of her garments. She was fascinated by the way a simple coat can offer protection to its wearer.
Jack Hancock turned traditional mens suiting inside-out, featuring the insides of pockets and the shoulder-pads on blazers on the outside of the garmets.
Cesar Chehade was inspired by sea creatures such as the octopus and squid, and showed hard, shell-like jackets and flowing, liquid-like gowns.
Natasha Fagg for RMIT closed the show with her heavily embroidered sculptural pieces inspired by looking at insects under a microscope.
Karen Webster, the Program Director of Fashion at RMIT, says the diversity of the RMIT students’ collections comes from the way fashion is taught.
“There is no formula to the way we teach at RMIT. It’s all about developing an individual strength.”
Ms Webster started the National Graduate showcase in 2009, while she was the director the fashion festival.
“It started as just a showcase of RMIT students to test its marketability,” Ms Webster says, but due to the high standards an industry interest, it became a nation-wide event.
Ms Webster says the high market event would normally cost a designer in excess of $100,000, but the graduates are given the opportunity free of charge.
The showcase attracts international attention, giving the graduates a once in a lifetime opportunity to show their works on a global stage.