PRS / GRS Happenings at RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles

By Laura Gardner, Research Assistant for the School of Fashion and Textiles


One of Adele Varcoe’s reflective illustrations, presented as part of her study and exam ‘Feeling Fashion’.

The semester has come to a close and gives us the opportunity to share the activities of the School of Fashion and Textiles postgraduate cohort with an action packed PRS (Practice Research Symposium) conference held at RMIT Design Hub on Saturday and Sunday October 22 & 23, followed closely with the GRS (Graduate Research Symposium) at Brunswick on Tuesday last week.

Adele Varcoe’s examination for her practice-based PhD ‘Feeling Fashion’ saw her wearing her trademark jumpsuit, clothing she has worn for over two years as her ‘only attire as a means to provoke questioning, curiosity and interactions’. Visiting examiners Professor Chris Braddock and Dr Sally Gray experienced a highly performative and engaging presentation that incorporated wall drawing, clothes swapping, with audience participation reading extracts from Adele’s PhD.


A snapshot from Adele Varcoe’s exam presented at the Design Hub on Wednesday October 19.

We asked Dr Jenny Underwood, Higher Degrees by Research Coordinator School of Fashion and Textiles, for her thoughts  on the events: ‘The PRS and GRS are a great showcase of the School’s postgraduate research, bringing together design, technology and entrepreneurship. It’s fantastic to see the School’s research community meeting to share and reflect on the exciting and diverse work of candidates.’

Other PhD by practice studies reviewed over the weekend from F&T were Christina Cie, Laura Gardner, Cecilia Heffer, Jane Morley and Cassandra Wheat, who all presented from various stages of their fashion-driven projects.

Brunswick’s smaller scale but equally rigorous GRS the following Tuesday saw the F&T Postgraduate researchers Anna Anisimova, Vinod Kadam, Caroline McMillan, Kate Sala and Chris Watson exposing their projects to critique and animated discussion. A full list of the candidates and their project titles can be found below.

Congratulations to all on both events, and thank you to Jenny Underwood and David Castle, Research Administration Officer for their support to supervisors and candidates in managing these events.

PRACTICE RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM (PRS) Saturday 22 October Design Hub

Cecilia Heffer ‘The lace wayfarer: an enquiry into material practice as a means of practicing place’

Christina Cie ‘More than pretty: visual pattern, textile design and recording data for health’

Laura Gardner ‘Machines for re-making fashion: experimental publishing and the independent fashion publisher’

Cassandra Wheat ‘Developing alternative models for a commercially viable micro fashion practice; consumer driven design and communication through digital and physical fashion space’

Jane Morley ‘The disrupted/ disruptive body’

GRADUATE RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM (GRS) Tuesday 25 October Brunswick campus

Vinod Kadam ‘Electrospun nanomembrane filter media in face mask for removal of air pollutants’

Chris Watson ‘Research into mining, oil and gas ergonomic workwear for hot environmental conditions’

Anna Anisimova ‘The gown of the modern Madonna: a study of how social perceptions of pregnancy affect the historical development and contemporary expression of maternity garment design in Australia’

Kate Sala ‘Revisiting fashion education: inspiring transformative learning experiences’

Caroline McMillan ‘Crafting, connecting and engaging with the textile interface in an internet of things ecology’