A Wrap on the School of Fashion and Textiles Grad Shows – Part One

“As the semester and academic year closes for 2016, the work of our School of Fashion and Textiles undergraduate, postgraduate and vocational students is made public, showing their depth of knowledge, understanding and creative bravado.

This is a moment where family, friends and the broader community come together. It is also a time when students reflect about RMIT and consider the application of their work outside the University. It is a time where students are offered jobs, apply for competitions, internships and further study – locally and globally. This pivotal moment is reflected by the following events and expresses the diversity and energy of our School and its community.”

“Ramblings” from Professor Robyn Healy, HoS School of Fashion and Textiles

‘Material Matters’ Bachelor in Textile Design, Building 516, Brunswick Campus, opening Monday November 7.

The BA Textile Design program presented their work in the show ‘Material Matters’. The exhibition brought together work of current and completing students, and presented the winners of the Industry Partnership Award projects for 2016.

Claire Beale, Program Manager, Bachelor in Textile Design, reflected on the event and the Textile Design cohort:

“Over the course of their study, Textile Design students develop the skills to be ready for life and work – working with leading academics and practitioners on commercial and conceptual projects that explore the diversity of textile design practice. Projects with key industry partners provide the opportunity to participate in actual work placements with a range of high profile creative enterprises in the local and global textile and fashion industries. The exhibition is the culmination of three (or more) long years of creative endeavour and a celebration of the student work as they ready themselves for the industry.”

‘The Retail Initiative’ at Ms Collins, Melbourne CBD, opening Tuesday November 9.

End of year celebrations began with the ‘The Retail Initiative’ awards and exhibition at Ms Collins, a project and exhibition students from the Associate Degree in Fashion and Textiles Merchandising and Certificate IV in Custom Made Footwear. Working in groups, the students from the Associate Degree were assigned a brief to create capsule collections for Australia’s leading retailers: Myer, Country Road, Target and Supré, to develop womenswear, menswear and homewares proposals.

Tony Cooper, Lecturer in the Associate Degree in Fashion and Textile Merchandising, shared his thoughts on the project:

“The cohort demonstrated a strong desire to be released from the shackles of traditional boundaries, which was reflected in their response to our project briefs, and was warmly embraced by our industry partners. The students have been quick to adopt a range of online and digital solutions in their response to the project briefs, innovations that were enthusiastically welcomed by our industry partners. It’s a particularly proud moment for us as educators to see the students ‘come of age’ and to know that they are truly work-ready.”

Bachelor of Fashion (Design) (Honours) Graduate Show, Building 516, Brunswick Campus, opening Monday November 14.

The Honours students of the Bachelor of Fashion (Design) course, a some selected students from earlier years, collectively put on a spectacular, vibrant and conceptual installation in the 516 building.

Nyssa Marrow, Associate Lecturer for the Bachelor of Fashion (Design) course, reflected on the exhibition:

“This years graduating cohort were the first group of first year that I ever taught in design studio! I also had the pleasure of teaching a number of these students throughout their sequential years, so the exhibition this year was of particular significance for me. I am blown away by the transformation of these students and astounded by the diverse and exciting body of works that have been produced by these talented individuals. For me it is inspiring to be around people that are so driven to express their design perspective.”

Sean Ryan, Senior Lecturer and Acting Program Manager, also shared some thoughts on the event:

“The most satisfying aspect of the ‘Point of Departure’ exhibition is to see the fourth year Honours students emerge from the program as independent designers, each capable of transforming our understanding of what fashion design is and might become. It is also rewarding to see a selection of work by students from years one to three who are already well underway to achieving the same independence of vision. What the work on display in the exhibition brings to life, for me, is not simply the skillful creation of challenging and exciting clothing but the imagination and realisation of micro worlds in which these garments exercise their power. This is what designers do; they offer us new ways of envisaging the world and ourselves.”

‘CLASH’ Master of Fashion (Design) at MPavilion, Wednesday November 16.

The ‘CLASH’ Master of Fashion (Design) show was a site specific fashion presentation at MPavilion.

Ricarda Bigolin, Senior Lecturer and Program Manager, Masters of Fashion (Design), reflected on the event and the Masters cohort:

“The projects presented by the 2o16 cohort offer a diverse and exciting take on fashion practice. These designers have embraced a transformative learning experience; further developing, shifting and launching their design identity through the Master of Fashion (Design) program.

Using the moniker ‘CLASH’ the graduating students presenting a vibrant vision of future fashion directions, celebrating the collective of the group and the differences in identities from this internationally diverse group of designers. Several of the designers have explored specific techniques related to cultural or social aspects of fashion and the way these can be reimagined to propose new ways of thinking about garments, materials and form. The presence of socially engaged and aware design is evident in projects where the use of found, surplus or discarded clothing becomes a pertinent measure of how emerging fashion practices are addressing concerns that face the industry.

The significance of the communication and presentation of fashion is central to the Master of Fashion (Design) program. The ‘CLASH’ show expanded the format of the ‘runway’ to consider all inclusive events of the backstage, from the journey by tram to MPavilion, the procession crossing St. Kilda road and the défilé stretching along the Queen Victoria Gardens into the MPavilion structure.”

To be continued…