It’s nesting season. On the Brunswick campus, a pair of Waa ‘trickster crows’ have built an impressive nest in one of the tallest gum trees at the centre of campus, while a couple of wood ducks are foraging on the lawn and looking for a safe space in the undergrowth for their spring nest. Garden committee co-chair and dye specialist Dani Andree has been busy planting new rosemary and perennial marigolds and experimenting with plant dyes.
With semester two about to start, let’s look back at some exciting design events that happened in June: Graduate London Fashion Week, Show Us Your Métiers, and Situation Brunswick.
Graduate London Fashion Week – Bridget Petry
London, 2-5 June 2019
Every year, RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles selects one graduate student to take their collection to show in London for Graduate Fashion Week. This year, our graduate representative was Bridget Petry. She showed her work on the runway of the International Fashion Award show at the Truman Brewery in Brick Lane alongside 40 other students from universities all over the world. The Houndstooth Wrap got in touch with Bridget in London to ask her about the experience.
“Graduate Fashion Week had a huge exhibition you had to walk through in order to get to the catwalk hall. The exhibition was full of stalls from schools throughout England; tables full of publications and portfolios with mannequin displays and racks of garments from students collections. There were also other stalls focused on career paths. A highlight was the LVMH stall, where students lined up to talk with and show their work to representatives from Givenchy, Dior, JW Anderson.
The show itself was a bit nerve wracking but it was also really great and I was so proud to see my collection on stage with people from all over the world.
My Honours project ‘Cardboard Ballroom’ explores the relationship between high-fi and low-fi, influenced by my own childhood. When I was young, my twin sister and I were engulfed in the colour blue as a form of identity. We would construct cardboard worlds from items we found around us. My work delves into this child-like territory and embodies low-fi with moments of high-fi refinements, through unlikely parings and juxtapositions. My collection investigates low-fi through rawness and impermanence, reflected through ephemeral materials such as tape, plastic and cellophane. Ideals of high-fi are manifested through refined construction and the notion of dressing up; applying beading techniques and embodying components of the ball gown that was deemed as the epitome of dress through my childhood eyes.
The chance to go to London with my collection and have it seen on an international stage was such an incredible opportunity. I wanted to make the most of the trip so I am staying on in London to try and find work/internships to gain experience within the fashion industry. Without this step I probably wouldn’t have been able to go overseas and look for job prospects so soon after graduating. It’s a weird time actually. Studying was such a constant part of my life and all I had ever known, but now that I have graduated I am unsure what is in store for the future. I’m currently still trying to figure that out. I would love to accumulate as much industry experience as I can and then maybe in the future undertake my Masters.”
Good luck in London Bridget!
SHOW US YOUR MÉTIERS
Wednesday, 12 June
At the end of semester one, Year 2 Bachelor of Fashion (Design) (Honours) students presented their métiers at an exhibition celebration hosted in the Hanger. The show was an opportunity for students to display their work exploring the idea of tailoring and the jacket. An array of projects were on display, including workbooks displaying design process and thinking, which provided insight into elements of experimentation and design testing.
We asked a couple of students about their garment designs:
Jacinta Lombardozzi: ‘A continuum of twenty-two pockets to carry each body part. The pocket is a home away from home. It is a private vessel in which the owner can retreat to seek safety and security it. The pocket is sacred and dear…’
Jarrod Koutros: ‘This garment subverts the traditional notion of the tailored jacket via the application of distortion’.
Thank you to Sonya Kraan for the wonderful photographs!
Thursday, 13 June
Situation Brunswick was a live fashion event featuring a selection of work by Bachelor of Fashion (Design) (Honours) third year students, led by Dr Tarryn Handcock and Dr Tassia Joannides.
The event presented a series of site-responsive fashion design collections that highlighted the relationships between fashion, identity, and Brunswick. Inhabiting and studying the area on foot, the designers celebrated vibrancy and flux in Brunswick. The one-night program included innovative garments, unique installations, and live performances in response to the culture and environment of the area. The event was supported by RMIT University, Moreland City Council, Siteworks, and the Masters Institute of Creative Education.
We got in touch with Yongbin Zhang and Isabella Markos to hear a bit more about the ‘Project 3056’ studio, the event, and their collections, ‘Colour Language’ and ‘I allow you to see what I want you to see.’
Yongbin tells us: “I graduated from the Bachelor of Fashion (Design Technology) in 2018, but I didn’t think I had enough knowledge to develop my ideas. In the ‘Project 3056’ studio, I advanced my design research, used colour in my work for first time, learnt new skills, and had the opportunity to show my designs in a public event. I feel very grateful for this experience.
My collection, ‘Colour Language,’ was inspired by the streets of Brunswick. What stood out to me during exploration of the suburb were the vibrant colours and shapes of the street art, an environmental manifestation of the spirit of the Brunswick community, which is diverse, bright, and energetic. The collection is about the combination of colours and shapes. I think colour is a language that everyone can understand because it can communicate our feelings and emotions without words.
I experimented with different materials and techniques to create a language of colours and shapes. For example, I created a yellow singlet and a red rectangle sweater, both of which were made with a few long strips in order to allow for a variety of styling options. I also made a dress using a triangle shaped piece, which I folded and sewed to produce a patterned texture. The pieces highlight the clashes between a language of colours and shapes.
The event was held in Siteworks, Brunswick. The spirit of my performance was vivification, exploration and the joy of life. The whole performance was divided into two parts, one of which was slow and the other of which was fast. The models began walking slowly, and then, as they begin to explore the world around them, they find the spirit of their life, the joy, and the vibrancy. They are living in the colourful and vibrant world.”
For Isabella: “Project 3056 was a space of encouragement, self-reflection and growth, pushing me to articulate and communicate important issues and leaving me with a much more comprehensive understanding of myself and my community through the act of design, construction and public interaction.
I used the studio project as an opportunity to investigate Brunswick’s red-light establishments and adult entertainment venues and promote the healthy growth of a sex-positive attitude through the de-stigmatization of sex work. My collection, ‘I allow you to see what I want you to see’ is a capsule collection made for a diverse range of wearers. It is inspired by the late night and early morning commute shift workers experience when it’s dark, cold and at times dangerous. Reversible garments, wide lapels, extended shoulders, full sleeves, exaggerated shapes and layering messages tap into a desire for security and a feeling of ease as well as concealment. Dark nylons emphasised by neon contrasts add to the survivalist aesthetic of the collection.
A lot of time went into the planning my response to the site and thinking about the ways I could manipulate the public’s engagement and interpretation of the performance. I used lighting, projections and sound to create a feeling of unease and discomfort in the viewer, whilst the garments provided a sense of protection and refuge for the wearers. The venue was dimly lit with a red spotlights on either side of a built-up brick wall with a text projection ‘I allow you to see what I want you to see.’ Audience members stood immersed in the powerful presence of the space as the models stomped through the crowd, past the projection and down the ‘runway,’ accompanied by a hardcore club soundtrack produced by Melbourne sound artist Tim Carter.
I aim to continue exploring sex work in relation to addressing and dressing the body with hopes I can continue to assist this communities acceptance into the broader community.
Thank you Yongbin and Bella for sharing your work with us.
‘Garden Studio’ Growings
We are still in the depths of Waring (Wombat season). It is cold but the birds are beginning to nest. It won’t be long before we move into Guling (Orchid season) and the days begin to get longer and warmer.
We would like to thank Hayley Cordes for her hard work collaborating with us in the nomination of the Brunswick campus, specifically the RMIT Dye Garden, for the ACTS Green Gown Awards in the Learning, Teaching and Skills category.
“The School of Fashion and Textiles at our Brunswick campus continues to embed sustainability into learning and teaching in innovative ways and has built a strong, informed community as a result.” – Hayley Cordes
In the Garden Studio, we have some new plants! Garden committee co-chair Dani Andree recently planted rosemary and perennial marigolds, tagetes lucida, as companion plants to keep the bugs away. The winter months are quiet in the garden. The sun is still shining though, making everything glisten.
Dani has also been busy doing dye experiments in the textiles studio using plants from the garden. She has used marigold flowers, indigo, sorrel root, eucalyptus and mint root to make these gorgeous colours. Tests have been on fuji silk and wool suiting, premordanted with alum. To follow along with new planting, harvesting and dye testing, join us on Facebook and Instagram.
Indigenous Word of the Week
To celebrate the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, RMIT has introduced Indigenous Word of the Week. Each week, this initiative introduces a new Boon wurrung and/or Woi wurrung word to build knowledge of Australian Indigenous languages for everyday use. Indigenous Word of the Week was inspired by the set of Indigenous word cards created by Dr Marion Muliaumaseali’i.
The first Indigenous Word of the Week was:
Green Impact 2019
RMIT has joined up to Green Impact, a change and engagement program where individuals get into teams and work together to undertake a range of sustainability actions. These actions cover all areas of sustainability across campus life, using an accreditation scheme with an awards element to encourage teams to increase their sustainability knowledge and engagement.
The RMIT Fashion and Textiles Garden Committee has developed a team called “The Composters”! To start your own team, get in touch with Sustainability at RMIT.