The Melbourne fashion scene has definitely had a nip and a tuck in the last few years, since Virgin Australia took over as naming rights partner of the its Fashion Festival. Continuing on from the first week of the festival, Study Melbourne‘s Four Seasons In One Night event featured emerging talent from across some of Melbourne’s best design colleges: RMIT University, Box Hill Institute, and Homesglen Institute. The intimate runway event, housed in a blank canvas creative space on Flinders Street, was a boutique showcase of four student designers, each themed under one of the four seasons – a fitting tribute to Melbourne’s changing weather.
Summer arrived with the clean lines of white quilted skirts, dresses and cropped singlets that Yan Ho says were inspired by the five elements of earth, wood, metal, fire and water. Her collection was followed up by Yanxi Chen’s range that mixed fabrics, patterns, shapes and styling the way wind combines fallen autumn leaves. Chen’s use of sculptural elements showed a strong grasp on complicated pattern-making and garment construction processes that well above her tertiary experience.
RMIT graduate Connie Diamantopoulos’s stark investigation of winter then worked with a range of unconventional materials like safety seatbelts and ball bearings, and stole the show with their unisex styling and brash accessories. It was then left to Thai graduate Kunuch Somritutai to complete the night with spring, and a colourful explosion of pop culture elements and materials. The overall affect? A real sense that the international identity of Melbourne’s design scene is growing stronger and stronger every year.
Collette Swindells is a fashion designer who makes clothing for pregnant ladies under the label AYLA Maternity. She loves nothing more than seeing how the new ideas of young talent continue to push forward the industry and create new ways of seeing and dressing the world.