Held in RMIT University’s new Design Hub, the 100_Collective fashion show provided respite from Friday’s cold and wet weather. A student-run initiative, the runway showcased first-year RMIT Bachelor of Design (Fashion) students’ designs, drawing attention to our local young and emerging designers.
The evening began friendly and calm, as a well-dressed crowd sipped on champagne and mingled in anticipation of the show. Lecturers, industry members and friends gathered in the Design Hub, as students backstage readied themselves for their debut. In an interesting and clever use of space, some members of the audience were seated on one side of the runway while another group stood in the middle. The models sashayed up and down the runway close enough for the crowd to capture each and every detail, as if to dare the crowd to touch and feel the garments.
Students were given a design brief of constructing an outfit made entirely of linen, save for at most a quarter of the outfit, for which they could use a different fabric. Many of the students’ designs adhered strictly to this brief with impressive results. An array of looks graced the runway, ranging from practical and wearable to playful and eccentric, with admirable attention to detail.
The show began with softer, ethereal looks, such as hooded capes reminiscent of a JRR Tolkien tale that were structural enough to hold their shapes yet appearing soft to the touch. As the runway progressed, the looks transitioned from the softer, colour accented pieces into boldly coloured outfits, in shades such as red, black and teal. Delicate gold detailing on teal collars and sleeves, hand-sewn miniature oceanic blue beads around the waist, and a bold black dress with triangle patches displayed skill, sophistication and accentuated the importance of detail.
Students were skillful and adventurous with their looks, with an interesting mix of draping, pleating and darting in some designs. A white, virginal dress featuring an orange bow draped across the model’s shoulders was a particular favourite, as well as a red skirt with frills at the side that gave the appearance of boney fish fins. One of the avant-garde looks of the evening was a punchy red dress that featured a full-padded skirt – an outfit that certainly would be comfortable to sit on and sleep in! Form and function: a winner in our eyes.
Students certainly had a flair for structural pieces and professional polish, and there was very rarely a loose-fitting or too-starchy looking garment. Despite each student designing their own pieces, the collection was cohesive and consistent with one another, featuring a strong range of looks that came together in perfect harmony.
The 100_Collective gave a quick but insightful preview into some of what’s to come for our local fashion market. Who knew linen could be such a diverse medium? Yet another inspiring and exciting venture from the local RMIT students, we can’t wait to see what they come up with next!
Special thanks to Tilly Rule