Friday 22nd November 2019

It’s a time for change and the University of Technology Sydney’s Fashion Graduate Parade was on theme. The graduates of the university’s fashion program showcased their collections around the concept of change. Here, ten of our ones to watch spoke about their collection and the ways in which they wish to affect change in the fashion industry:

Andriana Fu (work above)

“[My collection] is a nocturne. It is the story of my father as an ice skater during the Cultural Revolution, the joy within our shared physical experiences within figure skating. In skating terms, nostalgic with soft knees… I hope to be a voice for Asian minority groups that have grown up within Western society. To create garments with conceptual, nostalgic and poetic meaning, something so precious it won’t be thrown away.”

Hazel Dong

“My work is an extremely emotional thing, as it is a combination of cultural and personal connections. All the colours and shapes are unconscious but spontaneous, abstract but filled with stories and emotions that reflect my identity,” Hazel says. “Fashion is far more than just garments and dressing. It is communication, indetity, culture and belief. I insist that designers could make the world better. Being more creative, energetic, sustainable and designing garments with more emotional values.”

Frances Clifton

“In my practice, I explore, challenge and express the nuances and dialogue between a woman and herself in the private space. The collection aims to reveal who we are behind closed doors, our inner private psyche to the external world. Through my practice I hope to bring a new perspective to fashion and the philosophy behind dress, where women can confidently embrace and express their inner reality and feelings through dress.”

Patricia Ibañez

“[My collection is] blurry visions of distorted figures oozing out of the ordinary. The disruption of denim uniforms and unravelling knits blend and merge into one another, collapsing into fluid forms. Eerie yet beautiful,” she says. “How surreal would it be if we saw the world through a lens of open-minded clarity, wearing the lived experiences and neglected stories of the past, and recalibrating them into moments of contentment?”

Rebekah Murray

“I wish to offer an escape to the incessant need to chase and fulfil trends. We need to remind ourselves on what exactly it is that makes a garment enticing to us, personally. It is the craftsmanship. The usability. The quality. The sentimental connection… Hopefully there is a serious repeal to fast fashion and soulless fads.”

Nicole Oliveria

“My collection is a personal discovery of cultural identity from being situated between Filipino culture and western society. I attempted this through an exploration of traditional Filipino ideals of femininity alongside contemporary wardrobe garments through a process of subversions of lace and collaging of textiles upon standardised codes of western dress… [The future of fashion is] collaborative. With calls to slower fashion attitudes, collectives of emerging designers and artists are creating considered quality designs foe the underground creative community around them, to achieve uniqueness amongst a saturated market.”

Domenic Roylance

“My collection is a bricolage and a study. When designing, I took inspiration from thousands of photographs that I took during my visits to Cyprus, from vintage garments I found there and from interviews with Cypriot Yiayias about their lives. Every garment reflects my experience and reaction to this stimulus… I hope fashion will move away from the bottom line and into smaller and more meaningful collections, a focus on the artisans making the garment. It’s probably a romanticised view, but that’s the future I want.”

Mei Zhang

“It is a curated tribute to women who strip – an alternate, more intimate point of view around agency in performing female sexuality, over disempowering presumptions of what it means to be naked in the presence of strangers. Evoking a challenge to renew ideas about the female experience of sexualising our bodies. Knitted pieces that articulate the body are sensitive at core, but provoke a certain mindset.”

Emma Byrnes

“A sustainable menswear collection inspired by concept of the imperfect and simple to capture the essence of an off-grid lifestyle. Exploring colour through up-cycling, coiling and experimental cutting to create garments that embody the free spirit of this eco-alternative group… With the overly saturated contemporary fashion market, we don’t need another fashion collection in the world. However, what we do need are garments embedded with values that challenge our society. I think the future of fashion lies in good designs, intellectual clothing and the advances of smart textiles.”

Tegan Leigh

“This collection has been inspired by the 1970s and 80s. Noting the exuberance of Studio 54 and the style of the working women, I have used Bianca Jagger and Annie Hall as muses. These rich sources of inspiration has lead the direction of my textiles development such as colour, check and striped print and choice of fabrications… I want to inspire people to change their consumer habits, to look at clothes as special pieces that should be valued like artworks…. I hope consumers will make more conscious decisions, investing in higher quality pieces less frequently to aim for a more sustainable future.”

by Roxy Lola

Photographs by Liz Ham





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