Monday, October 28, 2013




Mistress of Elmina is a collection that follows the progression of cultural change imposed through forced control and manipulation of dress in the African city of Elmina. The enforcement of Western adornment by colonising governments was not conducive with Elmina’s traditional values and was resisted, resulting in the loss of freedom.

Juxtaposition of raw and elaborate signifiers is used to convey the journey of two conflicting cultures, one valuing wealth and excess and the other, in stark contrast, living a simple peasant lifestyle. Cultures not in harmony, as each does not respect the other; beginning to move in the same direction, slowly synchronising. Painfully looking back, and victoriously moving forward.

Lucy Aboagye


During the 1930s worldwide depression, people were desperately looking for forms of escapism which they found in entertainment. The circus emerged as a key vehicle for their escape, it was like entering an entirely new world, a world of magic, where anything you wanted could come true. Today we again find the world in a depression of sorts, with people seeking ways to escape the pressures of contemporary life.

Using my investigations into the costume of the 1930s circus, I have created a collection that aims to re-evoke this sense of escapism. By exploring the strong influences of the time, such as the Bauhaus movement and the Triadic Ballet, I have developed an understanding of the philosophic and aesthetic influences on costumes of this period. With this in mind I have created a range oozing with the passionate, sexy and sultry nature of this past era that will provide the contemporary wearer with the experience of escape provided by the circus in the 1930s.

Bethany Andrews

| A V I A R Y |

Metamorphosis is the process of transformation. Birds can be seen to reflect characteristics of the human female such as purity, sophistication and elegance. Some of the most fascinating features of birds can be seen in their performance of nesting, flight patterns and the expression of beauty through plumage displays. This collection attempts to capture and translate these performances through the use of a monochrome of whites, diverse textures and scaled folding techniques applied to the creation of garments designed to enhance these characteristics in the female wearer. The collection includes a range of juxtaposed, structured and draped silhouettes. This medley of forms is used as a metaphor for the stages of evolution and the female’s ability to adapt by absorbing surroundings and interpreting them in a manner that exudes beauty and demands the attention of the eyes of those who pass. The garments in this collection integrate the characteristics of both species into one power; let this concept evoke you.

Iva Arapovic


Many humans are afraid of objects or situations for unknown reasons. In extreme cases irrational fears are referred to as phobias. One commonly known fear is the fear of spiders; arachnophobia.

In my collection the drape qualities of silk chiffon and muslin are used to represent the fluidity and transparency of a spider’s web. The dark emotion of the phobia are showcased through fabric colour, with black as the dominant choice, which is complemented by accents of silver and grey. Strips of velvet ribbon are used to reflect the texture of a spider and the lines created by the web. Foiling positioned under the garments, indicates the foreboding sense of a spider hidden within the web. To reinforce the sense of a web like encapsulation of the body, wire structures form accessories placed upon the head and around the neck.

Renae Basso


The swamp’s resident ferns, fungi, algae and mushroom flowers inspire silhouette, line work and layers in this collection.

Softly textured and toned fabrics form the clothes while organic tailoring punctuates them in the hope of creating a swamping yet splendid image of the wearer.

The swamped environment appears misty, morbid and lacking in life, but glows with the promise of eternity when exposed to sunlight.

My work is driven by conceptual paradox; the festering against the flourishing; menace against glory; grit against euphoria. All of which periodically exist with the other.

Elena Bollweg


From the tonnes of textile dyes and pesticides polluting our water systems; to the sub-standard working conditions in manufacturing factories; the fashion industry holds its fair share of “dirty little secrets”.

Using shocking images of the catastrophic affect this industry has had on both the environment and people, I’ve created a collection that depicts the chaotic world that would be if we continue down this destructive path.

This collection, titled Ignore the Message, aims to help stop the common attitude of being blissfully ignorant towards environmental issues and to slow down the flow of fast fashion.

The collection challenges the usual perception of ‘Eco-wear’ and contemporises it for a more youthful, fashion-forward market.

Kathryn Casey


“Every secret of the body was rendered up - bone risen through flesh, sacrilegious glimpses of the artery or an optic vein.”
Ian McEwan, novelist and screenwriter
Inspired by the human anatomy and circulatory system, Skeleton, displays these concealed yet emerging features that make up the body. Garments cage the body like ribs, joining at the centre back and front of the chest. Deep red and blue LED lights follow the body’s highways, symbolising veins and arteries. Made up of pear-shaped, organic forms and satin lustrous fabrics, Skeleton captures the attraction of human anatomy.
McEwan, I. 2001. Atonement. London: Jonathan Cape.

Sherine Chua


As our busy lives shift between friends, family, work and study, we often find ourselves changing the way we behave. We mould the way we act to fit in with the expectations of situations and the people around us and as a result we develop different personalities which present themselves in different circumstances. It is the layering of these different and sometimes opposing personalities that together create our complete, unique identity. This collection highlights the contrast between our relaxed and unrestricted personalities and the version of ourselves which we mould to fit in with social restrictions and expectations. This moulding, reflected in tight, dark garments, is broken down to reveal the different, colourful personalities hidden beneath. The prints focus on the importance of facial expressions in conveying emotion, whilst the sheer, dip-dyed silk represents the building up of different personalities and individual characteristics. S E L F aims to express the individual’s many selves and celebrate their part in the creation of a complete identity.

Hannah Cummuskey


My work investigates the potential for the embedding of memory into cloth. Working with pieces of material that reflect the memories of human life, I create garments that are a gathering and patching of these memories. The memories that emerge from both good and bad experiences can be kept and then revealed through the garments that are made. Each of these garments speaks of the journey of life.

Thuy Linh Dinh


The air is full of dust, suffocating heat glaring from the land and the structures built within.
The dogs bark and the men shout along with the regular buzz of engines and clatter of sheep.

The space is dotted with wool, a pungent smell of lanoline and ammonia sweeps the floors.

The workers are a flight of activity, movements repetitive and precise, amidst the disarray of tin, machine, pipe and wood.

Cordelia Gibbs


Matyo Hungarian folk art features bright and bold floral motifs which are heavily embroidered onto clothing and decorative textiles for the home in various regions of Hungary. In Hungarian peasant culture, costume can act as a carrier of family heritage and cultural memories. As a treasured garment is passed from one generation to another, there is an accumulation of embellished layers of embroidery.

My Hungarian origins have driven me to research the traditional Hungarian peasants and their lifestyle, cultural beliefs and systems. Inspired by this, Matyo focuses on traditional forms of embellishment, interpreting these through a combination of traditional hand work and modern machine technology. The Matyo motifs, inspired by nature, are also used to inform the garment structure through the integration of layering and the translation of two dimension shapes into three dimension forms.

Matyo is a poetic interpretation of the traditional Hungarian ornamentation, expressed through the use of rich colour, texture and forms on the body.

Emma Kalotas


Golden Forms is unashamedly all about power. This sense of power is created using solid, graphic, gilded forms that give the wearer a perception of armour and an expression of the sublime. Drawing inspiration from the lines and shapes found in 16th Century Renaissance armour, my aim is to create garments of strength and individuality. I wanted to empower women through the wearing of these garment, to assert their own identity.
Gautam Kapoor


This collection is inspired by the dynamic nature of water, with a particular focus on its ability to morph from one state to another, uninhibited and free. Water has an innate ability to overcome a myriad of obstacles. The designs in my collection Immersion investigate the transition, from the solid to the liquid to the vapour. This fluid physicality is represented in the application of materials across my designs. These are visualised through digital prints on soft flowing silks, in the gossamer nature of the detailing trims and in translucent acrylic headwear elements. I have been inspired by the structure of ice, the flow of water and the transparency of vapour. All of this is reflected in the hues of turquoise and shades of white, in the embellished crystals and agate stones, symbolising the sun glistening over the ocean’s surface. 

Sophia Lenzo


Imperial Russia represented an age of great opulence and wealth, a time when lavish celebrations continued for days and high society surrounded themselves with the finest of luxuries. It was an empire built on ceremony and the riches of a majestic life; a country ruled by class. This collection embodies the decadence and extravagance of a royal life, referencing both historical figures and today’s modern equivalent of royalty, celebrities, who function as the contemporary emperors of dress. Past and present, such figures use garment as a tool to convey power and status. Authority and wealth is expressed through the application of embellishment and use of voluminous forms in the collection. This unspoken language evident in historical and contemporary high society dress reveals the power of garment and its ability to define a wearer in whom the value of the cloth determines the value of the person.

Jessica Moro


Contemporary society and the delicate, fragile nature of past cultures are often seen as incompatible in the modern world we live in today. This collection presents an investigation into the establishment of harmony between modern elegance and traditional cultural ways of making garments.

Traditional dress of Macedonia expresses power through volume and embellishment, which can be seamlessly combined with the indulgent society of today. The two worlds are brought together, the colour palette representing the lavish luxury of the modern era and the cultural past shown through the silhouette and techniques applied to each garment. In essence, combining these two ideas creates an opulent offering of old world technique with new world luxury.

Katie O’Neill


People from all walks of life represent a hybrid of different cultures. I am a hybrid of western and non-western cultures: a fusion of Italian and Sudanese heritage; a balanced multifaceted being.

The circle is a symbol for unity and the wholeness of life. Each culture is represented as its own complete circle which is dictated by its unique characteristics. By interlocking these opposing circles together, it depicts how the facets form a united whole, and therefore my complete identity.

Shahira Salih


Tactility in Beauty considers the relationship between the sense of vision and the other senses, and how our perception of garments can be manipulated through different tactile stimulations. The tactile experience can be applied to enrich the perception and experience of garments, through texture and fabric manipulation. The Eyes of the Skin by Juhani Pallasmaa (2005) explores the importance of the tactile senses in our experience and perception of the world around us, where the domination between the sense of vision and touch has been enlightened. This project aspires to integrate this investigation into the creation of a bridal collection, and to associate this idea with the notion of beauty.

The concept of ‘tactility’ has been explored through an understanding of the relationship between the senses of touch and vision. This is reflected in the textural manipulations used to add surface dimension which is activated by light and shadow, creating visual stimulation, and enhancement of the white surface of the garments.
Pallasmaa, J. 2005. The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses. Great Britain: Wiley Academy.

Kezia Soedjono


Physical scars cannot be healed or forgotten, taken away or hidden. They are something that live with us and on us for life. Attached to these scars are memories, both good and bad. Physical scars, some small, some unbearable, whether hidden away or visible to the world, will always be with us.

This collection is about wearing your scars. While initially inspired by an investigation into the scarification that resulted from the ill-treatment of African American slaves, it resulted in a broader recognition of the personal and cultural significance of scaring. Similar to what we wear, our scars represent us and who we are. These scars should be embraced as part of our lives and worn with pride because they have essentially helped form who we are today.

Samantha Spini


The suit and shirt; unchanging in their tailored conformity, abide by unwritten guidelines. They can represent a traditional means of fitting into society’s narrow ideals or can also be part of a broader obsession with perfection.
The Distort collection creates a new set of guidelines by pushing the boundaries of proportion and scale, exaggerating volume, blurring the conventional gender codes and generating new silhouettes. This dramatic transformation of the tailored forms of the suit and shirt questions the world’s restricted concept of beauty and produces alternatives which challenge tradition, and at the same time create a liberated, refreshing beauty of their own.

Sophie Tudor-Roberts


“Throughout history, death has held humanity at the grip of fear…and fascination”
Jackie Pennington

The individual’s choice to embrace either the fear or fascination of death is influenced heavily by their family, tradition and culture. My collection focuses on the contradiction between two cultures’ ideologies of death - exploring the contrasting aspects of typical Western culture and Mexican culture. The aesthetics of these cultures present opposing responses; from a position of fear and dark morbidity to a celebrated and embraced part of life, accepted.

Within Mexican culture, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a warm, vibrant celebration of death, filled with colour and embellishment. Coloured beading, floral motifs and momento mori are an integral part of this celebration. In contrast, the colour black has strong associations with Western conventions for the celebration of death. The primary fabric used in my collection, black lace, reflects elegance, femininity and the romantic connotations that it holds. This collection hopes to convey a sense of balance and elegance between the cultural contradictions that surround the celebration of death.
Pennington, J. 2011. Morbid History: The Art of Morbidity.

Laura Vlais


The Wild One explores the relationship between bikie culture and contemporary fashion. In modern society, bikie culture is seen to be one of a rebellious nature with harsh connotations of lawless behaviour and a strong gang affiliation. The collection references key bikie imagery to generate outfits that are strong in their reading of such a culture. Within this reading, however, the collection aims to challenge these perceptions of the culture through a contemporary application of cultural signifiers. Through print, material selection and embellishment the collection presents a combination of male and female garments that are edgy and contemporary within our modern society while still reflecting the traditions of dress found in bikie culture.

Raquel Williamson

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