I've just come back from the Student Runway parade at the 2012 Perth Fashion Festival, where about 60 graduate designers from Perth's major fashion schools – Polytechnic West, Central Institute, Edith Cowan University, WAAPA, Curtin University and Challenger Institute – showed one outfit each from their graduate collections.
I love Student Runway – it gives emerging or aspiring designers a way to showcase their fresh-out-of-school ideas to an audience of fashion lovers.
In some cases, what a fashion editor, buyer or stylist sees coming down the runway at these shows may end up in a fashion shoot or editorial down the track – you just never know.
The parade kicked off with a selection of designs from Nicole Marrington, Jessica Hogg and Samuel Donaldson, the winner of last year's Carton initiative.
Each year three designers from the Student Runway show are chosen to work out of a studio in Carillon City and mentored by experienced working designers.FULL COVERAGE
Marrington's warrior/nomad-styled collection was inspired by the traditional costumes of Mongolia. There was also a bit of a samurai feel, with a side touch of New Romanticism – think Spandau Ballet circa 1981.
Jessica Hogg's voluminous white gowns with geometric details were inspired by the shapes of Art Deco, while Samuel Donaldson's zombie-faced male models wore grunge-inspired knitwear that quite literally looked like it was dragged through sand and over rocks (a deliberate intention, according to the designer's show notes).
There's often a very macabre streak that runs through student designs. Dark theatricality, gothic touches, big vampy costumes, draping and distressed leather often make an appearance.
And in tonight's show there was an abundance of fascinatingly morbid accessorising going on – bone necklaces, giant antler and horn-shaped headpieces, hats made out of tree branches, Viking touches and Red Riding Hood capes.
The Japanese tribes - Harajuku girls, Elegant Gothic Lolitas and Cosplay costumers - were all referenced through frills, bows, spangles, big volumes and giant hoop skirts.
There were some more commercial and wearable pieces on display – draped dresses, eco-friendly pyjama sets – but commercial and wearable has never really been what Student Runway is about.
It's about letting your imagination run wild, doing fun things with unusual materials, playing around with the design fantasies in your head.
Commercialism, and wearability, can come later.
After the parade, the winners of each category were announced, so congratulations to the following designers:READY TO WEAR WOMEN'S
Amy Web, WAAPAREADY TO WEAR MEN'S
Tim Watson, Curtin UniversityCONTEMPORARY EVENINGWEAR
Nicole Frahn, Polytechnic WestECO DESIGN
Lauren Sims, Curtin UniversityCOSTUME COUTURE
Aqeela Isaacs, Challenger InstituteWINNER OF THE LIZ DAVENPORT SCHOLARSHIP
Aqeela Isaacs, Challenger Institute
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.