New things always get the heart chugging a little faster. As such, the RMIT Graduate Showcase is often the biggest highlight of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. RMIT champions forthcoming talent and has been the educational starting gun for many successful designers, including Above, Dress Up, LIFEwithBIRD, Lui Hon and Toni Maticevski.
As usual, last night’s show was a spectacle of imagination, suggesting a fierce direction for the next generation of designers.
Raucous applause rang out for the first graduate of the night, Adi Horic, whose sculptural menswear creations suggested transformers and a beastly alien world. On a similar vein, Jung Hong’s boyish gunmetal suiting was overtaken with concertina-style growths on the arms and shoulders.
Clean tailoring stood tall with a military series coming from Duo Xu. His sharp shorts and jacket ensembles were paired with stiff capes with cut-out detail, all cast in bright shades of yellow, pink, purple and green. Kara Lui kicked off the a female contingent with royal blue wool coats and slick grey suiting. Tanya Rapaic introduced a heavily gathered trouser silhouette for men, complemented by slim-fitting outerwear in earthy tones.
Several women’s collections took the route of undergarments and corsetry, a highlight being Georgia Wyrill’s clear PVC capelets and highly structured gold hotpants. Natasha Fagg brought us regal capes over elegantly cut dresses and full-length playsuits featuring shoulders adorned with plastic spikes and beads.
Slightly more pared back work stood out amongst the extravagance. Elinor McMahon’s collection was a study in simplicity; a black and white palette cast across fluidly draped dresses and panelled outerwear.
Metallics and sportswear dominated several collections. Hannah Fry’s menswear featured an oversized gold bomber jacket and pants with a neon drawstring. Hannah Cantwell’s floor-length puffer jackets also fitted the sports theme, while Nixi Killick’s luxe bombers and translucent insect detailing was from another world.
Print and detail had no limits, one of the highlights being Bernadette Francis’s billowing orange and blue printed dresses where strings of neon beads connected fabric panels.
Overall, the show was a study in the endless reach of creativity, with all graduates proving that a complex story can be woven with just a few looks.