RMIT’s got talent

Normally unless it’s the Spring Carnival, you will never find me at a racetrack. But when I was invited to Moonee Valley racecourse for the RMIT VIP night this Tuesday, I decided to make an exception. It’s not often that you get to see so much talent under the one roof – students’ work from the fashion, textiles, footwear and marketing courses was on display so that the graduates could show off their stuff to industry types and hopefully kickstart their careers. And because I remembered to take my camera and cleverly snapped some shots in between mingling, gasping in awe and admiration at the work and snacking on canapes, you get a sneak peek at tomorrow’s stars!

Guests were welcomed by Hayley Niven’s dramatic creation at the entrance:

Drapes and pleats work a charm in Minahil Basharat’s strapless number:

Lara Lethbridge’s floral balloon dress:

Samantha Bezzina’s “Kaleidoscope” dress reminded me of the stained glass in the ceiling of the NGV. I sneakily managed to get Susanna and Fabia into this shot too (they’re working on the Fair@Square festival too… more on that further down)…

Natalie Hite’s lingerie looks are the height of boudoir chic:

Sophie Canaway’s tea towels … for The Tiger that came to Tea? (I would VOLUNTARILY dry the dishes if I had a tea towel this cute!)

Natasha Havir Smith’s leather patchworking for the urban jungle:

Loredana Camarata’s delicately patterned designs and dainty dresses:

Marina Wilson’s African-inspired knitted neckpieces:

Milly Gamlin’s dreamy 1920s inspired textiles:

So what was I doing there, you may ask, as I am neither a student nor (at the moment) a card-carrying member of the fashion elite. Well, as part of the fashion program for Fair@Square festival (for which Fabia and I are organising the fashion show), we held a sort of competition in which RMIT textile students designed a print that highlighted fair trade issues. The winning designs (of which there are six) will be digitally printed (less resource-wasteful than screenprinting) on certified organic, Fair Trade cotton banners which will decorate the main stage at Federation Square during the festival!! These are just some of the entries. I am very glad I was not a judge as they were all so thoughtfully researched and beautifully executed.

And here are some of the students themselves… take a good look, I’m tipping that these are the famous faces of the future! (By the way, if you’re in Melbourne, there’s an RMIT textile graduate exhibition at Counihan Gallery, 233 Sydney Road, Brunswick, until 18 December, so you can go and look at some of this amazing stuff for yourself – for free!)