“It’s a really exciting event and it’s also a huge part of the fashion and textiles community at UTS,” asserts Lecturer and Fashion and Textiles Program Director Todd Robinson.
For over 25 years, the UTS Fashion and Textiles Show has provided a platform for budding designers to showcase their work.
This year, 34 honours students have worked hard to meticulously craft six outfits each that will grace the catwalk on Tuesday 25 October. In these collections, says Robinson, “There will be a focus on new textiles, colour and exploratory approaches to form and volume. Some of the emerging ideas are gender-neutral collections, with some students showing mixed men’s and women’s collections.
“A number of collections also address the relationships between the garment, body in movement, different materials and space. There are also quite a few sustainable fashion projects, where students work with upycled and repurposed materials and fabrics.”
Robinson is the mastermind behind the project. He works for up to three months prior to the event to make sure everything runs smoothly.
“While the staff are helping the students, we work with a set designer to organise the choreography, lighting, music and overall production,” says Robinson. “There are certainly a lot of aspects to it.”
Every year a different theme is adopted and this year, ‘dialogue’ is the chosen concept.
“The theme this year is very open but it helps to guide the show and the students,” says Robinson, “It’s really about speaking to audiences outside the university, engaging meaningfully with the public, with the industry and their discipline.”
Between two ticketed shows and one media preview, the Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles students will entertain over 800 people including fashion editors, stylists and industry designers like Akira Isogawa, Carla Zampatti and Dion Lee. The students’ creations are also showcased in a press kit, a magazine and on their personal websites.
“The show is just one part, there are lots of other aspects that sit around the show to help broadcast the students’ work,” explains Robinson.
The aim is to connect students with industry professionals and help them develop a portfolio they can take with them into their careers.
“When designers come to the show they can get in contact with us or with the students directly, they might want to put their work in a magazine, fashion shoot or do a designer profile,” explains Robinson. “I really enjoy witnessing the dialogue between designers in the industry and our students, it’s a joy to see and that’s really what the show is all about.”
Lucy Virgona is one lucky graduate who had the opportunity to work with iconic Australian fashion designer Akira Isogawa after he spotted Virgona’s work at last year’s fashion show.
“Akira saw my collection last year at the media day,” recalls Virgona. “I met him and we talked about my collection.
“A couple of months later I emailed my CV and portfolio to him, accompanied by a reference from the Australian Wool Fashion Awards (TAWFA) – I won the Supreme Award at the 2015 Australian Wool Fashion Awards – with the hope of gaining industry experience within his company. Because of our meeting at the UTS media day, and Akira's involvement with TAWFA, he offered me a design internship position.
“I began interning at Akira Design Studio and helped in the lead up to this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival Australia doing some designing, pattern making and cutting. Recently, I have progressed into a part-time design/production assistant role. Each day is so exciting and thrilling – I’m gaining invaluable experience working with Akira Isogawa and a real insight into the industry!"
Other students, says Robinson, have worked for Alexander Wang, Josh Goot and Calvin Klein, to name just a few.
“They’re incredibly talented honours students who have completed a difficult four-year degree and this is the moment where they can showcase all of their hard work.”
The 2016 UTS Fashion and Textiles Show will be held on Tuesday 25 October. Tickets are available for purchase from moshtix.com.au.