5 graduate designers to watch in 2017


The end of the year brings with it a fresh crop of fashion design graduates. And nurturing this creative talent is the Flaunter Emerging Designer Showcase.

In its second year, the Showcase is a digital platform which enables students to reach an influential audience of editors, journalists and stylists.

Flaunter asked us to choose our top five emerging designers from Australia’s best fashion schools and universities. As you’d expect, it was not easy (sooooo much talent). We took five minutes with our standouts. 

Stephanie Henly (RMIT)

If I had to describe my collection in three words, they’d be... long-stitch, re-contextualised, handcrafted. 

My collection is… a material exploration deriving from the application of the long-stitch. This challenges the traditional notion of embroidery as a flat, decorated surface. These expressions are emphasised by minimal cuts to the manipulated cloth, leaving it as an uncut piece.

If I wasn’t a designer I’d be… in a creative field. I dream of colour, form, print and pattern, so I’d need an outlet somewhere. 

2016 has been… an intense year of learning. 

Next year I’ll be… learning and gaining new knowledge and furthering my creative skill. 

My dream job is… working in high fashion, creating garments with design integrity. 

The best advice I’ve ever been given is…work smarter not harder.

I look up to… the people I surround myself with, such as my friends and family, who are all strong-minded people who are in touch with the real issues in life.

Natalie Vladimiroff (UTS) 

If I had to describe my collection in three words, they’d be… kitsch, cowhide, weirdness. 

My collection is… contemporary cowgirl meets taxidermy kitsch. 

My design inspiration is… taxidermy and how it blurs the line between the real and the unreal.  

If I wasn’t a designer I’d be… an economist.

2016 has been… an insane challenge!

Next year I’ll be… hopefully living overseas. 

My dream job is… having my own label. 

The best advice I’ve ever been given… to have fun!

I look up to… Dries Van Noten (amazing textures). 

Fashion is… a conceptual form of communication. 

Talia Jimenez (UTS)

If I had to describe my collection in three words, they’d be… slimy, graphic, playful.

My design inspiration is… Sydney fish markets.

If I wasn’t a designer I’d be… a professional ski bum.

2016 has been… an emotional roller coaster.

Next year I’ll be… tackling the big wide world. Looking for my next challenge.

My dream job is… designing clothes and prints, and learning from someone or a brand that inspires me.  Someone with a unique creative vision such as Stella McCartney, Opening Ceremony or Romance Was Born. Eventually, I want to start my own label.

The best advice I’ve ever been given is… the grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it. 

I look up to… Walter Van Beirendonck.

Fashion is… self-expression. 

Zhuxuan He (UTS)

If I had to describe my collection in three words, they’d be… 3D, flexible, movement. 

My collection… explores the connection between the body, the garment and its surroundings. Where the wearer acts as an instigator for movement within the garment itself. The sculptural and articulated forms are inspired by organic abstraction and paper origami folding techniques, and expressed through interconnected layers of fabric and structure. The collection seeks to challenge the potential of three-dimensional shape in relation to the female silhouette.

My design inspiration is… the Japanese artist Tokujin Yoshioka’s ‘Honey-pop Chair’. It’s a chair made with sheets of glassine paper that were piled together and cut along specific lines so that it magically opens into a honeycomb structure. The final form of the chair is set when in use, as it responds to the shape of the sitter’s bottom. I was fascinated with the transformation process (from 2D to 3D), which reminded me of my childhood and playing with ‘pop-up’ books. I realised the potential of this origami technique in patternmaking, and tried to apply this method to my textile process.

If I wasn’t a designer I’d be… an architect.

Next year I’ll be… studying for my masters, hopefully in New York.

My dream job is… working for Viktor & Rolf.

The best advice I’ve ever been given is… push yourself, there are no limitations.

I look up to… Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons, Martin Margiela.

Fashion is… a way of thinking. It’s also a platform to push limits and challenge creativity.

Victoria Bliss (RMIT)

If I had to describe my collection in three words, they’d be… classic, tailored, Scottish. 

My collection is… me, to a T! It embodies everything I try to practise as a fashion designer, while paying homage to my biggest inspirations – my grandmother and mother! I’ve had so much fun producing the collection and considering every little element, from jewellery to handbags to having the shoes made. The work really goes beyond just the garments, and I’m very excited to see how the collection is received. 

My design inspiration is… Alexander McQueen. I’m forever in awe of the genius he was, his collections were so intricate, classic and yet very confronting.

If I wasn’t a designer I’d be… a lawyer?! The other end of the scale, I know. At the end of year 12, I was accepted into the Bachelor of Fashion (Design) (Honours) at RMIT and I was also accepted into law. Luckily, my mum knew where my heart was and encouraged me to go for what I really loved.

2016 has been… beyond surreal. I’ve had such an unbelievable year and couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities that have come my way.

My dream job is… Working in the fairy penguin section of SeaWorld and running Vogue in my spare time. Only (kind of) kidding… I’d really love to go overseas and work for one of the large fashion houses, gain some experience and return to Australia to continue designing for myself. 

The best advice I’ve ever been given… “accept the things you cannot change, change the things you can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.” Thanks Grandpa!

I look up to… my mother and grandmother.

Fashion is… everywhere. In absolutely every aspect of life. The old lady on the tram with her fabulous trolley, or the child having a tantrum in aisle 2 – micro fashion! 

Lazy Loading