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The talent at the MFW Student Runway was wild

IMAGES BY BRAY TAYLOR

Raw, unbridled creativity.

It’s an undisputed fact that almost every Melbourne Fashion Week, the student showcase leads as the most creatively charged – and exciting – runway of the festival. Unlike its program counterparts, the talent is raw and unbridled, with each student collection more a statement of intent than clothing designed for consumer wear.

This year’s showcase seemed to raise the standard even further, both in terms of creative talent and execution.

Students from RMIT University, Holmesglen Institute, Box Hill Institute, Whitehouse Institute of Design, The Masters Institute for Creative Education and Kangan Institute all showcased, as did three students from Ueda College of Fashion, in Melbourne’s sister city, Osaka.

Elements of the creative zeitgeist were present throughout, as trends were either outright rejected or exaggerated to near comical extents, seemingly as a form of societal commentary.

Sabrina Sekerovski of Kangan Institute presented a caricature of puffer jackets for her Biohazard collection, including one that bordered on a sleeping bag.

RMIT’s Jordyn Smith gave us a sort of futuristic prairiecore, with an elemental spin on increasingly popular silhouettes and patterns. Jinwei Zhang similarly played with cowboy style, simultaneously exaggerating and softening each look with structural proportions and feminine detailing.   

Emily Watson, also of RMIT, delivered a deconstructed hybrid of active-, leisure-, resort-, lounge- and swimwear. It was a piecemeal yet cohesive collection that seemed an astute observation of how modes of dress that were once reserved for the home or holiday have since emerged to everyday, public spaces.

Darija Milevska’s collection, of Holmesglen Institute, was also a nod to current pop culture. Her silhouettes were reminiscent of Game of Thrones and decorated with embellished recycled plastic water bottles. It was perhaps a statement regarding public dialogue; a comparison of what it recently has been about to what it really should be.

One student seemed to nod to Rick Owens’ 2015 show, which controversially saw models wearing other models down the runway. It was a move that spurred an enduring conversation around whether fashion week is still about showcasing genuine design, or simply a press grab by the labels involved.

Of course, these are only a few highlights of the many, many talented emerging designers who showcased at the event. Click through the gallery above for more.

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