The studio class I am undertaking this semester is inter-disciplinary and explores the museology side of fashion. Earlier in the year, I was lucky enough to be a part of The Melbourne International Flower And Garden Show and my most recent exhibition assessment was at Testing Grounds Southbank and titled Fashion Space. It consisted of works from only 16 of RMIT’s creative students, including work from yours truly!
It was a very different experience to MIFGS, as this exhibition was curated entirely by my tutors, my peers and myself. The creative pieces explored the relationship between fashion, body and space in a wonderfully entertaining way and the exhibition was a huge success drawing quite a crowd even with the cold and wet weather (troopers!).
It was a five week long developmental process that required many late nights and LOTS of cups of coffee. This assessment was particularly difficult because it was an outside exhibition, nestled in amongst nature which we needed to draw inspiration from and ultimately guided our design process to be site specific. Unlike a gallery space where clothing can be hung or framed onto a clean wall, we also had to think about how we would display, shelter, power and light up our design piece and site within Testing Grounds, and if necessary, create it entirely from scratch. I had to construct a life size wooden frame (with a little help from my elves!) and organise shelter, lighting and power which contributed to the overall vibe and experience I provided within my installation.
The experience was definitely skill building that’s for sure! I was able to work with different materials, and it gave me a chance to design and create an entire experience and space, rather than a garment to be worn on the body. I was in complete control about the kind of experience my viewers had when they walked into my space. Testing Grounds created the perfect rustic vibe for our exhibition night, nestled amongst nature our work became one with the space provided and our viewers got to experience something truly unique and extraordinary. It was a night full of fashion, art, wine and Mr Burger burgers! What more could one want?!
My installation titled Through The Void redefined space and created a sensory spacial experience. The fashioned body is crucial for the performance and articulation of identities. I explored the relationship between the body and fashion, and understood them as one entity. Through internal detailing which created an architectural space within the garment, and an accompanying narrative film, I analysed the space between the body and fashion. What we choose to wear alters this space. What does this personal space tell us about our identity? Conventions of dress and the act of dressing in everyday life, render the body meaningful. Just as we experience clothing aesthetic, the spaces in between the body and clothing are just as crucial to understanding, wearing and experiencing fashion as an embodied practice.
Through The Void short fashion film explored the relationship between the body and clothing through the act of dressing. In these acts, there is an intimate relationship between the body, the way the body moves and the clothing that adorns the body. Fabric and movement played an important role in exploring these spaces.
Concept + Creative Director
This fashion film was hidden inside a sleeve design, allowing my viewers to experience the spaces near the body and inside the garment. The film was a surprise, something you could only view through the experience of diving into The Void. The shirt suspended in the middle of the wooden frame was sewn with cotton polyester fabric, secured to the frame with the application of eyelets and nylon wire, and silk thread blind stitched into fibres of the shirt pulled tightly. The silk thread created sharp lines, angles and shapes within the garment space itself.
I really enjoyed creating my pieces for this exhibition. It was stressful, but rewarding in so many ways. Producing applications and concept proposals made me industry ready for future exhibitions, runways, festivals and events. A HUGE thankyou to my helpers, everyone who came to the exhibition opening night, Testing Grounds and RMIT. Your support truly means the world and is helping develop the next generation of young designers!