Accolades for Student Design Showcase
Those attending TAFE SA’s Next Gen showcase at the Adelaide Fashion Festival were stunned for all the right reasons. The whole finely tuned shebang, including 10 weeks prep, was organised from start to finish entirely by students.
The showcase had been organised by second year Bachelor of Creative Arts (Fashion) students enrolled in a dual partnership degree offered by Flinders University and TAFE SA. The students are Tilly Leighton (18), Jana Fuss (19), Sarah Hamilton (21) along with Jake Barker (25) who’s in his first year.
We managed to go backstage just prior to curtain call where the vibe was positively electric. “We know its good. We’re sure about it. We’ve been to the other shows and we’re excited that this one is going to have a good outcome,” enthused Jana beforehand.
“The whole thing is about up-and-coming designers; up-and-coming hair-and make-up; up-and-coming event managers; up-and-coming models and up-and-coming stylists”, says Tilly.
“We’re so proud of the TAFE SA and Flinders University design students and the collaboration with the Adelaide Fashion Festival” says Jana. Tilly joins in: “The stuff they’ve made is NOT easy!” “I’m most proud of our close knit team”, says Sarah, “We haven’t had a lunch break or free weekend for ten weeks.”
Garnering whatever experiences came their way in the 12 months leading up to this moment, the team enthusiastically volunteered for any-and-all possible opportunities. That included a two-week stint assisting iconic creative director and runway stylist Mark Vassallo behind the scenes at VAMFF earlier this year.
“We had no idea. We just said yes to everything and when we went over to Melbourne, they said to us, ‘Ok, we’re just waiting for Mark Vassallo. He’s on the way.’ And we’re having an OH MY GOD moment!”
Obviously their studies and experiences paid off. The Next Gen showcase of 46 designs by 30 students paraded by 21 hand-picked models received an enthusiastic response by stunned fashion lovers.
Said one who had travelled from Melbourne to see the show: “There was just so much creativity there. The hair and make-up was amazing. The detail was beautiful with braiding keeping the same aesthetic from model to model, yet each look was different. It didn’t get boring with the exact same hair styling on everyone. Same for the make-up.
The designs were so good and still so saleable. The presentation was awesome with those video backdrops too. It was so finely tuned down to the last detail. Even the models strutted down the runway perfectly timed to the beat of the soundtrack. It was so good.”
“My advice to anyone questioning this course would be – just do it! If you’re interested in any area of the fashion industry, then this course is perfect. We are offered such a wide range of topics which cover everything from illustration to styling, to event management and of course garment construction! I think there’s a huge misconception that “there are no jobs in fashion” and this couldn’t be more untrue. There are so many jobs I had never even heard of before enrolling in the Flinders Bachelor of Creative Fashion course. TAFE SA and Flinders University play the perfect role in opening up so many opportunities.
We’ve had a lot of great feedback on how well executed the show was – particularly the digital content videos which were used as the introductions to each segment. These were one hundred per cent directed, created and produced by our team of four, with Jake being the chief videographer. There has also been mention of how well suited the music was – this was chosen by Jana who has an incredible taste in music!”
The Premier’s Design award winner was announced at the end, with Ni Wang, above, winning a 12 -month mentoring programme.
Photos: Dimitra Koriozos & Pete Davis