With Fashion, Debauchery and Gin & Tonics Provided.
I woke up for work on Saturday to the sound of rain. Blissfully relaxed, I looked at the forecast, and in classic Melbourne spring style, it would be raining all day. Five RMIT Fashion Design students (Elly Blackwood, Simone Berman, Annabel Robinson, Conor Utri and Kurt van Velzen) would also be waking up to the sound of rain, and their first thought would not be a relaxing one in the slightest. Their collective runway was happening that very night, on the top floor of a car park in Melbourne’s China Town. An event like this takes weeks, if not months of planning, and a little bit of rain was not going to stop it.
This was to be a evening of self proclaimed debauchery, and arriving to an open bar got the ball rolling. An electric energy of anticipation filled the large warehouse that sits atop the Golden Square Car Park, with red lighting, smoke machines and g&t’s setting the scene. The space was packed full of friends, family and teachers, all patiently waiting for the show to start. The runway stretched the length of the room, and upon a stage overlooking the crowd a living room had been set up. It was complete with a couch, armchairs, pot plants, magazines and lamps, and had the eclectic op-shop vibes of every share house I’ve been to. This would be the stage for tonight’s performance. The lights dimmed, and the crowd parted to make room for the runway.
The show began with a performance by Minnie Taur who lip-synced Donna Summer’s Bad Girls, a fitting song for the night we were about to have; one of frivolity, broken boundaries and salacious fashion. Models started to make their way down the runway and walked the length of the room before taking to the stage. There they gathered, one by one, as comfortable as if they were in their own homes. They sat on the couch and armchairs, one nonchalantly flipping through the pages of a glossy, whilst another smoked a cigarette. They stared at the crowd, a “you can’t sit with us” attitude scrawled across their faces, almost as if we were unwelcome gate crashers to their party.
The final run through ended to massive applause and to the understanding of how much work had truly gone into throwing an event of this scale. It had taken a year for these collections to take shape, from two dimensional drawings to fully realised garments, whilst the show itself was well thought out, detailed and cohesive. A big congratulations is in order to the designers and event team, it was without doubt a session to remember.
Written and Photographed by Jasper Fearnley.
You can follow the work of these designers through the following social media links:
Annabel Robinson @annabel_rrobinson
Elly Blackwood @ellyblackwood
Conor Utri @conorutri
Kurt van Velzen @__kurtvanvelzen
Simone Berman @nopleaz
Minnie Taur @minnietaur
DJ Brooke Powers @female_wizard