Updated: Jun 9, 2019

A Walk Down the Aisle of Nine Graduate Collections (BYO Shopping Trolley)

The best time of year is finally upon us. You’re probably all thinking “We know! It’s almost Summer!” Well you’re not wrong, but we’re actually talking about the final few weeks before the university semester comes to an end, before all assessments are done and dusted, before you can swap class for the beach.

It’s a phenomenon that occurs every October, where fashion students across the city somehow find the energy in their already time poor and sleep deprived schedules to hold fashion shows and runway events. It’s time for Student Fashion Week(s)! VAMFF and MFW can take a step back for a hot sec because it’s time to see the most energetic, explorative and unique collections fresh off the RMIT tech room sewing machines. 

First up is Supermércado, a collective runway that took place across the sprawling warehouse floor of Second Story Studios in Collingwood, Melbourne. This experimental event showcased the fourth year collections of nine RMIT Bachelor of Fashion Design soon-to-be graduates: Hannah Berry, Marley Downey, Julia English, Nicola Fogarty, Tara Ingram, Lily Ke, Anna Petry, Bridget Petry, and Briony Walton. 

We entered the space and were greeted with what appeared to be a room full of dumpster-dived cardboard boxes, but upon closer inspection these boxes took their true form; that of plinths, stacked one on top of the other. These ‘plinths’, laden with small trinkets and artefacts from each collection, broke up the space into aisles: a supermarket come gallery exhibition. The aisles were to become the runway, and we were to become the shoppers. Even the exhibition directories were on theme, recycled Aldi catalogues with A5 print-outs of each collection stapled inside, obscuring the latest seasonal vegetable offers.

A funny thought crossed my mind as I wandered around the space. As humans we generate so much waste and some of it was here in front of me. Cardboard boxes and empty milk bottles were interspersed with beautiful hand made items and painstakingly sewn garments. Is it human nature for us to stand in front of everything we already have and still be left wanting more? Because I definitely wanted an outfit from every collection. If this is the case, Supermércado, Spanish for 'Supermarket', was aptly named and it’s poignant metaphor taken note. It reminds one, as a shopper, to buy meaningfully and with intent. 

And so, with the sound of a whistle we were ushered into the centre of the space, the runway encircled us, and the show commenced. 

Written and Photographed by Jasper Fearnley.

You can follow the work of these designers through the following social media links:

Hannah Berry: @_harry_im_home

Marley Downey:

Julia English: @_julia.english_

Nicola Fogarty: @nic.fogarty

Tara Ingram: @taraingram_

Lily Ke: @lilykestudio

Anna Petry: @ann.annpetry

Bridget Petry: @bridget.petry

Briony Walton: @briony.walton

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