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Students step out in style at showcase

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Under hot sodium lights, eye shadow is being put on while down a corridor and through a door, there is much discussion of the problems with the length of a petticoat and train. Music is blaring on and off as several people walk up and down the catwalk.

Kathryn Casey's collection Ignore The MessageKathryn Casey’s collection Ignore The Message

There are only three hours until the start of Naked Minds, Curtin’s Fashion design graduate showcase. The 21 graduating students seem to have it all in hand. Each of them has not only had to produce a collection of work to be shown but also has had a hand in organising the event itself.

“The onus is on them to complete the collection and to organise the presentation tonight,” said Ms Julie Calabrese, one of the sessional lecturers in Fashion and Textile Design at Curtin. “From an industry perspective, it’s really impressive what they have done.”

One of the designs from Iva Arapovic's collection AVIARY One of the designs from Iva Arapovic’s collection AVIARY

“The designers are grouped in similar themes,” Sophia Lenzo, one of the graduates, said as she supervised the hair and makeup section. “We have sleek, dark, messy and romantic.”

Many of the graduates have received accolades for their work. Cordelia Gibbs won the Ready To Wear Menswear Category at the Perth Fashion Festival 2013 Student Runway event and Gautam Kapoor won the TISA Award for Dye and Colouration this year.

“I created my own digital prints for my designs,” Mr Kapoor said. “I always design with this strong career minded woman in mind.”

“They come in very young not knowing how hard the industry is or how to construct a garment,” said Mrs Jo Quake, Technical Officer for Fashion and Textile at the School of Design and Art. “But they figure it out quickly and they grow into their own identities and create amazing work.”

The students’ backgrounds do influence their designs.

“Mine come from my ethnic background – I’m half Sudanese and half Italian,” said Ms Shahira Salih who grew up in the modelling industry and is hoping to get work experience as a designer overseas after graduation.

Shahira Salih's collection Hajena-bridoShahira Salih’s collection Hajena-brido

Each collection had a concept that was researched heavily. Ms Lenzo’s collection was titled Immersion and was inspired by all things aqueous.

“The concept is water – I grew up on a boat,” she said. “So there are a lot of soft, silky fabrics and bright colours and some of my own prints.”

Sophie Tudor-Roberts’ concept was part political.

“I began looking at the suit, the shirt and tailored garments as a representation of society’s narrow idea of beauty,” she said.

“I wanted to push the boundaries away from the traditional.”

Awards were handed out after the collections were presented with Jessica Moro winning the Curtin Designer Fashion Award. Ms Gibbs won both the Sericin Silk Design Award and the Fashion HUB Knitwear Design Award. Mr Kapoor won the Sheila Magazine Emerging Designer Award, Kezia Soedjono won the X-Press Fashion Graduate Award and Emma Kalotas won the Curtin Colour Award.

Lucy Aboagye won the Gerber Technology Accumark Training Prize and was selected for the 2014 Banshu Fashion Textile Program. Kathryn Casey was selected for the JENYSIS Cultural Exchange program in Japan.

“It’s really significant – they all have different backgrounds,” said Ms Calabrese. “And three years of hard work is a huge learning curve – by the end they are very relieved.”

And sitting on the steps backstage while the awards were announced were 21 tired, happy and relieved future fashion designers.

The finale of the showcase at Naked Minds 2013The finale of the showcase at Naked Minds 2013

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