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rmit fashion school future stars

With the semester drawing to a close, and big presentations being made, we thought we’d shine a light on some of tomorrow’s design stars. RMIT in Melbourne has been one of Australia’s most prestigious fashion incubators for decades, so we caught up with a few young fashion designers we’re keeping our eye on.

Text Soph Goulopoulos and Wendy Syfret 

Photography Michelle Huynh

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  • Alexandra Louise Champion Hackett

    What made you want to study fashion?
    I interned for a bespoke wedding dress designer when I was 15, he hired me and I worked for him for four years. I couldn’t get enough. The exhilaration of working backstage is incomparable - I’m addicted.

    What really inspires you?
    Fabrication: anything from a scrap of wall insulation on the side of the road, to a piece of tennis court netting, from a pile of banana skins, to an Ikea shopping bag. Anything can be a textile. The challenge only exists in disregarding the boundaries to which people usually conform “fashion” within.

    Describe yourself.
    The personification of a collaboration between Nike and McDonalds.

    Describe your aesthetic.
    Sportswear that’s impractical to do sports in.

    What’s the best thing about Australia’s fashion scene?
    Australia’s small (in its population) so it’s relatively easy to start your own practice, whatever that may be. We work hard and we play hard.

    Who are your favourite designers?
    Astrid Andersen, Nasir Mazhar, and Juun J.

    Where would you like to be in five years?
    Rich and or famous. Preferably both.

    @sheniquadoezinstagram

    Alexandra Louise Champion Hackett 

    Alex

  • Georgia Fraser

    What made you want to study fashion?
    I used to sit on my Mum’s bed and watch her get dressed for dinner parties. Mum had three wardrobes and they were full of clothes she'd bought from her travels in the 70s. She lived in fear of my criticism.

    What really inspires you?
    A moment: a moment to reflect, a moment in time, a moment on the stand, a moment in drape.

    Describe yourself.
    Look at my work - plus ambition, add sass.

    Describe your aesthetic.
    Beautiful, considered, refined, and purposeful.

    What's the best thing about Australia’s fashion scene?
    Everyone loves an underdog. Since spending my summer interning in Paris, I think comparatively Melbourne is at the forefront of creative, innovative design. There isn’t the ingrained history and culture that European cities do.

    Who are your favourite designers?
    Jacquemus, J.W. Anderson, Maison Martin Margiela, Comme des Garcons, and Verner.

    Where would you like to be in five years?
    A design assistant for a house in Paris, or opening a small Dover Street Market/ Opening Ceremony like department store in Melbourne with peer Ru Kwok.

    @_f_r_a_s_e_r

    Georgia Fraser

    Georgia

  • Max Thomas Sanderson

    What made you want to study fashion?
    I’ve always had a strong affinity with dress and the tactile nature of cloth. The ritualistic process of dressing is something I delight in every day.

    What really inspires you?
    Quality, fabric, and construction; a beautifully crafted garment is a thing of true beauty.

    Describe yourself.
    Imagine me at work: sitting at my bench, calmly tailoring a garment, relishing in my intimate relationship with fashion. My holistic approach to design is related directly to the way I lead my everyday life. Thoughtful consideration is paramount.

    Describe your aesthetic.
    My work is driven by a technical exploration of garment construction—challenging conventions of make and fit in menswear. The result is artisanal garments that are influenced by archetypes of menswear; yet provide new and re-contextualised methods of tailoring.

    What’s the best thing about Australia’s fashion scene?
    Australia has a great capacity to continually create strong work from an abundance of independent design houses. Made In Australia is a great thing to see.

    Who are your favourite designers?
    People who work intimately with the garment, exploring new modes of construction, and creating work that promotes a restrained elegance. Australian artisan house MATERIALBYPRODUCT or Milan based Carol Christian Poell are great influences.

    Where would you like to be in five years?
    I intend to found my own independent fashion house, where I will continue to create artisanal men’s tailoring.

    Max Thomas Sanderson

    Max

  • Eric Yvon

    What made you want to study fashion?
    I always knew I wanted to be involved in a creative field. After having a crack at the corporate world I felt the urge to find a platform for expressing my creative self. Fashion has inspired my life in so many different ways, through fashion I can create a character.

    Describe yourself.
    I am a 28-year-old (20 years at heart) young man filled with dreams and ambition. I was born in Mauritius and moved to Australia by myself at the age of 19. Two and a half years ago I didn’t know how to use a sewing machine. I rely a lot on my instinct and have an optimistic and ambitious approach to life. I always try and see the positive in everything, even in the worst-case scenario there is a constructive outcome.

    Describe your aesthetic.
    Lots of prints, different silhouettes, and dramatic shapes. Patterns are a major component in my work; I often play with different colours and patterns to create optic illusions.

    What’s the best thing about Australia’s fashion scene?
    The fashion scene is still raw. Independent fashion designers are finding their feet and the public is showing great support towards upcoming talent. There is a lot of creativity and talent. Being such a young country, Australia is very open-minded and our geographical dislocation can only act as an incubator for inspiration.

    What really inspires you?
    Art and design history are a major source of inspiration throughout my work. I love listening to music, which helps set a mood and pace for my themes.

    Who are your favourite designers?
    My favourite designers at the moment would have to be JUUN J, Walter Van Beirendonck, and Desert Design.

    Where would you like to be in five years?
    I haven’t thought of five years down the line. I’ll let the future reveals itself. Whatever it is I’m sure it will be amazing!

    erik-yvon.com

    Eric

  • Laura Fanning

    What made you want to study fashion?
    Scrupulously looking at copies of Vogue Italia with my sister when I was a kid.

    What really inspires you?
    Humour, frivolity, and intelligence.

    Describe your personal style
    I would like to think glam.

    Describe your aesthetic.
    Fabulous.

    What’s the best thing about Australia’s fashion scene?
    We have no rules yet, so there's lot of room to grow.

    What do you enjoy most about fashion design?
    Firstly it’s fun, and also knowing that you can wake up and completely change your mind on what you want to achieve for that day or week.

    Who are your favourite current designers?
    A bit of a mix: Dries Van Noten, Vivienne Westwood, Eckhaus Latta.

    Where would you like to be in five years?
    Prada.

    @laurafanning

    Laura Fanning

    Laura