Aleisha Whitson, Rosanna Hall, Brittany Rouse and Nicole Van Vuuren are four RMIT Fashion students whose interests extend beyond fashion. By merging runway with performance in their upcoming self-driven showcase, Salumi Salon, the girls hope to portray the immersive interaction between garment, object, and viewer, reimagining Melbourne landmark The Deli Hall at Queen Victoria Market in their personal presentation.
In addition to their designs, there will be works from Melbourne installation and visual artists like Dougal McMurchy and Al Nemaric. It's about positioning themselves apart from the assumptions made about fashion, and grad collections in general. Yes, this may be an experimental endeavour, something expected of graduate designers, but it's more than the act of making a statement for the sake of it. Rather it's an extension of the designs and the designers themselves and that's what makes it exciting.
We asked the girls to talk us through Salumi Salon.
Why Salumi Salon?
For us, the interactions between garment, wearer and audience are so important. It's always an interrogation of that kind of performance. We use the garment as a medium to facilitate that.
So how will this event explore that?
Salumi Salon is focused on community; the relationship between the four of us but also our network of creative peers. We've been able to include the work of a few more artists, filmmakers and photographers in this event. We've also got friends modelling, which makes complete sense to see our work on familiar faces.
Salumi Salon plays on the tropes of a typical fashion event in a more intimate and haphazard way. It's a little more instinctual, which we guess goes with the way most of us operate when designing and making. It's a demonstration that the fashion community we belong to is much more than the highly-produced fashion events and imagery the public is used to.
What led to the Deli Hall becoming the location?
The space was really important to us. The Deli Hall is a place that's familiar to a Melbourne audience. Putting our work in this context is a demonstration that fashion is mundane, something everybody interacts with every day. Rather than on a catwalk or a highly contrived image that might create distance between our work and the audience, it will be much the opposite.
So this is more suited to your aesthetic than an obvious grad collection runway and therefore probably the best way to demonstrate the whole point of Salumi Salon as a collective?
The only way we could really demonstrate all these ideas is by putting this show together ourselves. We all work and think in similar ways, but this event allows us to disseminate our work in a style that works for each of our individual projects.
Salumi Salon takes place on October 14th at 8pm at the Queen Victoria Market Deli Hall. RSVP here.
Text Jamie-Maree Shipton