Style Melbourne

National Graduate Showcase preview

The L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival and Sportsgirl introduced us – along with past ‘Sportsgirl likes’ designers Alpha60 and LIFEwithBIRD – to the 12 graduate designers from around the country that have been chosen to be an integral part of the 2011 festival. Formerly called Metamorphosis, the national Graduate Showcase will put the designs of Jennifer Chua, Jessica O’Connor, Sarah Mok, Kate Watson, Celene Bridge, Jennifer Nebel, Ana Diaz and Melbourne representatives (all RMIT alumni) Jason Hewitt, Kate Sala, Laura Anderson (not to be confused with the LMFF chairperson of the same name), Genevieve Kulesza and Sangeeta Singh on the runway.

Melbourne fashion design graduates Sangeeta Singh, Kate Sala, Jason Hewitt & Laura Anderson.

While obviously not old hands at the fashion game just yet, most of the local graduates at least have already been spotted on the Dangerous Goods runway at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week while Kulesza has also been on our pages as part of the Blondes to Brunettes ‘Fashion Friendship’ initiative. This seems not to have taken the edge off though, with all of the young designers expressing their nervousness and excitement at being part of the festival.

A design by Genevieve Kulesza

‘Opportunity’ was a key word at the event’s launch, with all manner of possibility now laid out before them, I look forward to following these names in years ahead and seeing who sinks and who (hopefully) swims. However the future is bright; LMFF creative director Grant Pearce was impressed with “the sense of professionalism” shown by the chosen designers. Sportsgirl CEO Elle Roseby spoke of a bumper year for the event, as these names were “chosen from 70, a record number of submissions”. She spoke of the opportunities Sportsgirl affords the designers including the chance to showcase their design in store windows or to gain experience in their buying department. Proving these chances are a reality, former Metamorphosis designer Harmony Lam now works in Sportgirl’s quality assurance division.

Sportsgirl will present the diamond dozen at the new National Graduate Showcase (always at the top of my ‘to do’ list of the festival) at Central Pier from 6.30pm on Wednesday 16th March.  For the first time the graduate’s work will also be set up in a showroom nearby where media, buyers and industry types can meet with the next generation, view and discuss their collections by appointment only.

Model image courtesy Sportsgirl

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