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X-PRESS GRADUATE AWARD WINNERS

Jessica Jones Collection - Photo: Tricia Cheah
Jessica Jones Collection – Photo: Tricia Cheah

In the last month Curtin, Polytechnic West, Central and ECU all held their Graduate Fashion Parades, with one student from each chosen for the X-Press Award. Congratulations all!

JESSICA JONES Polytechnic West

 

When did you first realise that fashion design was the career for you?

I started teaching myself to sew when I was in high school simply because I couldn’t find the clothes that I wanted anywhere. From that point on I knew that I wanted to pursue fashion as a career, and kept sewing while completing a Fine Arts degree at UWA to give myself a solid art foundation to draw upon.

 

How did you end up at Polytechnic?

Everyone I spoke to highly recommended Polytechnic West due to their strong emphasis on the technical side of fashion, and the way that the course was structured to teach you everything from the ground up.

 

Would you say a Polytechnic Fashion Design course is a good springboard to getting started in the industry?

I definitely think that studying Fashion Design at Polytechnic is a fantastic springboard to getting started in the industry. The course gives you a thorough grounding in the technical side of the fashion industry with classes on design, patternmaking, grading, construction and more to ensure you have the practical skills to bring your designs to life.

 

How do you describe your design aesthetic?

My design aesthetic is feminine and romantic with a twist. I’m inspired by many things including the Victorian era and the Pre-Raphaelite art movement, and I love to combine delicate fabrics and feminine silhouettes with darker elements. I also place a strong emphasis on attention to detail, and often use intricate embellishment and hand finishing techniques in my designs.

Is there any advice you would give young, budding designers just setting out?

A piece of advice that I would give budding designers is don’t be afraid of developing your own design style and aesthetic, because ultimately that is what sets everyone apart from each other. Celebrate the things that are uniquely yours and do what excites you, because that will give you the inspiration and determination to keep pushing yourself further.

 

RINI TENG Central Institute

When did you first realise that fashion design was the career for you?

When I was young I was always interested in the arts. My background is in traditional dance and the costumes they wore always interested me so fashion was a natural transition.

 

How did you end up at Central?

I was researching courses in WA and wanted something innovative. CIT was always at the head of the page with their creative and hands on style of teaching.

 

Would you say a Central Fashion Design course is a good springboard to getting started in the industry?

CIT teaches you the full process a design studio would go through from start to finish. It’s a great feeling going to any designer and being able to help straight away.

How do you describe your design aesthetic?

I like clean, flowing styles that hold meaning.

 

Is there any advice you would give young, budding designers just setting out?

You have to really know what you want. Always be willing to adapt and learn new styles of design and craft because fashion is always changing. Don’t be afraid to break out and do something different, you might set a new trend.

 

JOANA EHMES Edith Cowan University

 

When did you first realise that fashion design was the career for you?

After starting my degree at ECU I did a few electives in Textiles and Fashion. The unique approach and teaching motivated me to understand fashion as a form, supported by different materials and techniques to generate work.

 

How did you end up at Edith Cowan University?

When I came to Perth to study I was a little insecure about what to study. I decided to go to ECU as they provide a great freedom and flexibility when choosing electives and experimenting units.

 

Would you say a Edith Cowan University course is a good springboard to getting started in the industry?

Considering that it is not an easy industry, the lecturers provide a number of very good opportunities to participate in competitions and events that provide visibility.

 

How do you describe your design aesthetic?

After research on the conceptual background, I usually start the process by identifying what I want to transmit to the viewer and wearer. From there my designs tend to complement the body’s physiognomy.

 

Is there any advice you would give young, budding designers just setting out?

​I would probably let them know that like everything it is not easy and it requires a lot of work but if you passionate about what you are doing than everything is easier.

 

MAEGAN DA SILVA Curtin

 

When did you first realise that fashion design was the career for you?

Growing up with a mother that was also very much into fashion, it has always been a dream of mine to be a fashion designer. This however only became a possibility when my family migrated to Australia in 2006; at the time I was 15 years old and began doing textiles at St Brigid’s College. I soon realised that my dreams could become my reality; I knew then that I wanted to pursue a career in fashion.

How did you end up at Curtin?

I initially intended to do the TAFE course first to get hands on technical training and then complete the degree at Curtin; however at the time the course was only being offered part-time due to low numbers mid-year entry. After having done extensive research; I was drawn to Curtin because of their more concept-driven approach.

Would you say a Curtin Fashion Design course is a good springboard to getting started in the industry?

At Curtin, students are encouraged to push the boundaries, to think ‘out of the box’ and to explore their creativity. The Curtin Graduate Showcase is a great means of exposure and a fantastic opportunity for young up-coming designers.
How do you describe your design aesthetic?

Born and raised in the Caribbean; The twin Island of Trinidad and Tobago and migrating to Australia in my teens, has helped shape a distinctive design aesthetic that evokes an evocative blend of influences from two contrasting cultures. ​As a designer I want to deliver innovative and evocative garments while maintaining the integrity of design and quality.

Is there any advice you would give young, budding designers just setting out?

Stay true to who you are as a designer, it’s what makes you and your work original. Develop your own aesthetic so your work can speak for itself and has your signature.

 

All winners will be featured in a special shoot for the next X-Press Fashion season launch in 2015.

 

Katy Perry rocks the ARIAS red carper in her Jamie Lee Major-designed outfit - Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAP
Katy Perry rocks the ARIAS red carper in her Jamie Lee Major-designed outfit – Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

JAMIE LEE MAJOR: Fashion Designer

Jamie Lee Major is just one of a growing cohort of CIT fashion graduates who have seen their designs reach international notoriety. Since winning the X-Press Emerging Designer Award in 2009, her collections have attracted the attention of everyone from The New York Times to Katy Perry.  

When it comes to having a high profile fashion assignment, it definitely doesn’t come much bigger than designing clothes for music superstars. Such was the challenge for former Central Institute of Technology student Jaime Lee Major, when she was tasked with designing the outfit Katy Perry wore to the ARIA Awards last month. Bali-based Jaime created a two-piece, midriff-baring outfit that set tongues wagging across the globe. The stunning outfit featured a bib-style front made from lace sourced exclusively from France, with onyx crystal beads and patent leather. The highly detailed, hand-beaded number took Major nearly 400 hours to make.

This commission was the latest high profile task for Jamie who remains a firm favourite in rock circles. She dressed Kimbra for the 2011 ARIAs in a gobsmacking fish tail gown made from gold lace and hand-encrusted with Swarovski crystals. The New Zealand diva also wore Jamie Lee on her appearances on Jimmy Kimmel and Saturday Night Live, bringing the CIT graduate’s designs to an audience of millions.

Shakira and even Lady Gaga have also stepped out in her designs. Jaime isn’t the only famous graduate of Central’s Fashion portfolio, with other alumni including the duo One Fell Swoop (Daniel Romanin and Nikolina Ergic) and Lara Kovacevich of the Zhivago label. With such a pedigree of success, the CIT Advanced Diplome of Art and Design is the perfect place to explore a curiosity for couture.

 

Fixed directors Burleigh Smith and Codey Wilson
Fixed directors Burleigh Smith and Codey Wilson

SAE: Get Your Fix

From the Film & Television course at The School Of Audio Engineering (SAE) comes the new student film, Fixed. Lecturer, Rob Viney, fills us in on the production.

 

So, tell us about Fixed.

Fixed is a story about a young girl who wants her dog to have puppies but does not quite understand why the parents want the dog to be de-sexed.

 

What was your role in the production?

My role on the production was producer, organising basically everything from puppies to location agreements to equipment and personnel on set. Let’s just say the old saying ‘never work with animals and children’ does have some merit, however Amara Harnisch was nothing but professional. Another role – and really my main role – was to guide the students with the filming techniques – lighting, some audio, protocols on sets and to push the students to make the best possible film.

 

How did you assist director, Codey Wilson, with production? Was it chiefly a mentoring role, or more hands on?

This is the students’ first time making a short film, so the main focus here is a scaffolding approach. The students learn by first watching, then stepping in when they can. To be honest, the students really stepped up and worked really well. Not to take any thunder away from the directors, Burleigh Smith and Codey Wilson, who worked great.

Two names that need to mentioned are Michael Titter and Nathan Smith, they both will go very far in the film industry… already very professional. The overall outcome needs to be finishing the film, so the students have a finished product to put on their show reels. Now they have a film that has made it all the way to Tropfest. They should be very proud of that achievement.

 

What course was the film initially created for?

The film was created through the new studio units, part of the Bachelor of Film at SAE. Also some extra scenes were shot outside of the unit and also a professional colour grade to polish up the film for the festival.

 

What other SAE films have done well in festivals?

My time at SAE has only been short, but with the way things are going and the excitement in the students I don’t think it would be long

before more we see more success.

 

Anything else to add?

The response to film has been amazing and from all the cast and crew we like to thank everyone for the kind words about Fixed. If anyone would like to watch any of the Tropfest films, tropfest.com is the place to visit.

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