Thursday, 15 November 2012

Scintillating Scintilant

Awesome designs? Check. Great location? You bet. And free flowing wine? Tick. Well, not so much a tick, more a sort of squiggle after five or six glasses, but you get the idea.  Once again the Bachelor of Design (Fashion) students of RMIT University have rocked their pieces in the end of year fashion show. When I found out about the show to be presented by the second and third year students (otherwise known as the group CaliCo.), I scooped up tickets faster than you can say, 'why yes, I would love a years supply of free chocolate ice cream', and I was most definitely impressed by what I saw.

The night was split into two shows, Scintillant (which I attended) and Atramentous, with both occurring in the basement of Bourke Street's heritage listed building Donkey Wheel House. The basement was the perfect location for the show, with the dark, factory-like interior matching the clothes coming down the runway perfectly. The models too were well matched to the surroundings as well as the designs they flaunted, with their hair up in a statement top knot on the front of their heads and eye make up that was red, almost a  little disconcerting, yet still maintained a sense if earthiness.

 Of course I knew that some of my own special dressing would be required for the evening. Something a little different and edgy, but know, weird. So I chose my silver River Island skirt with a cheeky slit (though not half as cheeky as some of the models'), my favourite new goats hair clutch by Back Stage, a little red vintage jacket I aquired on Smith Street and to top it off a chunky black statement necklace. The whole outfit worked perfectly and I felt right at home in my basement surroundings. 

And now, to the most important aspect of the night! The student's fashion. These were the kind of clothes that make you turn your head, look twice and, not only question certain rules of fashion, but make you wonder whether there are any rules at all. If I could sum up the designs that I saw last night in one word (though trust me, I could probably write a thesis), it would be 'edgy'. There was lots of draping, slits, cuts and zips in the most unexpected places and there was androgyny in so many of the designs that the lines between masculine and feminine were, not only blurred, but no longer existed. It's like the audience had been taken down some kind of dark and twisted rabbit hole and landed hard on their backsides in a parallel universe where men were women and the models looked about ready to take a bite out of you. Honestly, these are the sorts of clothes that could change your whole perception of fashion. I found some pieces to be almost toeing the line of controversial, with faint suggestions of the burqa, as well as some showing experimentation in the area of clothing with S and M tendencies.

 The dictionary describes the word 'scintillating' as brilliantly clever, witty or animated, and this fashion show was exactly that. The whole show was captivating and intriguing from start to finish and by golly, if these students aren't brilliantly clever, then I don't know who is!

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