Sunday, 24 March 2013

The Sportsgirl National Graduate Showcase

To say that I was marginally excited about attending the Sportsgirl National Graduate Showcase last night could, perhaps be, the understatement of the this still very young year. It may be uncool to tell you that I spent two hours painting my nails the night before, got my hair styled for the event and was planning my outfit a good three days* in advance, but gosh darn it I don't even care! There's something I truly love about a fashion show. The anticipation, the glamour, the incredible design work and, lets face it, the free shit in the show bags. It's the combination of all these things that make the ridiculously priced alcohol (thirteen dollars for an average glass of sparkling?! Who am I, Gina freaking Rinehart?!) and the pain of high heels for a night totally worth it. And trust me, this show was definitely worth it.

Featuring annually as part of the L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, the Sportsgirl National Graduate Showcase presents 12 handpicked designers from Australia's top design institutions and gives them the opportunity to display their collection in this prestigious event. The designs showcased this year were of an unbelievable standard, showing works that were astoundingly intricate, perfectly executed and not only original, but also innovative to the extreme. Needless to say, there was not a drop of pretension in sight, as some of Australia's most promising up and coming designers in this burgeoning industry presented work that was full of heart and soul. The night began at the decked out Central Pier in Docklands, which was invaded with more fashionistas, bloggers and photographers than your Instagram feed. Everyone was enjoying the L'Oreal Paris Powder Room, which was primping and preening the early-comers before the show and there was an excited buzz and anticipation in the crowed as we all wondered at the night which was to come. The Docklands shed glimmered with floating candles (perhaps Hogwarts was the inspiration for the choice of design?) and the long runway glowed under large screens baring the Sportsgirl insignia.

Before each collection there was a brief video of each designer explaining the inspiration and meaning behind their collection. They sited things like music, undersea creatures, origami and androgyny as their sources of motivation, which made for a colourful, eclectic and vivid show. Here's a list of the designers in the order of appearance:
Nixi Killick, RMIT University
Hayley Elsaesser, Queensland University of Technology
Courtney Holm, University of Technology Sydney
Karen Yang, University of Technology Sydney
Koren Wheatley, Queensland University of Technology
Monique White, Queensland University of Technology
Bernadette Francis, RMIT University
Kara Liu, RMIT University
Jack Hancock, RMIT University
Kathleen Choo, University of Technology Sydney
Cesar Cehade, RMIT University
Natasha Fagg, RMIT University
The designs featured an erratic array of colours, patterns, materials (including silks, feathers and shiny stuff I don't know the name of) and details like fringing and intricate beading, that made the event one giant sensory experience. Here are some of the designs that were sent down the runway...

With such incredible, vivid and imaginative designs on display, it was impossible not to be wowed by the talent shown at this years Sportsgirl National Graduate Showcase. Even though my feet were aching and I remained unusually sober (due to the million dollar alcohol), I wouldn't pass up a single second of this event.  
*This equates to three weeks in Samson Girl time.

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