The future of fashion.

Words by

Tara Smith

With the arrival of Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival today, it’s time you got to know more about this year’s graduate designer lineup.

These designers are the crème de la crème of the country’s top tertiary institutions, all brought together as part of the National Graduate Showcase.

Presented by AMP Capital and supported by Fashion Journal, the National Graduate Showcase will take place at the Royal Exhibition Building on March 19.

Get your tickets for the show here and in the meantime, meet Tara Miranne Bailey from University of Technology Sydney.

Can you tell us a little bit about your graduate collection?

My collection is rather textile-heavy. I wanted to use multiple surface manipulation techniques to create and enrich fabrics that clashed together.

What inspires you?

Mixed culture. I wanted to portray the juxtaposition of East and West throughout my collection, and how a kaleidoscope of cultures may be interpreted when fused together.

I looked to periods like the British Raj for inspiration, where the Victorian style instantly clashed with the traditional Indian way of dressing. I wanted to portray this kind of mashed-up culture in my garment designs, with a modern twist. I’m also inspired by new textile technologies and techniques. The ways in which a designer can pattern and texture fabric is endless with developing technology.

Did you have a specific wearer in mind when designing this collection?

Any individual who is looking to wear something intriguing and unique. The metallic colours and textures of the garments are rather bold, but would fit in perfectly with almost any modern streetwear look.

Can you explain your design process?

I start off with an interest in the fabric and how it can be manipulated to create an interesting surface texture – whether that be through laser cutting, pleating, printing or embroidery. I always start with the fabrics first, then visualise how this could work in the shape of a fashion garment on the body.

What materials did you work with?

The metallics in my collection are all made from lycra, which has been bonded to cotton. I thought it was interesting to bond and manipulate a simple stretch fabric, to see what sort of effect it would end up with.

Can you explain the role of texture in your garments?

Texture in my collection was created mainly with laser cutting and then fabric folding and stitching. This technique gave the garments that extra 3D effect and a modern streetwear aesthetic.

What’s the hero piece of your collection?

The square, laser-cut gold jacket with the tiger hide lapel. The textile of this jacket was fun to create. The piece is very clashy, which projects the ‘mashed-up culture’ vibe of the collection well.

What do you listen to when you create?

Anything and everything from the ’90s.

How important is sustainable fashion to your approach?

Monitoring the impact textile processes have on the environment is very important when designing. Creating quality pieces that are unique in design, strong and durable is most important to me. The better the quality of the product, the longer it will be appreciated.

I believe creating original, one-off garments is more important than creating something to fit in with the latest trends. As a designer, you want to create pieces that are timeless, not pieces that become landfill after a few wears.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Mistakes are part of the process.

What’s in store for 2017?

I'm currently working on a new collection for 2018. Experimenting with new textiles and fabric manipulation is what I’m busy with at the moment.


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