Colours, seams and various materials dangled throughout Tortuga Studios in St Peters. The fine detailing on the back of a blouse. A zipper suddenly meeting with the stitching on the hip of a long black wash denim coat and the words ‘Laissez- moi Femme’, French for ‘Let me Woman’ drawn onto a white long sleeve top accompanied with a moss green drape and wide legged bottoms.
Clothes Horse, a graduate exhibition for UTS fashion students showcased the talent and effort of the class of 2023. Across the small yet packed exhibition space, fashion students showcased three years of hard work into an exhibit exploding with colours and materials. A testimony to their labour carefully curated into pieces on the wall.
Clothes Horse co-organiser Mia Sutherland said the exhibition was a yearlong project which came to fruition after finding out that the previous cohort did not have an exhibition to showcase their work.
“The second [I] started, it just started snowballing into this massive thing you had to think about like venue, the bev sponsor, how we’re gonna display everything and the more you do it the more you realise it's just the biggest tasks.” She said.
Free alcohol sponsored by Grifters Brewing Co. along with a 3 hour long set in the back area of the venue by DJ Gnocchi The Gnartist entertained the exhibition.
With full support from her course coordinator, the exhibition not only saw hundreds of friends and family tucked into the studio, but also a handful of the teaching staff from the UTS fashion faculty watching their students' work come to life.
(Photo: Lucy Burrell)
“Oh they loved it, all the tutors were really really happy that someone did [an exhibition],” Sutherland said.
(Photo: Lucy Burrell)
“It was nice to see the tutors see all the work together because they see the work in progress when they work with us throughout the year.”
“But to see it all in one big space, they were really amazed to see the quality of the exhibition and just everyone's work which was really gorgeous with overwhelmingly positive feedback.”
(Photo: Ethan Bergersen)
For the graduating fashion students, the exhibition was a way to showcase their talent and hardwork, and allowed them a space to express their individuality and conceptual motivations.
Vertigo spoke to some of the designers during the exhibition to understand what their designs meant for them.
Giovanna De Pontes focuses her work on tailoring, her suits on display were influenced by Jamaican singer and model Grace Jones paired with “a little bit of Prince.”
“I love suits, I do other things but my pride and joy I would say are my suits,” De Pontes states.
“I’m a based-on-construction person so like suits and I love stuff with flair.”
Her brightly coloured suits are a testament to her words.
Corben Madden describes her pieces as hyper feminine, stating that “I want to dress trans women and trans-femme people in the most comfortable, beautiful way possible,”
“You might not have your voice now, but you’ll find it. You’ll be very sure of what you have to do and where it’s gonna go.”
With these talented students now graduated, they must leave their studies behind and enter the vibrant world of design. We can only wait and see how the fashion world will change and flourish with these creative, talented minds at the helm of the industry.
(Photos: Ethan Bergersen and Lucy Burrell)