'Abstracts In A Major' Kangan Institute Fashion Graduate Event 2014

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I was invited to attend Kangan Institute end of year Fashion Graduate event. Being a former student of Kangan it was great to attend and feel welcomed once again. The event was held at the famous and well-known Federation Square, the section it was held in was a very spacious area known as the Deakin Edge. A number of well-known industry based fashion designers and people of the fashion industry community also attended the event to show support to the students and their pieces.

Pop Art / modern art was the theme of the artwork pieces inside the venue. Pop Art is a movement that appeared in the mid 1950’s in Britain. Pop Art is a form of “comic based” looking Art. The artwork was very impressive and was created by the Visual Merchandise students of Kangan.

Jersey Pair
Steph Bull Wool 1

Students were waiting in anticipation to show off their collection pieces. All students throughout  the year levels were able to participate and show their collections. The music starts and the parade begins! Models gracefully parade the runway showing off the students remarkable pieces.

Millie_Louis 1

Millie O'Toole

Showcasing a range of different fabrics and colour palettes. Garments ranged from swimwear, race wear all the way to bridal. Then expression clothing of their individual collection ideas. Millinery students also contributed to the event as well.

grace pair
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Grace Price The runway was styled by high profiled stylist Franco Schifilliti for the event. I was impressed by all the pieces and what will be coming up in the future with this great marvelous talent that is on hand. Students with the most impressive and talented work were awarded vouchers and great opportunities with internships from Sussan and Perri Cutten just to name a few. All in all I was very impressed and will be eager to see these talented designers on our Australian market and what next years event will hold, as it is constantly growing and improving.

Amy Bridal (2)

Amy Lawrance

Steph Nardella

Steph Nardella www.kangan.edu.au

Kangan  Students Interviews

Please take the time and read the students intriguing interviews. They express a lot of knowledge of what they have learnt during their time at Kangan and their student experience at Kangan Institute

Grace Price

grace price

You’ve completed your advanced diploma of design at Kangan Tafe, tell us more about your experience with Kangan and what you have achieved since attending Kangan?

When I first visited Kangan three years ago I immediately fell in love with the atmosphere of the whole place, it felt like the teachers actually knew the students on a personal level and really cared about your work and the direction you wanted to take, regardless of what it was. And that was definitely proved to me over all the years that  

I have studied there. Each teacher has so much industry knowledge its ridiculous!

I began my diploma barely being able to sew a straight line and after three years I can now safely say that line is so straight there wouldn’t be a dry eye in the whole sewing room!

Kangan also encourages all students to participate in design competitions and many of the briefs they set for assessment are detailed to certain competitions. I have been lucky enough to receive a sustainable practices award from a TISA competition where I dyed organic fabric with onion skins, and more recently had three of my graduation collection pieces showed and MSFW.

Our Advanced Diploma class also got the opportunity to go to Jogjakarta for two weeks in July, to study the traditional technique of Batik. This was one of the best experiences of my life, the teachers and students we worked with were some of the most kind and generous people I have ever met. And the incredible things we learnt will forever be useful to me.

Our class left with an abundance of knowledge and a friendship that will last a lifetime.


How did you come up with the idea to use the materials you used and why? Did you have a theme as well?

The theme for my Graduation collection was based on Fashion Illustrators and their use of watercolour. I love how unpredictable and unique every drawing is and that you just never really know how the colours will mix or where they will land on the page. I wanted to translate that concept into effortless Resort wear pieces. I love simplistic designs that are easy to wear but still have that exciting element that makes you want to never take it off.

I used a combination of silks, linen and techno spandex, all of which I hand dyed. I decided to hand dye my pieces instead of having them printed because I wanted a challenge and a chance to experiment with a field I am growing a great interest in. And a challenge is exactly what I got, it was so different for every piece and I definitely got better and allowed more freedom for every garment.

What was the process for creating your garments?

For me this was the hardest thing to do. I had several different ideas for my collection, and had to really narrow down what I wanted to do. I did trials, tests, sketches and research and finally come up with something that I loved and then hated and then fell in love with all over again! I feel it’s an idea I can continue to develop and grow with the use of different fabrics and dyes, it’s a collection where the ideas and possibilities are endless.


What are your goals would you like to be an independent brand or work for a brand?

My goals for the moment is to find my place in this crazy fashion world. I love the industry and all the amazing opportunities it has to offer, but I don’t think having my own label is right for me (not just yet anyway). I’d be happy working for another brand, maybe something commercial?

Advice for anyone who is currently studying fashion?

Do exactly what you want, the fashion industry has a place for everyone and every idea you’ve just got to find where you’re meant to be!

Millie O'Toole

You've completed your advanced diploma of design at Kangan Tafe tell us more about your experience with Kangan and what you have achieved since attending Kangan.


My experience with Kangan was a three-year journey full of great opportunities; competitions, placement in the industry, runway shows, award nights, being part of MSFW, a trip to Indonesia and the amazing graduate show.

I participated in many competitions throughout first and second year winning prizes and gaining exposure.

But it wasn’t until my final year where I fulfilled every opportunity thrown my way. This included an amazing trip to Yogyakarta, Indonesia with my classmates. We studied their traditional textile design ‘Batik’ with the local students and teachers from Yogyakarta State University. We formed lifelong friendships, saw beautiful sights and gained a skill not often seen until recently.

After this trip I was chosen to show three outfits in Melbourne Spring Fashion Week- emerging student runway 1. This was an amazing experience that taught me a lot about the industry and the lead up to a show. It gave me exposure and I was then approached for a photo-shoot using my menswear outfits.

Upon completing my final year we had a graduate runway show which featured all my outfits and saw me winning not one but two amazing awards, 2014 outstanding advanced diploma student and Outstanding runway collection award.

My time at Kangan won’t be forgotten as the teachers treat you like family and as they have worked in the industry they are able to pass on great knowledge that they have learnt firsthand. Their mentoring and endless encouragement brought the best out of us all.

Millie Trio

How did you come up with the idea to use the materials you used? and why? and your theme.

I came up with my theme ‘Industrial Luxe’ due to being inspired by the industrial buckles i found at a fabric store and materials used within architecture such as concrete, metal, rubber etc.

I mixed the different textures of soft and hard through my collection with the varying materials of denim, wool coating, hand knits against the heavier fastenings such as exposed zip details and the buckles.

The materials in the collection were chosen due to the collection being a capsule collection for A/W15. They were selected due to their fibre, colour, properties and texture. All the denim was hand dyed to create the concrete look, the ombre was hand created and the bold graphic print I designed myself from an image of a concrete feature wall I mirrored several times.

I wanted my urban collection to be cohesive with the colour palette and the individual pieces to be easily mixed and matched to create a modern outfit for both men and women of Melbourne.

What was the process to create your garments?

The process begun with forecasting the trends and undergoing copious amounts of research along with sketches. This turned into many designs that had to get condensed into a five outfit capsule collection. From there I made the patterns and fitted the toiles to my fit models and finally I completed the garments after this long process.

What are your goals would you like to be an independent brand or work for a brand?

My goal for the future is to work for a brand and develop more industry skills and later in life create my own brand either on the side or as a career.

Millie Calvin 2

You won not one but two amazing awards. Outstanding Runway Collection Award and 2014 Outstanding Advanced Diploma Student. How did it feel to win such prestigious awards after completing your course?

I was shocked to hear my name read out for best advanced diploma student even though I had put my blood sweat and tears into the collection and the theory work throughout the year. This is due to being surrounded by so many talented designers.

And then for my name to be read out again for the best collection of the year was honestly the best feeling. I had so many emotions circulating through my mind from shock, to excitement and extreme pride for what had accomplished.

Advice for anyone who is currently studying fashion?

Stay true to yourself

Bec Waldmeyer


You've completed your advanced diploma of design at Kangan Tafe tell us more about your experience with Kangan and what you have achieved since attending Kangan. We have been offered a lot of amazing experience which being at Kangan, especially this year with doing the advanced diploma. In June we were given the opportunity to go the Indonesia for two weeks to study Batik dyeing at the Yogyakarta State University. It was an incredible trip, we learnt so much about the countries incredible culture and of course about the beautiful art of batik. We met some amazing people and we also bonded a lot as a class which has made this year even better because we are all so close now.

I was also able about to be a part of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week's emerging runway 1 with some of my class mates. I still can't believe I was able to be apart of it. To be able to have your garments in MSFW while your still a student is amazing! I loved every part of the experience.


I was so lucky to have the teachers that I did at Kangan, as I have learnt so much valuable knowledge from them that I will have with me forever. What was your theme for your collection? My theme was called 'Mirror Image". It was inspired by identical twins, in particular mirror twins. I have a twin brother so that's kind of where I got the idea from.

Congratulations on winning 2014 Textile innovation Award!

How long did it take you to create your collection? What was the process?

I made three digital prints and got them all printed at the hub. Laser cutting was also featured in my collection which I got made at Melbourne Laser Cutter. For my digital prints I used a photograph I took of a hydrangea in the botanical gardens. I then used photoshop to edit the photos into three different print designs using various mirroring, layering and rotating effects.

My laser cut design was inspired by the pattern of one of the three print designs. It took me a couple of days to create the prints  (from taking the photo to the finished products).


I was really happy with the results! And it was great because I was able to get it all done on shore, which was important to me.

What are your future ambitions and goals in the industry?

I would like to one day own and design for my own label, but at the moment I'm happy. I really want to be working or interning for various companies to gain as much experience as I can.

Bec was awarded with a Perri Cutten internship

Brittney Hunt


You've now completed your Advanced Diploma of design at Kangan Tafe we met six months prior to your completion. What's it like to have finished? What are your future plans?

I am super relieved to be finally finished studying, but it is sad because I am going to miss my class mates and teachers, because we have gotten so close over the past year.


As for future plans, I really just plan to get a job in the fashion industry and start at the bottom and after a lot of hard work, make it to the top.

How did you come up with the idea to use the materials you used and why? Did you have a theme as well?

britts work

I really wanted to continue with the grass weaving technique I learnt from an Aboriginal Elder. I felt so honored to be taught the technique and I felt it was imperative to continue such a raw and unique part of Australian culture in my range. I then built the collection on top of this material so I named it 'Textured Androgyny' because I wanted to experiment and blend a whole heap of textured fabrics together into a collection while still making it marketable to a Melbourne clientele. I also wanted to achieve subtle sexuality in this collection, by having open backs, and cross bust darts. These days women walk around with their legs, stomach and chest out to get attention from men, and I just don't understand it. Clothing should empower women, not denigrate them.

what was the process to create your garments?

It honestly starts how every other collection starts, with a sketch then a pattern and then it is sewn. It sounds quite simple when you put it like that but it's still hours of work, but I love it all.

What are your goals would you like to be an independent brand or work for a brand?

I would love to start my own brand straight up after school but I honestly need the experience in an established design label first so I can learn in a business setting.


You said that you wanted to create a knit wear range, tell us more.

I'm really excited about this next project of mine. Next year I will be developing a collection of high end knitwear basics, that are made and sold in Melbourne. I will be developing it on the side of hopefully getting a job in the industry but I am very confident and excited to start.

Advice for anyone who is currently studying fashion?

If you want to be in fashion for your whole life then definitely do it, but if you're just like meh I'll just do fashion, then don't. I know it is a bit harsh but there is sooo much that goes into just studying fashion. People seem to glamorize the fashion industry which is fair, but there is so much behind the scenes you don't see. It's many hours of overtime and extremely hard work. I know it's a bit harsh but it's the truth.I wish anyone studying good luck and I know it's hard right now but you will get there.

Yisha Wang


You've completed your first year of your Diploma in Applied Fashion Design and Technology at Kangan. What is your current greatest achievement since attending Kangan?

I just finished my first year Diploma in Applied Fashion Design and Technology at Kangan Institute. I received Outstanding 1st Year Student 2014.  A set of marker pens and a Susan Internship. I was shocked and very happy.


How did you come up with the idea to use the 

materials you used and why? Did you have a theme as well?


The material I used for my dress is 100% Cotton. I followed a Tom Ford brief our teacher gave us. The theme for my dress is Diamond Rain, a myth that unicorns showers in diamond rains.

Photo by: Bianca Fioritti for Aevoe

What are your goals for the fashion industry?

My goal is to make clothes that make people happy also as environmental friendly as possible. 

How do you keep motivated throughout your course?

Fashion is always the motivation. 

Well done to all the talented Kangan students. I wish them the best on their careers in the fashion industry!

Special thanks to

Kangan Institute,Melissa Jackson,Grace Price,Millie O'Toole,Bec Waldmeyer,Brittney Hunt and Yisha Wang