CIT has Talent!

CIT Graduate All-Stars at FASHFEST

By Wendy Johnson

Travelling. Tea parties. Sports. Psychoanalysis. Luxury resorts. The corporate environment. What’s the common thread?

The recent graduates in fashion design who will be launching debut collections on the catwalk at FASHFEST 2015, culminating in an All-Star Showcase on closing night. The six young designers, fresh out of studies at the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT), promise guests an exciting experience. “It’s rare to have such a diversity of aesthetic,” says Steve Wright, who teaches fashion and design at CIT and is FASHFEST’s producer. “It’s why we decided to do the showcase on Saturday, with all labels forming one segment. It will be challenging to choreograph because of the diversity, but intriguing for guests.”

Models: Lara Schroeder; Bronwyn Whitton; Georgia Whitton.  MUA: Meg Stewart Makeup.  Photographer: Kelda Rundle Photography

Models: Lara Schroeder; Bronwyn Whitton; Georgia Whitton. MUA: Meg Stewart Makeup. Photographer: Kelda Rundle Photography

CIT is FASHFEST’s official education partner. “We have always believed in growing the industry in every way we can,” says Co-founder Andrea Hutchinson. “That includes providing graduates with a platform for their work. This is about providing new designers with real-life experience and what is involved in the serious business of showcasing and branding a fashion label.”

Read more to check out all the CIT graduates and their labels

The Label, by Emma O’Rourke, is creating a collection of signature pieces for modern, sophisticated and professional women. These wearable, refined and innovative garments are inspired by the unity of opposites in life—hard and soft, light and dark. Emma designs her own prints and works with minimal waste design for a more sustainable approach. The Label mixes traditional fabrics with techno-materials.

The Label—Model: Nicole Luker. Hair and MUA: Paula Mcdowell. Photographer: John Hatfield Photography

The Label—Model: Nicole Luker. Hair: Smitten Hair. Make-up: CMA Training. Photographer: Loriana fotografia

Little Jane Lane, by Rachel Jane Eager, is an aesthetic reflecting the designer’s imaginative childhood, which was full of tea parties, dress ups and reading Alice in Wonderland. So it’s no surprise that Rachel focuses on elegant, whimsical and feminine tea party fashion for young women searching to escape reality. This is about taking pleasure in the feminine charm of dressing up. (See top for Little Jane Lane image.)

Illusory Cog, by Vanessa Mifsud, takes its primary inspiration from prominent Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali and his collaboration with the ‘father of psychoanalysis’ Sigmund Freud. It is based around their shared idea of paranoia. These designs cross many interests and professions. Vanessa designs to empower women of all body shapes and sizes and flatter the human form.

Illusory Cog

Illusory Cog

MAAK, which means to ‘make something’ in designer Charne Esterhuizen’s national language, Afrikaans, is about everyday living. This unisex, street and sports-inspired clothing is for males and females, aged 20 to 35 years, who are immersed in city life—consumers who are sophisticated, yet rebellious. MAAK’s FASHFEST 2015 collection is not necessarily made for sport, but for a strong sport’s aesthetic.

MAAK—Model: Urska Divjak.  MUA: Danh Doan.  Photographer: Red Photography

MAAK—Model: Urska Divjak. MUA: Danh Doan. Photographer: Red Photography

Ziyah is beach couture chic at its best. Inspired by a love of sun-filled summer days at the beach, designer Erin Spain will launch a collection exotic luxury swim and resort wear with a unique edge. Ziyah is a fusion of glamour, sport, and beach leisure—innovative designs that push the boundaries between swimwear and resort wear. Erin plays with a combination of traditional and non-traditional materials and ideas. The result? Fashion that is bold, vibrant and playful.

Ziyah— Model: Ilana Davies, HAUS Models. Hair: Smitten Hair. Photographer: Chalk Studio.

Ziyah— Model: Ilana Davies, HAUS Models. Hair: Smitten Hair. Photographer: Chalk Studio.

Mimetic designs travel-specific business wear with biannual capsule collections providing female travellers with a professional, practical, stylish and durable wardrobe that fits in a 7kg-capacity suitcase. Designers George McWilliam and Melissa Pompeani create classic-inspired clothing for contemporary business women using high-quality fabrics and finishes mixed with technology including 3D and digital printing. Mimetic fashion is designed so wearers can move easily between business and social situations.



This eclectic group of 2014 CIT graduates are not only busy stitching up their garments in time for their appearance on the catwalk; they’re busy learning a range of other realities vital to running a successful business in an industry that is highly competitive and, indeed, cut throat. Only the strongest survive in fashion, says Steve.

FASHFEST will be held this year at the National Convention Centre, in heated space. Shopping for what you’ll wear yet?

Tickets on sale NOW at  

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