Exhibition » 17.02.2017 - 13.04.2017

High Risk Dressing / Critical Fashion

High Risk Dressing / Critical Fashion looks at the ideas and community coalescing within contemporary fashion practice today through the lens of the Fashion Design Council (FDC). The FDC (1983–1993) was a membership-based organisation established to support, promote and provoke avant-garde Australian fashion, founded by Robert Buckingham, Kate Durham and Robert Pearce.

By using the FDC materials housed within the RMIT Design Archives as a leaping off point, the exhibition opens up and queries ideas promoted by the FDC while looking at the relevance of the Council to contemporary practice today.

Rather than looking back with nostalgia at this rich period of fashion practice, Design Hub will be transformed into a ‘set’ for a month-long program of fashion provocations, cross-disciplinary exchange and contemporary venturous practice.

A new ‘collective’ of contemporary fashion practitioners will activate the space through a program of fashion presentations, performances, films, publications and residencies.

Three local architecture practices - Sibling Architecture, Studiobird and WOWOWA - have been commissioned to produce scenography that references the creative, social and promotional spaces central to FDC activities - the Office, the Bar and the Shop. Each studio has been asked to design a set that captures the shift outlined in our title: from an emerging, provocative, collaborative creative culture to today’s world of internationally-networked, conceptually-driven contemporary fashion practice.

The FDC collection - including printed matter, video footage and photographs - will be unpacked, discussed and catalogued in a new archive space designed by Ziga Testen. In this zone, we draw on critical reflections from original members of the FDC, as well as other designers, musicians and writers associated with the organisation.

Curatorium: Professor Robyn Healy, Dr Fleur Watson, Kate Rhodes, Nella Themelios

Research assistant: Laura Gardner

Fashion Practitioners: Adele Varcoe, Alexandra Deam, Annie Wu, Chorus, D&K, Laura Gardner, Martha Poggioli, Matthew Linde, PAGEANT, S!X, Winnie Ha Mitford

Scenography designers: Sibling Architecture, Studiobird and Caitlyn Parry, WOWOWA and Andre Bonnice

Graphic design: Ziga Testen

Photography: Tobias Titz

RMIT Design Hub team
Curators: Kate Rhodes, Fleur Watson
Creative Producer: Nella Themelios
Technical Production Coordinator: Erik North
Technical Assistant: Timothy McLeod, Gavin Bell, Sam Fagan, Robert Jordan
Exhibition Assistants: Chloë Powell, Layla Cluer

Thank you:
Robert Buckingham, Kate Durham, Harriet Edquist, Alasdair MacKinnon, Rickie-Lee Robbie, Michael Trudgeon, RMIT Design Archives, RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles, and all of the FDC practitioners, designers and participants, past and present.

Disclaimer: RMIT Design Hub has endeavoured to contact the copyright holder of this material. In the event you are the copyright holder of material contained within this exhibition, RMIT is seeking to hear from you in the use of this work. Please contact RMIT immediately to discuss permission release and consent. Contact: copyright@rmit.edu.au


High Risk Dressing / Critical Fashion: opening night, images courtesy of Tobias Titz

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