Tafe SA’s Fashion Graduate Parade: Meraki

Tafe SA’s fashion graduates put on a show this weekend in a parade titled ‘Meraki’. Outcome? There are some very promising designers in this little city of ours

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Tafe SA’s fashion graduates sent their graduate collections down the runway on Friday night in a huge fashion show production at Light Square. Surprisingly, the event had a similar vibe (if not, better) to that of a fashion show by an established designer.

VIPs enjoyed bubbles and generous food platters in a cordoned off area to the side of the main entrance, whilst everyday parade-goers (i.e. friends and family of the graduates) milled about the main area. That’s not to say the main area in Light Square was disappointing – the space was decked out with live music, a mini market full of art and an army of food trucks. The whole thing kind of felt like the Garden of Unearthly Delights, only smaller.

Beyond the gate (or curtains, if you will), a huge white catwalk sat between long rows of clean white seats, leading up to a luminous stage. Just ‘real’ fashion shows, the VIPS sat front row. From where the Glam team were sitting, we could see Lauren Zwaans of The Urban Silhouette perched with her bright red lips, Keepsake The Label’s head designer Cyd Beard and Australian Fashion Label’s founder Melanie Flintoft (just to name a few).

The show began with awards, with the Australian Fashion Label’s award going to Natalie Ivanov, whose braided leather garments and forward styling was an obvious choice. The Tafe SA feature winners were (again) Natalie Ivanov and Veronica Webb- both of which showed impressive technical skill through their collections.

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When the show got kicking, the atmosphere was palpable. Everyone – design students, friends, family and industry professionals alike – was hungry to see the new talent.

Whilst some collections were less commercial than others, there was a definite sense of fun to this year’s graduates. One collection opened to two energetic ballroom dancers (sequins, dance shoes, top hat and all), much to the pleasure of the cheering crowd.

Our favourites though were Amy Johnson, Elise Musolino, Kelsey Sandercock and Chloe Mansueto.

Amy Johnson’s collection, of which she paired wearable, chunky grey knits with sleek white designs, was my personal favourite. The mix of sheer and structured fabrics, bold lattice designs and loose fitting garments were a fresh breath of high fashion on the runway.

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Elise Musolino was a favourite purely because of the gorgeous stone print used throughout her collection. Watch out for imitation prints in the next few months, Elise!

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With her structured white designs and interesting textile choices, Kelsey Sandercock’s collection looks like a baby Simmone Standing collection, which, I might add, is a compliment of the highest form, as Simmone Standing only recently won the Emerging Designer of the Year award at the Adelaide Fashion Festival.

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Chloe Mansueto’s was a collection of wearable pieces styled in fashion forward ways. Plus, there was a white top and grey shorts combo that stole my heart.

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Honourable mentions go to Melanie Cooray and Zafiro Giraldo. Whilst Melanie Cooray’s collection was reminiscent of Paolo Sebastian, Zafiro Giraldo’s collection had a gorgeous, full red skirt with an impeccably made black lace crop top that reminded us of a talented South Australian designer by the name of Cristina Tridente.

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Whether you were sitting in the front town, back row, or are feasting your eyes on the collections for the first time right now through your computer screen, the consensus is real: South Australia has some serious talent. The other states better watch out.

Words by Sharmonie Cockayne.
Photos by Tania Cafasso.

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