Exhibition puts Fashion Design Council’s legacy into focus

High Risk Dressing / Critical Fashion examines the continued influence of the legendary Fashion Design Council (FDC) on today’s fashion practice, open from Friday 17 February at RMIT Design Hub.

Based in Melbourne from 1983 to 1993, the FDC was a membership-based organisation established to support, promote and provoke avant-garde Australian fashion, founded by Robert Buckingham, Robert Pearce and Kate Durham.

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.

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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 adventurous 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.

Material from the FDC Collection courtesy of RMIT Design Archives. Photography: Tobias Titz.

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 associated designers, musicians and writers.

What: High Risk Dressing / Critical Fashion
When: Friday 17 February to Saturday 18 March
Where: RMIT Design Hub, Project Rooms 1 and 2, Level 2, RMIT Building 100, Corner of Victoria and Swanston Streets, Carlton, 3053
Design Hub opening hours: Tuesday to Friday, 11am to 6pm; Saturday, 12 noon to 5pm; Closed Sunday, Monday

Website/RSVP: http://designhub.rmit.edu.au/exhibitions-programs/high-risk-dressing-critical-fashion

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

Research Assistant: Laura Gardner

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

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

Graphic design: Ziga Testen

For media enquiries and interviews:
Lara Paterson at Zilla & Brook Publicity lara@www.zillaandbrook.com.au
03 9690-7000 / 0421 621 633