Whitehouse’s Night In White

Published in The F:

By Aleczander Gamboa

In order to mark 25 years of excellence and having produced some of Australia’s most successful emerging designers, the Whitehouse Institute of Design hosted “A Night in White” – a parade that celebrated the hard efforts of the Creative Direction, Fashion and Interior Design graduates as they showcased their final collections to their families, friends, and staff. I was lucky enough to be a part of this divine celebration, with the entire evening being nothing short of spectacular.

In collaboration with Vogue Australia and Emirates, the night began with a gallery dedicated to the works of the Creative Direction and Styling students. From geometric inspired interiors to minimalistic pieces with a modern twist, the gallery was a visually mesmerising spectacle as it took you on an escapade through creative realms that each presented a unique perspective on the definitions of true beauty and elegance.

After being treated to canapés and wine, the spotlight was then shone on the Fashion Design students who wowed and dazzled audience members with their terrific graduate collections – with each piece showcased leaving mouths agape with awe and wonder. Institute founder Leanne Whitehouse orchestrated the runway; with Vogue editor-in-chief Edwina McCann joining her alongside as they both acknowledged excelling students with the presentation of several awards. A big congratulations goes to Carla Noto who received the highly coveted Emirates Italian Scholarship award as presented by Vogue, which not only includes return flights to Italy, but also a scholarship to the prestigious Accademia Italiana and a Vogue fashion experience in Milan.

Witnessing Melbourne’s best emerging designers certainly did not disappoint, with the entire runway itself being top-notch to say the least. With ninja inspired clothing to completely transparent dresses, the effortless transitions ranged from simple elegance and colourful cuteness to edgy risqué and cheeky lingerie. If you’ve read the Frocktober article on this site, then you’ll certainly remember Whitehouse graduate Katrina Korossy, who once again made an appearance and wowed with her ensemble of clothing entitled “Cultural Fragility”, a contrast between life and death and the instability of life itself.

Along with Korossy, the two other standouts for me personally were definitely Whitehouse graduates Rochelle Starling and Jessica Watson. Upon meeting them, Rochelle explained to me how her collection was inspired by life, light and a recurring dream of her running on an endless sandy beach.

“My aesthetic aims to invoke qualities of lightness and light deflection found in each grain of sand. I considered my own abstract thoughts and toyed with ideas based around a singular grain of sand versus an entire beach of sand. Such contemplations resulted in juxtapositions of light and dark, hard and soft, and tailored and draped,” Starling said.

“Uncovering the hidden beauty of something as every day and unglamorous as sand, my collection focussed on the attention to detail and held a strong appreciation for quality and the homemade.”

Meanwhile, Jessica Watson was inspired by her recent holiday to South East Asia. It was during that trip that she was exposed to compelling colour, texture and print, all of which she then successfully emulated in her collection entitled “A Small Escape”.

“I wanted to use the concept of a resort collection and apply it to lingerie. My goal was to create something both modern and wearable, and in order to achieve this I experimented with a colour pallet of deep pinks and blacks in beautiful French lace in order to convey opulence and sensuality which then evoked a sense of exotic fantasy through a conceptual reality,” Watson said.

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