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Sorry I have been M.I.A the last couple of days. My blogging time has been absorbed by fabulously inspiring graduate showcases. Last night my good friend asked me to attend the TAFE Queensland East Coast Graphic Design Diploma graduate exhibition. It was a visual delight and the talent of the students was  phenomenal (no photos was too busy absorbing it all)!

Tonight’s outing was the incredible 2014 ‘Selvedge’ Fashion Design Graduate Showcase parade. With thirteen unique and talented designers making their debut to the fashion world there was a lot to take in and some amazingly lust-worthy  items on show. Unfortunately  I didn’t take my camera bag so was stuck with the wrong lens and resorted to I-phone photos for catwalk shots but they give an overall idea of the design aesthetic of the showcases two up-cycled labels, Awkward Chat and Rejeanerate.

I ‘e-met’ Yasmin of Awkward Chat through Instagram (@awkward_chat) and have been excitedly watching her collection take shape via her insta-feed. Awkward Chat garments are made from a mixture of reclaimed, organic, ethically sourced, and/or sustainable fabrics. Due to the nature of the textiles used many of Yasmin’s garments are unique one off productions. Her graduate collection, ‘Connect Your Story’ was about encouraging questions and conversation about the origins of our clothing to create awareness of our global interconnectedness. This premise ties in perfectly with the ethos of the ‘Awkward Chat’ label of ‘no matter how awkward it is, let’s initiate and encourage conversations about where our purchases come from’. I personally experienced the opportunity to discuss sustainability and fashion via my accessories twice tonight, being complimented on both my African made recycled paper  beads and my ethically-made-in-India up-cycled plastic, paper and bicycle inner tube satchel. Fashion can be such a wonderful ice-breaker and in this case, an opportunity to discuss ethical and environmental manufacturing processes without being ‘that annoying environmentalist girl’!

Leanne Klein, the designer behind the collection ‘Blue Steam’ had taken inspiration from Victorian Steam Punk style and fused it with vintage influences and a decent dose of double denim. The quirky and dapper collection was created using discarded denim jeans and shirts in an effort to reduce waste and pollution. Rejeanerate is a label that cares about the ‘how and where’ of garment manufacturing and want to foster a move from a world focused on the ‘fast fashion’ industry,  to more local, handmade, mindful production.

The remainder of the graduates were mind-blowingly talented and I feel privileged to have seen their first foray on the catwalk. If I had some decent photos I would happily share their collections here too.

Congratulations graduates!

Look forward to seeing where you go from here.