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Free Parallel Tensions Exhibition at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week 2012

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Parallel Tensions Exhibition at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week 2012

Parallel Tensions Exhibition / Image courtesy of City of Melbourne

Melburnians are encouraged to 'Be inspired' and celebrate our city as a fashion destination as Melbourne becomes the stage for seven days of fashion celebrations action ahead of Spring. Lionel's Melbourne is set to dress up and party down from Monday, 3 September until Sunday, 9 September. I am proud to support the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week (MSFW) 2012 which is identifying local fresh talent and giving them a platform to showcase their works in addition to films on fashion's recent history, the rise of global brands, fashion shows and visionaries, the business of fashion, latest local trends at City Square, the 4 fresh faces, exhibitions and shopping.

The week-long Parallel Tensions Exhibition at the fortyfivedownstairs venue as part of MSFW Emerging Designer Series, supports, celebrates and identifies Melbourne's freshest crop of fashion mavericks. Through this exciting and innovative alternative to the traditional runway-style fashion experience, you can come face-to-face with the works of the following emerging designers through installation and a variety of formats, all free of charge.

fortyfivedownstairs is a not-for-profit theatre and gallery showcasing independent, experimental and thought-provoking visual art, theatre, live music and discussion. Since 2002 fortyfivedownstairs has offered an evocative urban space and a friendly, hands-on, personalised service to an eclectic mix of artists for theatre, visual arts, forum, music and dance events. Centrally located in the heart of Melbourne's theatre district, fortyfivedownstairs is found within a beautiful, brick 19th Century building and features a theatre and two gallery spaces.

Christina Exie

Image courtesy of City of Melbourne

Forget convention when you're thinking of Christina Exie. Instead think intense, experimental, imaginative, emotional, precise and sculptured designs. Christina creates avant-garde clothing for the female form, with an aesthetic that is edgy and underground. She combines a rigorous design development approach characterised by extensive research and intricately detailed pattern making with free and intuitive artistic expressions in the design and construction of her clothing. This RMIT graduate with a Bachelor of Design (Fashion) loves to design her minds-eye and finds inspiration in how she feels in the moment and working with her hands.

Francis Leon

Image courtesy of City of Melbourne

Francis Leon is making tracks in the fashion industry, expanding their stockist list to include boutiques and department stores throughout Europe and Asia including London's Harvey Nichols, Barneys in NYC and more impressive names to be announced soon. It is also expanding its operations to include a headquarters in London in addition to its Melbourne studio concept store in late 2012. An international team of designers and technicians from Amsterdam, London, Vietnam and Melbourne bring sharp construction and an eye for detail its high quality leathers and sportswear fabrications.

Jason Hewitt

Image courtesy of City of Melbourne

Jason Hewitt applies a fascination with other cultures, symbolism, mythology and iconography with his experiences of growing up in South Africa, Asia and Australia to contemporary fashion. He is further inspired by the visual nature and ideas expressed within the works of artists, writers and musicians. The result is a hybridization of differing ideas, influences and references into harmonious and stylish designs.

J. K. Kirk

Image courtesy of City of Melbourne

J. K. Kirk is a Melbourne-based multidisciplinary designer that uses traditional to exotic materials that are often aged or affected by various natural techniques to creating pieces of contemporary yet antiquated clothing, jewellery and abstract artwork. Kirk's new collection consists of handcrafted leather necktie necklaces that reflect a sense of morbid beauty.

Melanie Bower

Image courtesy of City of Melbourne

An accomplished designer who balances the use of innovative technology with hand finishing techniques, Melanie Bower aspires to produce garments that are simultaneously expressive of its time and technically accomplished. She received the Alice Euphemia Most Promising Student Award and a place as a finalist in the Australian Fashion Graduate of the Year competition in 2007. Since then, she had showed her works at L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival Independent Runway and designer in residence at Melbourne Art Rooms, Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, State of Design Festival at the National Design Centre, and Penthouse Mouse. Melanie has created bespoke pieces for various recording artists including Sarah Blasko and Owl Eyes, collaborated with Melbourne designer Ryan Euinton and was commissioned by the Australian Ballet to design costumes for Daniel Gaudiello's South of Eden, part of the Bodytorque program.


Image courtesy of City of Melbourne

If dreams could create fashion then Alexandra Kovac has found the formula to translate her visions of obscure and ambiguous patterns and colourways into attractive and wearable garments. Symmetry, structure and order are married with natural beauty, colour and fun into the fit and drape of her clothes. Her first collection entitled 'Tropical Contact High' was the interpretation of years of dreaming into a range of carefully fitted and constructed garments that matched colours and neutral, patterns and plains and tailored with relaxed. Unafraid to dream, this hobby designer and dressmaker finally shifted from the sidelines into the stage front with Oracles.


Image courtesy of City of Melbourne

Naomi's experience blend of artisanal and couture fashion working for avant-garde designers Bernhard Wilhelm, BLESS, Anne-Valerie Hash and Haider Ackermann in Paris, and the serious craft of fit and precision tailoring learnt in the workrooms of the famed Savile Row tailors and Hardy Amie's in London is reflected in her obsession with folds. Her label RAGGATT introduces complex cutting and draping techniques to produce clothes that embody a quiet boldness.


Image courtesy of City of Melbourne

Young Australian fashion designers Naomi Tettmann and Elke Doust teamed up through a shared love of diagrams and fascination with scientific discovery to create the TETTMANN.DOUST label after years of training and honing their technical skills at Melbourne-based couture label Gwendolynne. Doust's kaleidoscopic prints and intricate embellishments are combined with Tettmann's artistic sensibility and masterful skill for pattern-making to create sophisticated, exquisite and wearable art. There is an emphasis on hand-worked beading, naturally luxurious fabrics like silk, calf and kangaroo leather and careful tailoring. The duo successfully launched their first collection, 'Aves Insecta', at the L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival's Cultural Program and has since been featured in the pages of Faint, Grazia and Fashion Trend.
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Why? Head to week-long Parallel Tensions Exhibition during MSFW to see the works of Melbourne’s freshest crop of fashion mavericks through installation and a variety of formats, all free of charge.
When: Monday to Thursday - 11am to 5pm, Friday - 11am to 7pm, and Saturday - 12pm to 4pm
Where: fortyfivedownstairs
Cost: Free
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