Exhibition Dates: Friday 17 February – Saturday 18 March
Project Rooms 1 & 2, Level 2, RMIT Design Hub
High Risk Dressing / Critical Fashion looks at the ideas and community coalescing within contemporary fashion practice today through the lens of the Fashion Design Council (FDC). The FDC (1983–1993) was a membership-based organisation established to support, promote and provoke avant-garde Australian fashion, founded by Robert Buckingham, Kate Durham and Robert Pearce.
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.
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 venturous 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.
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 designers, musicians and writers associated with the organisation.
Curatorium: Professor Robyn Healy, Dr Fleur Watson, Kate Rhodes, Nella Themelios
Research assistant: Laura Gardner
Graphic design: Ziga Testen