Second year AUT fashion design students were part of an international industry design project to reimagine the future of fashion.
The project developed as a response to UK department store Selfridges’ ‘Bright New Things’ initiative aimed at encouraging emerging talent and sustainable innovation in fashion.
The project brief was developed with the team at Selfridges and asked students to confront the environmental and ethical impacts of current fashion industry practices and identify realistic alternatives to reduce fashion consumption.
Senior Lecturer Andreas Mikellis says the project challenged students to respond to their place in the world.
“As the next generation of fashion design creatives, students have to ask themselves what role they want to play in it.”
Throughout the semester, students learned about the industry’s multi-faceted and complex supply chain, ethical and sustainable manufacturing practices, and explored how to design clothes and retail interventions that encourage reduction in fashion consumption, within a New Zealand perspective.
At the end of 12 weeks, students came up with alternatives surrounding themes such as community, identity, peaceful protest and rejection of the superficial.
Fashion lecturer, Leica Johnson, says the Bright New Things initiative gives voice to ethical and sustainable new designers who may not otherwise get a voice in an overcrowded industry.
“This experience has allowed our students to look beyond their personal needs and understand that the future of fashion design is designers who prioritise the wellbeing of the planet and the people in it.”
The students presented their work to the Selfridges Group Director of Sustainability, Daniella Vega, who visited AUT, meeting the students and discussing their work. The project and Selfridges visit were invaluable experiences for the students.
The students concluded that the overall goal for the future of fashion was to reduce consumption. Some of their ideas included high-end luxury garments only available to rent, changing ideas around ownership, using deadstock fabric, upcycling materials and offcuts and disrupting the current industry manipulation of hype and celebrity endorsement. See below for pictures of their work.
Peaceful protest reflects a world where individuals are gathering en mass advocating for our planet and our future. The groundswell of protests in 2019 saw the global School Strike for Climate change make a mark in our history. and offcuts and disrupting the current industry manipulation of hype and celebrity endorsement. See below for pictures of their work.
A provocation of the superficial nature of Instagram and fashion hype associated with it, is taken to its ultimate limit. Building on the hype of social media, this work reveals the ridiculousness and fickle nature of the push.ng the current industry manipulation of hype and celebrity endorsement. See below for pictures of their work.
The theme of community allows for a generosity of spirit and willingness to share ideas and aspects of life with each other, a way to connect. The department store becomes a place where people from the locality meet to learn about each other, each meeting reflecting a unique part of New Zealand culture.
The ability to be expressive in our clothing choice is reflected throughout the fashion industry. Identity in this instance means self-expression and individuality without the need to label it one thing or another.