From L to R: Simone Squires, Jake Castledine, Darren Mok, Rick Owens, John Wong, Anna Kotai, Michael Nguyen and Phoebe D’Arcy-Evans.
Five TAFE fashion students have just returned from Perth’s sister city, Chengdu (China) where they were fortunate enough to meet international fashion designer Rick Owens as part of a 9-day study tour to China and Hong Kong.
The Advanced Diploma of Fashion & Textile Design students from North Metropolitan TAFE in Northbridge, were also invited to sit in on an interview with Belgian fashion designer and eponymous fashion brand Dries Van Noten by SHOWstudio’s Editor and freelance writer, curator and broadcaster Lou Stoppard.
23-year old fashion student Jake Castledine from West Perth said that meeting internationally renowned fashion designers was mind-blowing.
“We had a meet and greet with Rick Owens at his flagship store in Hong Kong and got to see his clothes in real life which is something we’d never get the chance to see in Perth.
“I’d also been watching SHOWstudio for a really long time so to sit alongside Lou Stoppard and watch her interview Dries Van Noten was an awesome experience,” said Jake.
The tour included visits to the Savannah College of Art and Design and Hong Kong Polytechnic Institute of Clothing & Textiles as well as a spot of material shopping from local fabric markets.
“Hong Kong is the perfect place to visit if you’re aspiring for a career in the fashion industry – technology like laser cutting and screen printing is cutting edge and access to a wider range of fabrics and designs makes the industry incredibly strong,” said Jake.
“The study tour gave me so much information and insight and I feel more motivated and excited than ever about travelling to London next year to find a fashion internship.”
North Metropolitan TAFE Fashion & Textile Design Lecturers Darren Mok and Anna Kotai accompanied the students on their tour and Darren used the connections of his sister Davena to link students with the internationally renowned designers.
“Meeting international designers like Rick Owens, Dries Van Noten and Haider Ackermann and witnessing the Joyce interactive exhibition specially curated by British production designer Joseph Bennett (of McQUEEN fame) and stylist Olivier Chatenet (of YSL film fame) was a definite highlight of the tour,” said Darren.
“But I think the real joy was seeing the students thrive in a foreign country, getting along with each other and appreciating the new environment with an open-minded maturity.”
The tour was made possible through the Endeavour Mobility Grant, an Australian Government initiative to support engagement between Australia and the rest of the world through student mobility.