Students showcased at Powerhouse Future Fashion exhibition

Will Maddock

Billy Blue students showcase at Powerhouse's Future Fashion exhibition.

Powerhouse Museum's Future Fashion exhibition

Established in 1993, Future Fashion is an annual exhibition that highlights the exciting potential of the next generation of Australian designers emerging from tertiary fashion and textile courses. It’s one of the most popular exhibitions at Powerhouse Museum every year.

Featuring works from the final-year ranges of graduates from four Sydney institutions, including Billy Blue College of Design, the fashion student exhibition shows off what’s new, now and next in Australian fashion. The exhibition lets visitors learn about sustainability practices, take part in hands-on workshops and try VR experiences.

Future Fashion opens at Powerhouse Castle Hill on June 1 and entry is free.

This year’s exhibitors are Samara Darling, Arman Martirosian, Lina Yu and Billy Blue’s own Will Maddock.

Will’s collection, D.SSENT, is described as seeking out the origin of the dandy. It blends “the debonair aesthetics of Les Incroyables and Muscadins at the end of the French Revolution” with “the style and attitude of the Teddy Boys” in 1950s London.

The description elaborates: “This cross-continental tension between modern and traditional styles is exhibited using tailoring, draping, asymmetry and scale. While the work consists of predominantly natural deadstock materials, certain designs invite us to consider additional methods to reduce material waste.

“More specifically, the waistcoat features a series of tartan cockades and bows – a central motif of the collection – which are made of scrap fabric from other pieces throughout D.SSENT.”

A reviewer of this year’s exhibition, Marie-Antoinette Issa, commented, “With his innovative approach to sensory design blurring the lines between fashion and technology, Will’s garments engage the senses in unexpected ways. Everything from wearable water elements to interactive soundscapes. With a keen focus on experiential design, his work promises to transport audiences to new realms of imagination and creativity.”

Behind the scenes of Future Fashion

Will isn’t the first Billy Blue student to be featured at Future Fashion; he is preceded by Bachelor of Branded Fashion Design alumni Holly Villagra, Julie Song and Thomas Saint Cyr.

While all four of these talented designers have unique styles and processes, they shared certain experiences in the lead-up to the exhibition.

They all credit their learning at Billy Blue with getting them and their collections to the point of appearing in Powerhouse Museum exhibitions.

Julie told Vogue Australia: “Billy Blue allowed me to explore new ideas and how to execute these ideas in a real sense… The lecturers truly pushed me to think outside of the box – to merge both conceptual and practical ideas together. I think one thing I learned the most was how to create ideas into a functioning brand and items that would work in the real world, especially when you have lecturers who are already in the industry giving you advice.”

In fact, it’s Billy Blue’s strong connection to the fashion industry (as well as our high calibre of students) that sees one lucky student selected for the show at Powerhouse Museum every year.

The importance of exhibitions

Having a collection shown in major Powerhouse Museum exhibitions like this is an incredible step forward for students. Future Fashion has featured the work of around 190 students in 30 years, many of whom have gone on to outstanding careers in fashion related fields. Think: Toni Matičevski, Michelle Jank and Dion Lee.

Future Fashion opens doors for aspiring designers to the Australian fashion industry by exposing them to potential employers, as well as positioning them to influence the local fashion scene. This fashion exhibition is a chance to show off signature designs, technical skills and out-of-the-box thinking.

Check out Will’s creations at this year’s Future Fashion at Powerhouse Museum Castle Hill from June 1.

Check our Branded Fashion Design Courses to learn more
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