CLOTH and clothes are scattered across Zsofia Matrai’s Marrickville one bedroom apartment. The same thing’s happening in the Randwick family home of Jessica Kite.
The pair are busily constructing their future in fashion and TAFE has played a vital role.
Jessica, 22, and Zsofia, 25, are among ten graduates from TAFE’s Fashion Design Studio who’ll each see their creations on the catwalk at Fashion Week’s graduate show later this month.
The graduate show, now in its 20th year, has earned a reputation for being the week’s “hottest show”.
Competition for a slot in the show has never been stronger, after TAFE recorded a fivefold increase in enrolments for a Certificate III in Applied Fashion Design and Technology since 2015 — from 56 students to 310.
When Zsofia clocks off from designing patterns for Kaftan queen Camilla Franks, she heads back to a very understanding partner in a tiny apartment where the kitchen, which “is also my living room” is where “I’ve been putting the show together in my kitchen”.
Jessica Kite “moved back home to save money and my whole collection is on the dining room table and the surrounding floor, much to my parents’ dismay.” Seven weeks since graduating, Jessica has already fielded calls from Chinese luxury department chain Lane Crawford to stock her label.
Australian fashion icons Alex Perry, Dion Lee, Akira Isogawa, Anna Plunket from Romance is Born, Nicky Zimmerman and Ainsley Hansen from Hansen and Gretel all hail from TAFE’s Fashion Design Studio.
According to Hansen, whose line is stocked in more than 50 retailers including David Jones, the TAFE graduates showing at Fashion Week are streets ahead of their rivals in a cutthroat industry.
“They’re a step ahead of everyone else, showing at an international level in front of buyers from (online retailers) ShopBop, Farfetch and Net-A-Porter,” Hansen said