National Graduate Showcase: Lucy Dickinson
The National Graduate Showcase is a prestigious runway celebrating the next generation of Australian fashion design talent. Handpicked from renowned design institutions and universities across the country, see Australia’s brightest graduate talent shine under the Royal Exhibition Building dome.
Lucy has been selected as one of twelve finalists to appear in the National Graduate Showcase.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you, where are you from, where did you study?
My name is Lucy, I’m 22 years old and moved from Newcastle to Melbourne four years ago to study the Bachelor of Fashion Design (Honours) at RMIT.
Can you please tell us about your collection? What was the inspiration for it, and what is your favourite thing about your collection? What can people take away from your collection?
My collection, titled I THOUGHT I'D SEEN IT ALL BUT I HADN'T SEEN THAT was inspired by unusual customisation techniques used within subcultures, particularly those utilising unexpected materials not often found within fashion. My practice is heavily based around print and embellishment, as well as the combination of traditional techniques and modern technology such as laser cutting and 3D printing.
My favourite thing about the collection is probably how personal it is, one look took me about 150 hours to hand embroider, I hand painted pieces and designed all the prints myself. I’ve used so many quotes and they all have stories behind them, there is a lot to take in and it really captures people’s attention. I want it to be fun and I like that I’ve been able to include references to Juggalo tattoos or things my grandma says in my graduate collection.
What journey/pathway led you to where you are now? Were you always intending to be a fashion designer? What is the most valuable thing you learnt while studying fashion design?
I wanted to be a marine biologist for a while, but that changed to fashion in my early teens. I started customising clothes to sell while I was in high school and would have photo shoots with my friends around Newcastle that I’d post on Tumblr. My design ethic is very much the same, make it up as you go along and involve your friends where you can.
I started the course not knowing how to sew or pattern make, which is definitely the best thing I’ve ever learnt, its so rewarding being able to create a garment from nothing. In 2017 I also learnt how hard I can push myself and how little sleep I can survive on (three hours a night isn’t enough but five hours is kinda doable).
What do you think are the most important issues in fashion at the moment? As a new designer, what is something that you want to bring to the industry?
I think fast fashion is a real issue and designers as well as consumers need to be aware of this when making and purchasing clothes. A lot of the industry lacks transparency but we need to try to change the sorts of conditions our clothes are made in.
I also feel its really important that we get more diversity in models, in terms of race, gender, size, etc. Both of these are issues that I’m passionate about and will be really conscious of within my future work. I also love working with other up-and-coming creatives, Melbourne has such a supportive community and I’m so here for it. I was part of an independent runway called Better & Lesser at the end of last year that we organised ourselves, most of the models were artists or DJs and we found all the makeup artists through Instagram. The support we got was so incredible and I really want to use whatever platform I have in the future to work with and promote the people who inspire me.
Who or what inspires you?
I kind of covered it in my collection concept, but I’m really into fashion outside of the industry. I’ve always been inspired by DIY fashion movements, subculture, 70s punk and youth rebellion. Karlheinz Weinberger is a photographer that captures this really well. I’m also really excited about my friends who cut up or paint op shop clothes and wear them clubbing, give me low budget high fashion looks.
What do you do in your down time? What do you do to switch off from fashion?
To be honest I don’t really switch off from fashion. Throughout the year I would still see my friends and go to parties but I would spend the night trying to scout models so it felt productive. Fashion can be pretty exhausting but I love it, I try to avoid having down time.
What's in store for you for 2018?
I’m really excited for 2018, I’ve been accepted into 2 fashion shows and I just won AUSFF, which is so crazy. AUSFF comes with a 6 month internship overseas that is yet to be organised, so at this point I have no idea where I’ll end up. I’m also hoping to create a capsule collection of pieces to sell over the next few months as well as having some requests for custom looks, which should be really fun.
National Graduate Showcase
Friday March 9
Royal Exhibition Building
Tickets now on sale