Our 2018 Bachelor of Fashion graduate, Rachael Wilton, has just returned from England after being invited by UK based Oxford Fashion Studio to present her graduate range as part of London Fashion Week (13-17 September 2019).
Rachael said, “The show was amazing. One of the most memorable experiences I’ve had so far. It was very overwhelming because there were meetings to attend with people I had only ever emailed before, and they were a very professional team so I felt a little out of my depth, but I just went along with it all.”
Rachael realised early on that she wanted to work in fashion and applied for the Bachelor of Fashion course straight out of high school.
She said, “Studying at Box Hill was a great experience. The small class size allowed a lot of one-on-one learning with my teachers so I formed good and supportive relationships with most of them.
“When the Design Hub at Nelson campus opened that was great too as we got our own dedicated area, lockers and heaps of workroom space in the classrooms. I really enjoyed my time studying there,” she said.
While studying fashion, Rachel created an Instagram page (@suninleo_thelabel) to post photos of her garments. After graduating, she continued the page and was contacted by RAW, an organisation that spotlights independent talent and provides fun, alternative ways to showcase their art and artists.
Rachael said, “RAW was really fun because it was not only fashion but a showcase of lots of artists, including hair and makeup artists.
“Each designer was paired with a hair and makeup artist and we worked together as a small team to decide on an overall look. It was fun to work with others as well as explore other local artists work,” she said.
Oxford Fashion Studio spotted Rachael’s profile on the RAW website and reached out to her. At first, she was in disbelief. She said, “I was shocked that they had found me and selected me to invite. I was so fresh out of studying and just using my graduate collection, so it was surreal to think it was seen as something that could be in such a large-scale show.”
Rachael had four months to sketch and produce three additional outfits for her collection, which would be displayed on the catwalk during London Fashion Week. She used Box Hill Institute’s Design Hub as a creative space where she could focus, gaining inspiration from history, art, interior design, nature, fabrics and trims.
Once she was in London, Rachael said, “The other designers in the same show were all very talented and it was good to see a wide range of different styles and aesthetics being celebrated. It was super hectic backstage and it went so fast, but I got to walk out at the end with one of my models, which was incredible too, and afterwards had a chance to network a bit and meet some people.”
In her first year following graduation, Rachael has had two significant shows, one in a leading fashion city, London. This early success has not led to complacency though and Rachael intends to start work on a new collection, and will continue to use Box Hill Institute’s Design Hub as a place to create.