LOOKING out of a plane window high above the Swiss Alps, fashion student Emily Ritchie was transfixed by the lakes weaving throughout the peaks and troughs of the mountain range, surrounded by bright and earthy colours.
The sight captured her imagination and inspired her final design collection in her Advanced Diploma in Fashion at Bentley Polytechnic West.
“My collection was inspired by lakes and streams,” she said.
“I took a picture out of the plane window and I mirrored the images I found and developed the print. It’s land meeting the ocean.”
The striking 10-piece collection is the fruit of six months of labour and the 20-year-old will unveil it as part of Nucleo, the annual fashion event for final year design students.
“We get half a year to develop all looks; we have to pattern make, print fabrics and fit them to models,” she said.
“I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent creating the collection.”
Ritchie is among a class full of young designers set to lead Perth’s fashion future.
Redcliffe student Ami Kadota stained silks with fruit teas and coffees to create a couture collection for women aged in their late 30s.
“I noticed there was a gap in the market for women in that age bracket,” she said.
Mandurah designer Kirra James is releasing a collection with sizes ranging from 8-18, the first of its kind in the WA student design community and she is one of three in her class taking on plus sizes.
“I began making my own clothes in the early 2000s because there were no clothes for plus-sized people,” she said.
“But now plus sizes are becoming more mainstream although they still aren’t youthful or sexy.”
James prides her collection on being accessible to everyone.
“Why can’t a size 18 wear the same clothes as the size 8s?” she said.
Tonight’s fashion show is a culmination of three years of study for the women, who are viewing the launch as a stepping-stone into future and careers in the fashion industry.