Monday, November 8, 2010

Thugs & Roses: TAFE SA's gangstarr graduates


Saturday night’s TAFE SA graduate show was a class act. It was staged in a brand new auditorium at Prince Alfred College and all the models were from Finesse Models, which we mentioned on Friday in our post about brand new Adelaide face Melissa Johannsen. But before Johannsen even has her portfolio together, Ashleigh Pietersma (below, in the black ballgown) is likely to be the next Finesse star. Seventeen years old and just about to finish Year 12, the Dutch native, who has been in Australia for three years, has been signed to IMG's Paris Development board and heads to Paris in January, just in time for the haute couture. We joked backstage that the mad scramble of dressers that it took to get her into her finale ballgown was good prep for the latter shows. Also in the lineup: Jane Williamson, who made six weeks of Australia’s Next Top Model Cycle 3. This was a well-produced, high energy show and there were some extremely cute collections. As with any student parade you are going to get some play-it-safe eveningwear (headsup: guys this is your chance to show how creative you can be, make the most of it). But there were a couple of standouts. 

I loved Petricia Marinos’ rose-festooned ballgowns and cocktail dresses; Hannah Buchanan’s bold, armour-plated bodysuits; Ashlee Dawson’s embellished, colourblocked bodycon series and Emma Tapp’s futuristic racewear. 

But the absolute standout just had to be Carly Heinrich and her Thug Nation brand, whose Chain Gangstarr capsule collection jumped off the runway. Heinrich told me that she hopes to work in costume design. But if she is able to put these pieces into production, there's probably a market for her paint-splodged parkas, rainbow Michelin Man chubbies, chain-embellished boydsuits and digital print legwarmers. 

Here are a few shots, but head to frockwriter's Posterous (here) for a complete backstage gallery of 59 images shot during the show. 


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