As a commercial lawyer, it was relatively easy for me to follow the conveyor belt from law school to summer clerkships to a full-time job in a law firm. I don’t imagine the transition for the creative industries is as easy (unless you’re very lucky) – it can be a relentless and sometimes dispiriting slog to stand out amongst other young talented artists and designers and to achieve commercial and artistic success.
Which is why the inaugural Blondes to Brunettes + RMIT Fashion Friendship is such a novel yet effective scheme. The collaboration between Prahran hair salon Blondes to Brunettes and RMIT’s School of Fashion and Textiles gives up-and-coming RMIT fashion students a chance to display their work in the salon’s High Street facing shop window. For many designers, it will be the first time that they exhibit in a commercial, public space.
The first installation in the 365 days of design is an art piece by Takahiro Kunitoshi and Ayisha Tutone. As December’s selection (the window will be redesigned every month), Takahiro and Ayisha were asked to create their piece around the theme of ‘giving’ in keeping with the Christmas spirit. The result is an ethereal draped form encircled by pairs of floating, giving hands, combined with some written script superimposed on an image of cupped hands. It has caught the attention of many passers-by and clients of the salon have also been very interested in work, creating mutual benefits for the students and Blondes to Brunettes.
Attending the launch was RMIT fashion lecturer Peter Allan, owner of Blondes to Brunettes Jane Smith and past student Nikolina Kucan, the designer of the eye-catching sculptural headpieces of Nikolina Concepts. Each one spoke of the importance of supporting young talent in the commercial world and giving designers an opportunity to present their work outside of the classroom. I say ‘Bravo!’ for continued fashion friendship.