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In a few weeks, local fashion designer Alice Sutton will pack her bags, hop on a plane and embark on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Alice, the designer behind the label Edition, is heading to Korea in March, to immerse herself in the exciting and fast-paced fashion scene in Seoul. She’s one of three Australian fashion designers who will do so as part of a new and exciting Emerging Designer Exchange Program, and the only one from Canberra.
If fashion designers thrive on anything, it’s inspiration. And inspiration is what Alice will find in Seoul.
A highlight of her trip will be Seoul Fashion Week and visiting the five-storey Christian Dior flagship boutique, the largest Dior store to open in Asia.
Alice will also participate in workshops and industry visits organised by the program. And she’ll meet and learn from the three emerging designers from Korea who have also been selected, sharing knowledge, skills and ideas. Back home, Alice will attend more workshops in Brisbane and Sydney Fashion Week in May.
So how did this dream come true?
Flashback to FASHFEST 2016, where Alice showcased her latest (and stunning) collection called ‘Reveal’. After the event, FASHFEST organisers were approached by Melanie Finger, a fashion lecturer at Queensland University of Technology, to promote the program to designers, which is run by QUT and Seoul National University.
Edition was one label put forth and after a rigorous application and interview process and competing against high-quality applications across Australia, the professional panel unanimously selected Alice to participate.
Alice was excited when she received the news she had made the grade. “What an incredible chance for me to expand my horizons,” says the designer. “And what an incredible start to 2017.”
What did the judges love about Alice? “Her sustainable focus, great design process, unique Australian style and her previous collaborations,” says Melanie. “They also loved her commercial focus and art practise influence.”
“This is a massive opportunity for me to observe other designers, to see how they work and what inspires them,” says Alice. “It’s also a chance to develop international business connections and even export knowledge. It would be amazing to build a market presence in Korea, where fashion is so unique, expressive and individual.”
The Australia–Korea Foundation Emerging Designer Exchange Program, a two-year initiative, will connect Alice with Korean and Australian fashion industry professionals, designers, artists and manufacturers. Melanie says the program is designed to help participants “fast track their brands immeasurably, on both a national and international scale.”
Alice’s Reveal collection stretched the award-winning designer’s boundaries. While staying true to Edition’s unique aesthetic, Alice experimented with sleeve silhouettes and even prints, to create pieces that are highly wearable and defy trends.
Reveal and other Edition designs are available at Assemblage Project in Braddon.