November 23, 2014

The Graduating Class

To be nothing less than frank and honest, I was a slacker during my university days. I entered higher education as a young and idealistic soul, full of enthusiasm in the pursuit of those few letters that would sit behind my name. That wide eyed enthusiasm lasted likely all of the first month of my first semester. Devoid of the rules and structure that had dominated the prior five years of my education, I was free to do as I please. If I didn't show up to my lectures, nobody knew or even cared. Upon discovering that some of my tutorials didn't even require attendance, it felt like I had hit the jackpot. I had found myself in what my seventeen-going-on-eighteen self would consider to be utopia.

My approach for the next three and a bit years did not deviate much from the easy pace I developed after that first month. My fellow students did not seem to put in more hours and more effort than me, they almost certainly did. Despite my lackadaisical approach, I graduated with better than average grades and most importantly, received those all important letters behind my name. Recalling this time of my life, it was an experience that I did not truly appreciate until it was over. There's something about student life as a young adult which cannot be replicated even if I chose to further my studies now as a not-so-young adult.

Though I have no qualms in calling myself a lazy and less than committed student, I highly doubt the same could be applied to this year's graduating class of fashion design students from Polytechnic West. Dubbing themselves the Umbra Collective, the work of these exceptionally talented women continue to reaffirm in my mind the enormous amount of talent and creativity that comes out of Western Australia. It frustrates me when I hear the constant moans regarding the perceived lack of talent in this state, and in particular, Perth. Those who don't believe we are overflowing with talent, intelligence and creativity should perhaps take a wider look around the ever increasing creative community and in doing so, will surely have their minds blown.

In recognition and celebration of completing their studies, the fourteen ladies making up the Umbra Collective wowed their family, friends and members of the public (including me!) with a fashion show held on Thursday night at the Claremont Showgrounds. A sample collection from each graduating student was paraded up and down the runway, the culmination of their years of hard work and dedication.

Designer: Melanie Cooper
Designer: Melanie Cooper

So impressive was the standard of their designs that I very much look forward to seeing where these ladies go in the next few years in their future careers in the fashion industry. It's always wonderful to see emerging talent appreciated and most importantly encouraged and nurtured on a personal and professional level. Having reached the next stage of their careers, I wish the entire Umbra Collective a beautiful journey forward. If it is anything like what was seen on Thursday night, the future is no doubt going to look good.


Designs by Holly Mumford. Beautiful colours and geometric prints. A very fun but still sophisticated collection that suits life in Perth perfectly. 

Designs by Natalie Fullwood. Classic, elegant and feminine. 

Designs by Jasmine Nash. Wonderfully dreamy bridal creations. The tea length dresses are very modern whilst still classic and no less of a wedding dress due to the beautiful use of fabrics, laces and beading.

Designs by Sarah Hua. The use of ropes to embellish the outfits added a literal twist to the fresh nautical theme.


My favourite collection of the evening. Designs by Rosemaree White. Every outfit was absolutely incredible. Very luxurious in the use of laces, beading and feathers creating beautiful textures. Feminine and sensual pieces that I would most definitely love to have hanging in my wardrobe. 


  1. Wow, wow, wow! THey are so talented. Loved reading this.