News - QUT fashion students take to MBFF catwalk

29th August 2017

When news broke that the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival (MBFF) would return to Brisbane in 2017, QUT’s fashion students were amongst the loudest to cheer.

As well as showcasing the very best of Queensland and Australian fashion, the MBFF shines the spotlight on the brightest up-and-coming design talent, which this year includes six QUT students who will showcase their creations in the MBFF NextGen Group Show at Old Government House tonight.

QUT fashion study coordinator and design lecturer Icaro Ibanez-Arricivita the MBFF said that it was missed last year and welcomed its return.

“The MBFF has long been Queensland’s premier fashion event and one of the best things about the festival is that it has always supported budding fashion designers like our QUT students.

“This year six final year QUT fashion design students are showing two complete outfits on the runway during the MBFF NextGen Group Show – Kate Cunningham, Lauren Richardson, Joeli Kabu, Mackenzie Clark, Alex Parker-Wilkin and Emma Tothill.

“They will be joined by recent QUT fashion design graduate Sofía Moreno-Marcos who earlier this year won a bronze medal in the International Design Awards (haute couture, women category) for her graduate collection from 2016.”

Mr Ibanez-Arricivita said the range of designs created by the students was extraordinarily imaginative and diverse.

“Joeli Kabu, for example, was inspired by Japanese imperial court wear and Shinto ritualistic practices for his AKUMA menswear collection, while Alex Parker-Wilkin’s interest in technology like laser cutting and 3D printing comes across strongly in her mathematical approach to developing designs,” he said.

“Mackenzie Clark, who is doing a double degree in fashion and finance, is interested in crossovers between interior design, architecture and fashion design, Kate Cunningham takes her inspiration from street wear and sociocultural trends, and Lauren Richardson’s ‘Frozen Motion’ graduate collection features unique garments made from unexpected materials.

“As for Emma Tothill, she is also doing a double degree (fashion and marketing) and volunteers as a design assistant for the ‘It’s Not Okay Project’. Her ‘Avalanche’ collection is inspired by the unpredictable transformation of landscape that avalanches create.

“They are all extremely talented individuals and I think are all destined to make their mark in the world of fashion; not just in Australia but internationally too.”  

The complete collections of all the final year fashion students will be showing in the QUT School of Design Festival at Kelvin Grove on Wednesday 22 November.

Media contact:

Amanda Weaver, QUT Media, 07 3138 3151,

After hours: Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901,

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