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Meet | 2019 MFW Student Award Winner Chelsea Subala

The AFC were once again thrilled to support the M/FW Student Award last year! Get to know the 2019 winning designer and Box Hill Institute Bachelor of Fashion graduate, Chelsea Subala! The award recognises excellence in innovation, quality, design and their potential to contribute to the future growth of the Australian fashion industry. Chelsea’s collection – SLAY – was inspired by people who had mental illness and were suffering anxiety or depression, influenced by Melbourne’s street art graffiti…

by The AFC

6 February 2020

MFW Student Award 2019 Winner

Meet | Chelsea Subala, Designer at Sibel

From Box Hill Institute’s Bachelor of Fashion

The AFC were once again thrilled to support the M/FW Student Award last year! Get to know the 2019 winning designer and Box Hill Institute Bachelor of Fashion graduate, Chelsea Subala!

The award recognises excellence in innovation, quality, design and their potential to contribute to the future growth of the Australian fashion industry. Chelsea’s collection – SLAY – was inspired by people who had mental illness and were suffering anxiety or depression, influenced by Melbourne’s street art graffiti…



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Meet | Chelsea Subala

Box Hill Institute’s Bachelor of Fashion

WHY FASHION?

The arts was a field I was always naturally talented in from a young age, however I had neglected it and moved onto engineering post high school. I soon decided to transition back into fashion as I found the design process was really fulfilling to me in many avenues.

THE COLLECTION

The 2019 MFW collection, Slay, drew inspiration from Melbourne’s street art. It reflects on the current national issue on the growing numbers of death associated with mental health, particularly suicide. It was through my personal experience and those around me that allowed me to channel this theme through the collection. 

Mental health is not fashion, however, I hoped to continue to raise awareness by subtly incorporating motifs and design elements that imitated the nature of mental illness, where most of the time, the symptoms are not obvious at all and it is only when you pay close attention that these conditions becomes apparent. Thus, the primary design focus of the range was the graphic artwork, followed by the indistinct details of the ‘care for me’ label accompanied by the universal ‘fragile’ label, the red straps and zip pulls imitating warning tags, and illustrations typically symbolising suicide embedded in the prints. 

The design process used environmentally friendly paint on a combination of dead stock and organic fabrics to create sustainable products. The prints were produced manually through emulsion screen printing processes, finished with embellishments sourced from local Melbourne haberdashery stores or remnants.


Backstage at MFW 2019, Image by Lucas Dawson

Backstage at MFW 2019, Image by Lucas Dawson

WHAT’S NEXT

I view fashion as silent and wearable art, where it speaks volumes and can really transform an individual’s self-regard, as well as how surrounding individuals perceive them. In the upcoming few years ahead, I seek a full time job in the fashion industry to continue learning about techniques and technology, and to understand the evolution of where the industry is going. Ultimately, I want a fashion street wear label that breaks standards and proudly speaks Australian.

ADVICE

If you’re going to do something, do it damn well.

For the students, push hard and make a little more time to work so you can afford that little bit more of fabric or embellishment to make your collection stand out. Put your heart and soul into it and don’t half-ass it. Be super proud of what your own two hands have made.

YOUR LOCAL TEXTILE & FASHION GO TO’S?

  1. Zoe Hong’s fashion You Tube channel for design processes

  2. Meg Parry Studio, Oakleigh for mentoring

  3. Business of Fashion for fashion journals

  4. Vogue for fashion inspiration and news

  5. Jimmy Buttons, Fitzroy, for student deals on haberdashery


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