Raffles College of Design and Commerce fashion students show off their creations
HAYA Muhammad is not afraid to wear colour. She is among this year’s fashion graduates showcasing their creations this week.
The Lakemba 23-year-old is known for wearing bold colours and, as a fashion design student, she pushes the boundaries even further.
Now in her final year of a bachelor in fashion, she’s used her culture with a modern twist to forge her place.
You’ll spot her colourful pieces as they come down the runway.
“I’m inspired by my own mood. I’m always energetic and love using happy colours in my designs.”
She dreams of becoming a fashion designer known for colour and shape.
Miss Muhammad was born in Pakistan. She was four when she came to Australia with her mum and brother. Her dad was already here.
Creativity is something that runs in the family. Her dad is a good cook and a real handyman. Plus her uncle owns an embroidery factory in Pakistan.
“My designs aren’t just for one culture — anyone can wear them,” she said.
Miss Muhammad’s pieces were on display at the Raffles College of Design and Commerce exhibition and runway show this week (December 6) at Waterloo. She studies at the Parramatta campus alongside Shannon Clayworth, a 21-year-old fashion marketing student.
On a full scholarship from Ballina, the stylist has “worked his butt off” through high school to get where he is today.
The 21-year-old who now lives in Kensington, has interned at Vogue, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, and is now fashion editor at Lita Magazine.
His graduate piece is a collection of black and white images of 10 people from diverse and interesting backgrounds.
He stepped away from runway models and went for everyday humans. On set he arrived with no concept, just a pile from the person’s wardrobe for him to style and capture the essence of who they are.
“Some were more playful than others which were emotional. It was so refreshing to be given the freedom and bounce off the energy,” he said.
“As a fashion editor, I’m on shoots controlling the environment for the client, giving them exactly what they want in a photo but in these pieces, it was less controlling.”
Lily James, 22, who travels from Figtree for studies drew her inspiration from her childhood. She has used her displacement growing up into her collection.
“I’m from a different country and have had to adapt to the western world,” she said.
The colours she’s used remind her of a moment in time from ‘back home’. Miss James arrived in Australia in 2006. She was born in South Sudan and her family went to Uganda and on to Kenya. She ended up moving back to Uganda when her parents were relocated to Australia in 2003 with six of her siblings.
The four youngest siblings in the family went back to Uganda with grandma. When she died, the children were brought to Australia.
“Back home light was rougher and I’ve come to this very classy western society,” she said.
“It’s hard. I feel like I’m in a game of pass the parcel.
“But I always feel like home when I have family and the African community around me. Especially when Mum cooks all the traditional foods.”
Since starting the fashion course three years ago, her vision for her designs have changed but the essence remains.
“My vision was to use African fabrics but that changed. I’m now using western fabrics that have the same colours and feel as African fabric and are still able to tell my story,” she said.
The fashion graduate dreams of having her own boutique and said the next few months were an “exciting and scary time”.