Curtin University’s new exhibition showcases past fashion success stories

Perth is becoming one of the country’s greatest exports of fashion labels, with cult brands such as Poppy Lissiman, Meraki Official, Zhivago, Wheels, and Dollbaby, all WA-owned.

These brands started small, but now they’re all household names worn by some of the biggest names in the country and the world.

Founder and creative director of high-end streetwear brand Raw War, Antoinette Raphael, hopes to solidify her name next to these heavy hitters.

“A lot of people think that Perth is such a small city and everyone wants to escape from it to grow their career and I know there are advantages in traveling and maybe living in other cities for a particular one time, but I think it’s cool to kind of like recognize where you are recognized, recognize who has come before you and kind of take the city with you,” she told AAA.

“Even the people I work with at the moment, it’s nice to come together and know that we can, as a team, put Perth on the map as well.”

Raphael is a Curtin University fashion design school graduate who is part of the newly launched 20|30 Fashion & Interior Architecture alumni retrospective event held at the university.

The exhibition celebrates 20 years of fashion and 30 years of interior architecture at Curtin University, with some of the brightest graduates showcasing their amazing works.


The 25-year-old said she was grateful to have her work shown alongside graduates such as the WRIGHT Systems and Luka Rey.

“It’s a big moment for me, I’m blessed, and it just feels I’m proud to say that I’m part of this . . . there are many parts of it, but it’s quite limited, and I feel grateful to be part of the group that they’ve chosen.”

Head of fashion at Curtin University, Dr. Anne Farren, said the next generation of fashion designers is more environmentally friendly and conscious.

“It has been fantastic to re-connect with so many of the fashion graduates. It is amazing to see their work and stories,” Dr. Farren told AAA.

“Yes, the old guard is doing amazing work, but also an exciting new generation of designers and makers leading the way and rethinking the future of fashion. For example, young interdisciplinary teams such as WRIGHT Systems and Fibre Economy are already making a difference.”

WRIGHT Systems sources all their fabric and buttons second-hand, and a significant portion of the thread is used. Fibre Econoy is a start-up social enterprise working together towards a world without textile waste.

The exhibition is open until August 5.

Bella E. McMahon
I am a freelance writer who started blogging in college. I am fascinated by human nature, politics, culture, technology, and pop culture. In addition to my writing, I enjoy exploring new places, trying out new things, and engaging in conversations with new people. Some of my favorite hobbies are reading, playing music, making crafts, writing, traveling, and spending time with my family.