M/FW Student Collections Runway and Award | 2019


Congratulations to all the incredibly talented designers who featured in last Sunday's Student Collections runway at Melbourne Fashion Week. The AFC were once again thrilled to support the M/FW Student Award, with this year’s winner Chelsea Subala announced on the night!

Presented by Specsavers, the evening featured collections created by talent from Melbourne’s top design schools – RMIT University, Holmesglen Institute, Box Hill Institute, Whitehouse Institute of Design, The Masters Institute for Creative Education and Kangan Institute. This year, the runway also extended beyond Australia and with pieces by students from Ueda College of Fashion from Melbourne’s sister city, Osaka.



This year's M/FW Student Award winner, presented by Specsavers, was third year Box Hill Institute Bachelor of Fashion student, Chelsea Subala! The award recognises excellence in innovation, quality, design and their potential to contribute to the future growth of the Australian fashion industry.

The award includes a $3,000 cash prize, a mentorship session with Australian Specsavers design partner, and an internship with design label ELK at their Head Office. Chelsea will also receive an AFC Membership, Industry Mentoring and access to Small Business Workshops through our AFC Curated program. We look forward to working with her throughout the year!

Chelsea said her collection – SLAY – was inspired by people who had mental illness and were suffering anxiety or depression, and it was influenced by Melbourne’s street art graffiti.

The garments that an individual wears is a reflection of themselves, whether they are conscious of it or not. I want to push the boundaries of my consumer outside their comfort zone. It’s about the silent language that is spoken without words.
— Chelsea Subala

Chelsea’s garments use a combination of emulsion screen-printing as well as embroidery. She has always been interested in illustration and fashion textiles and believes she can use her talent to make an impact on society, however large or small.

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A special mention to this year’s 5 AMAZING finalists;

Emily Watson | RMIT University

Jordyn Smith | RMIT University

Megan Taylor | Whitehouse Institute of Design

Sabrina Sekerovski | Kangan Institute

Taelah Aitchison | The Masters Institute for Creative Education


We’ll be sharing the stories behind each of these incredible designers and their collections over the coming months!

You can have a read of previous year’s finalists below.

All images by Lucas Dawson Photography via M/FW