High Risk Dressing / Critical Fashion

High Risk Dressing / Critical Fashion looked at the ideas and community coalescing within contemporary fashion practice today through the lens of the Fashion Design Council (FDC). The FDC (1983–1993) was a membership-based organisation established to support, promote and provoke avant-garde Australian fashion, founded by Robert Buckingham, Kate Durham and Robert Pearce.

By using the FDC materials housed within the RMIT Design Archives as a leaping off point, the exhibition opened up and queried ideas promoted by the FDC while looking at the relevance of the Council to contemporary practice today.

Rather than looking back with nostalgia at this rich period of fashion practice, Design Hub Gallery was transformed into a ‘set’ for a month-long program of fashion provocations, cross-disciplinary exchange and contemporary venturous practice.

A new ‘collective’ of contemporary fashion practitioners activated the space through a program of fashion presentations, performances, films, publications and residencies.

The FDC collection—including printed matter, video footage and photographs—was unpacked, discussed and catalogued in a new archive space designed by the studio.

Exhibition design and architecture (FDC collection)
Exhibition visual identity

FDC Newsletter (w. Laura Gardner)
8 pp. each, 243 × 335 mm
Published by RMIT Design Hub
Edited by Laura Gardner and Ziga Testen
Printed in Australia

Laura Gardner and Ziga Testen Studio used the model of the FDC newsletter to produce a take-away, free publication in four editions for the duration of the exhibition. This rapid, finite periodical functioned in extension with the events and practices of High Risk Dressing / Critical Fashion. Laura Gardner worked in the space on Fridays throughout the exhibition.