The Australian Fashion Chamber is Australia’s peak industry body for fashion, and Courtney Miller sits in the role of General Manager.
Prior to this, Courtney travelled and worked all over the globe (London, Kenya and Paris to name a few) for organisations like the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Australian Federal Department of Finance, which means she brings a huge amount of knowledge of both Fashion and International Business/Communications to our panel.
Courtney says:
“Fashion is still a tactile industry, we all still need to see/feel/touch. Digital has not replaced these elements in being able to determine quality. From this perspective, I didn’t get to every Grad show this year, and it’s hard to get that from photos as you can hide or accentuate in different ways. Having said that, it’s also the way most of us experience fashion today and how you present is essential to all fashion businesses. ”
In terms of the graduating class of 2016:
“I love seeing graduates collections – they’re invariably filled with passion, excitement and are generally less perturbed by the cynicism we can sometimes have in the industry (the reality of seeing things again and again – although both elements have their merit). It’s so essential for fashion to continue to bring in new ideas, different perspectives and to continually reflect the contemporary issues and trends of our society. It’s what makes in continually fascinating and relevant. And this I believe is a big part of what our graduates do – so thank you!”
Courtney’s selected Emerging Faces to Watch for 2016 are:
VICTORIA BLISS, RMIT
2
“Victoria’s designs are a little unexpected in an Australian context – and the images have more of a modern Scottish moor-like feel. Perhaps I’m over-reading (as we can do in fashion) but this says something of our heritage and landscape to me. And the pieces are layered well so you can deconstruct them.”
ZHUXUAN HE, UTS
5
“Sometimes it’s easy to go with the big flamboyant awe-inspiring fashion piece rather than the one we all know we might actually wear – but Zhuxuan’s beautiful pieces are so romantic and I think we still need that in fashion- there’s movement and colour.”
CLAIRE WOODFIELD, QUT
1
“Fun with a 60’s goodtime girl mixed with 50’s housewife (pearls are back people!) Claire’s pieces talk to each other. So often graduates get carried away and inspired by so many things and try and put it all into this one opportunity. Claire’s obviously brought a bunch of ideas but kept focused which is key in this contemporary fashion world!”
OLIVIA JOHNSTON, TAFE NSW Fashion Design Studio
4
“Olivia is lucky I saw these in the flesh because she has beautiful tailoring that you can’t really see in images. There’s a bit of dark fantasy here and I like the contrast of the clown-like accordion collar in black – something you expect to be lighthearted but is a bit chic in this context.”
 
HEIDI FRAHAMER, Whitehouse Institute of Design (Melbourne)
3
“There’s movement in Heidi’s collection despite it being the coolest looking snow gear! I’m not sure I would attempt heading down the mountain in those flare pants but I wouldn’t go past the drop pant (my partner’s never been keen on those, and consequentially I love them – he just has to deal). I also think Heidi’s experimented with different materials and delivered some great textured pieces.”