One of the celebrated end-of-year events on the MLC calendar is the annual Fashion Parade, showcasing the creations of over 50 Year 11 and 12 students of VCE Product Design (Fashion), as well as several Year 12 IB Art students who also choose to partake.
One of the pieces created this year is by Year 12 student Chloe Hartley, who chose to weave in a celebration of her Indigenous heritage within her dress.
“I was inspired by my culture, which I wanted to combine with my love for art,” Chloe says. “This led me to paint my totems and my model’s totem, and screen-print this onto fabric to create my garment.”
Chloe, who hails from Darwin, is part of the Larrakia Nation as well as the Miriwoong Nation in Western Australia.
She began boarding at MLC in 2017, saying, “I knew it would be an amazing opportunity and I wanted to further my education.”
Choosing to study fashion seemed like an obvious choice for the artistic student, who also studies VCE Fine Arts.
“Studying this subject has been a truly amazing experience,” says Chloe. “I’ve never done anything like it in terms of connecting my culture with fashion.”
Whilst fine-tuning her design over the course of the year, Chloe enlisted the help of fellow boarder Fiona Harrison, Year 9, to be her model and showcase wearing the dress.
“I chose Fiona not only for her Indigenous background but because she has such amazing confidence and a beautiful personality, which then enhances the importance of the dress. We have also both grown closer in the creation of the garment!”
Now preparing for her final Year 12 exams, Chloe has her eyes set on the future, with the strong thought of her home community.
“I absolutely love fashion,” she says, “but my heart really lies with social work. I have always wanted to work with children. In the future, I want to work with my Aboriginal community so I can give back to my people.”
Fiona models Chloe's dress: