Sustainable designs at forefront for Melbourne Fashion Week

Three fashion students at Kangan Institute have been selected for 2021 Melbourne Fashion Week’s Student Collections Runway, with sustainability a strong theme across their collections.

The students are:

  • Michaela Eddington, of Bentleigh
  • Napaorn (Pang) Suksawatsak, of Windsor
  • Kai James, of Essendon

Currently completing the Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising at Cremorne campus, the students will each showcase a personal collection made up of three looks on the Student Runway on Friday 19 November.

Participating designers will also be in the running for Melbourne Fashion Week’s Student Designer Award, which will be announced on the night.

Sally Curtain, Chief Executive at Kangan Institute congratulated the students on being selected for the event.

“Melbourne Fashion Week’s Student Collections Runway is a highly coveted event for fashion students all around the state and we’re very proud of Michaela, Pang and Kai for being selected amidst such intense competition,” said Ms Curtain.

“Their success reflects their personal talent and drive, as well as the strong support they receive from teachers at Kangan Institute’s Cremorne campus.”

Genna Hughes, Acting Director for Professional and Creative Industries at Kangan Institute, added that the students’ skills, creativity and personal inspirations will be evident at the show.

“We can expect to see quality, skill and creativity on the runway, reflective of our students’ unique inspirations and lived experiences,” said Ms Hughes.

“Though not a requirement, they have also chosen to embrace sustainable and eco-friendly principles when sourcing materials, designing and producing many of their garments, which deeply resonates with Kangan Institute’s sustainable ethos within our fashion programs.”

Melbourne Fashion Week runs from 15-21 November 2021, with tickets now available for the Student Collections Runway. Learn more about our fashion courses at Cremorne Campus at



Michaela Eddington, collection title: Opulence

“I have a vision for what I want to do with my life – not just to have a career in fashion but to bring more awareness to why sustainable and ethical fashion is important for the future of fashion and the world.

“I feel ecstatic that my designs have been acknowledged and chosen for the student runway. I'm also really excited to have this opportunity to show how sustainable fashion can still look luxurious and be desirable through the innovative materials and ideas incorporated in the collection.”

26-year-old Michaela Eddington previously studied a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Media and Communications, and worked in retail. Her true passion, however, lies with fashion design so she decided to take a leap and return to studying fashion at TAFE.

Opulence features six garments inspired by 1930s Hollywood glamour and art deco style.

The collection features sustainable materials such as biopolymer sheets (made from algae) cut and manipulated with heat to create 3-D flower embellishments. The collection also features textile waste such as recycled metal and beads salvaged from second-hand garments.

Napaorn (Pang) Suksawatsak, collection title: Avenir

“I’m incorporating inspirations from different continents and cultures into my design. Being concerned about climate change and global warming, I’m also using eco-friendly materials in my collection.

“I’m so excited to be shortlisted for Melbourne Fashion Week’s student runway and I feel like I’m one step closer to my dream of launching my own clothing brand.”

Growing up in Thailand, Pang Suksawatsak was always interested in fashion, especially when it came to sketching and painting clothes. Fashion studies was a natural progression for the 22-yearold who hopes to design her own clothing brand in the future.

Avenir (‘future’ in French) reflects Pang’s vision of a future world defined by global citizenship and multiple cultures.

Sustainability is a strong theme with second-hand clothing, remnant fabric and other eco-friendly materials used to produce the garments.

Kai James, collection title: Palace of Versailles
“I decided to study fashion as I have always had a passion and love for creating extraordinary things. I feel truly honoured to be shortlisted for Melbourne Fashion Week and I'm so excited to see everyone’s finished creations.”

Captivated by the Napoleonic and Elizabethan eras, 19-year-old Kai James is bringing the splendour of the past into his designs.

Custom-designed prints inspired by stained glass windows, architectural plans and framed portraits at the Notre Dame Cathedral and Buckingham Palace are a key feature of his collection, complemented with gothic Victorian silhouettes.

His collection uses natural fabrics like Australian superfine merino wool, wool suiting and cotton velvet – with graphic designs printed on these fabrics using reactive ink printing for a lasting effect.

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