The Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) in  March 2017 saw the city turn into a kaleidoscope of design, colour and collaboration.

With the collection of cultures, people and places forming the fabric that is Victoria, it only seemed right that VAMFF celebrate the voices that have crossed seas, hopped on planes and walked a mile to be here. Study Melbourne’s A Stitch in Time, A Place of Mine does just this. Uniting a string of international students from across Victoria, this a runway with a difference because it’s made from just that.

We sat down with Holmesglen Institute international student and fashion designer Gaelle Marie from Mauritius to learn more about her story ahead of the runway launch on Wednesday 15 March.

Taking a wrong feeling and making it a right one 

Grandparents have a funny way of imparting wisdom, and in Gaelle’s case it came through fabric not fables:

'My love for fashion started at a very young age, learning hand-stitching, knitting and crochet with my grand-mothers during my school holidays. Coming from an artistic and creative family, art always played an important role in my life. If I wasn’t painting or drawing, I was either at my dance classes, learning piano or rehearsing for my upcoming performances in musicals or concerts.'

Following a string of fashion internships in Mauritius including Ciel Group LTD and LionnetFauzo LTTEE, Gaelle took a leap of faith and travelled to Malaysia to complete a Bachelor of Fashion

But the experience fell short of her expectations.

Melbourne - 'an artistic and cultural place'

'I didn’t feel like the environment was right for me. I was looking for an artistic and multicultural place, where I could study and still feel like I was at home, which is why I chose Melbourne.'

Finding her feet in the Southern Hemisphere, Gaelle dived in and it paid off – the designer graduated with a Bachelor of Fashion (Apparel Engineering & Design) in November 2016 at Holmesglen Institute in Melbourne.

'I love Melbourne because it is such a warm, welcoming and artistic city, filled with so many different cultures and breath-taking sceneries.'

Eclore - resort wear inspired by happiness

The result is Eclore –  a resort wear collection inspired by happiness. The collection explores ideas of openness, self-care, health and well-being through pastel cues, paisley prints and therapy.  Fabric has been wrapped and weaved around waistbands and over-sized weaves to represent the growth and development of individual happiness. Her work also uses beaded embroidery and lock prints to add a striking visual effect whilst highlighting how happiness is emerging from the body.

‘I’m really looking forward to seeing my collection at A Stitch in Time, A Place of Mine. Having my collection seen by so many people is overwhelming and I can’t wait.’

A Stitch in Time, A Place of Mine - Gaelle Marie, Holmesglen Institute - see more videos from this event.

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A Stitch in Time, A Place of Mine launched on Wednesday 15 March at The Queen Victoria Market Deli Hall. View our videos at A Stitch in Time, A Place of Mine.