Still from Xinglai Chen – untitled
Xinglai Chen – untitled (still)
Stories & Ideas

Sun 01 Oct 2023

ACMI Goddess x RMIT Fashion Design

ACMI author icon


Your museum of screen culture

ACMI and Major Research Partner RMIT University and their Bachelor of Fashion (Design) program collaborated on a project inspired by Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion.

ACMI worked with RMIT course leaders to provide guidance and critique to the second year fashion students throughout the concept development and production of their designs and short fashion film, culminating in a screening at ACMI.

Explore a selection of the student films below.

Xinglai Chen – untitled

Inspired by the Asian immigrant experience and Michelle Yeoh’s rise to notoriety in the western world, this film explores the concept of fame, stardom and most importantly one’s heritage and identity. The film shines light through the costumes; on when one attempts to strips themselves of their heritage and tries to assimilate into the boarder unfamiliar western world, it always ends in confusion, self-doubt and feelings of dysphoria. When one embraces and celebrates their own background and customs, individual not only honour their true selves but also find the path to genuine achievement and fulfilment.

Harry Prodes – untitled

Pining, trapped behind glass windows a newly ordained Grace Kelly longs for a return to the escape of the silver screen. Donning her costumes again, she acts scenes to empty rooms and dances alone in grand halls, descending into a phantasmagorical state where the hours and days seem to blend together. Constantly teetering on the edge of collapsing, a single tear is all she can express.

Grace Downs – Gaze

The short fashion film Gaze explores the contrast between the male and female gaze within the film industry and how a simple act of getting dressed has been sexualised for the male experience. The film shows the two perspectives side by side to emphasise the voyeuristic, pervy nature of the male gaze. In contrast, the female gaze is multitasking, eye level and fast. This is shown through the portrayal of Kim and Suzi, two young women who are getting dressed to go and protest for women’s rights.

Taylor Nguyen – Reclaim

Reclaim follows a protagonist who is struggling to accept herself and is in constant fear and paranoia that she is being watched and followed. Reclaim starts off during the night in the bustling city and transitions into a backroom where the protagonist is lost and stuck in the maze of hallways and stairs. This symbolises her thoughts of being stuck in a constant loop and being free once she accepts her other self.

Manfred (Hai Wei Wong) – Welcome To The Other Side

Eilif gazes at himself in the bathroom mirror, battling his inner anxieties. Suddenly Lucifer appears in the mirror, turning everything monochrome. EiIif realises his demon self has emerged and quickly leaves the room. Surprisingly, he doesn’t escape Lucifer; instead, he enters a place of imagination. Struggling to find his way back he loses the key that would help him return to reality. This key falls on Lucifer. Lucifer reveals his true identity and enters the real world, now residing in Eilif’s body. It becomes apparent Eilif has accepted his identity and injected life into this other self.

Ke Zhang – Wǒmen

The term "Wǒmen" stands for "females" and, in Chinese pinyin, also represents "us". This film beckons viewers into a room brimming with mystique and dynamism, delving deeply into the multifaceted nature of female identity. Scenes transition seamlessly within this ever-evolving space, alternating between a home, a workplace, a societal milieu, and a personal sanctuary, crafting an ambiance that's both grounded in reality and transcends the mundane. My aspiration is to produce a profound fashion film – emphasising that while attire can be an extension of a woman's persona, it is not her sole identifier, highlighting the diverse roles women play in life and the power that arises from such diversity.

Yichen Han – SCALE

In SCALE, the theme of women's empowerment takes centre stage. Using the scale as a metaphor, it portrays the relentless scrutiny and societal pressures placed on women. These pressures force them into traditional roles as daughters, wives, and mothers, all while maintaining an unattainable standard of beauty. Amidst these challenges, the film serves as a poignant reminder of the need to break free from these confinements. It celebrates the strength and resilience of women who often go unrecognised in a world that fails to acknowledge their true worth. This short film shines a brilliant spotlight on the undying spirit of women, urging us all to recognise and embrace their power.

Irene Tong Li & Charlotte Zimeng Deng – SHE

Our movie tells a story of "she". She can be anyone who has suffered setbacks and blows in life or in the workplace, who has been gradually worn down by the world to fit in and has lost herself in a disguise. On the way home from yet another exhausting day of work, she trudged home. This time she falls asleep on the couch as soon as she arrives home. In a trance she has becomes another person and seemed to have changed back into her true self. She runs around and lets off steam, and feels more relaxed and at ease than she had ever felt before. She awakened from the dream by blinding sunlight. It is already the next day. The dream has woken her up and for the first time she goes on to live for herself and ignores the stupid world.

Major Research Partner

Join our newsletter

Get updates on the latest news, exhibitions, programs, special offers and more.

You might also like