Adele Varcoe

Adele side portrait

Adele Varcoe

Alumni, RMIT University

Research Summary: Feeling Fashion is a proposition for a new kind of fashion practice employing ‘selfing’, scoring and drawing to interrogate, isolate and feel fashion through my body and the bodies of others. Informed by ideas that fashion is “the invisible elements included in clothing” (Kawamura 2005), is “beyond the objects that materialise it” (Marchetti 2007) and is a “social animal” (Mallarme 1933), this research proposes that fashion is something we feel, rather than see. The research questions how fashion affects social relations between people. If fashion can be understood as immaterial or invisible how does a fashion practitioner go about making fashion?


Biography: Adele Varcoe is an Australian artist and designer who creates transformative experiences that explore the social affects of fashion, dress and clothes. She brings people together to construct participatory performances that explore the elusive nature of fashion.

Working with actors, models and the public Adele investigates how fashion affects the interactions and relations between us. She is interested in the behaviour fashion evokes and the role social interaction plays in shaping our perception of dress.

Adele has created performances worldwide- highlights include: State of Fashion: Searching for the new Luxury, Arnhem 2018, Fremantle Festival 2019, MONA FOMA 2018, 2019 & 2020, Festival of Live Art at Arts House 2018, The Future of Fashion is Now at Boijmans Museum, Rotterdam and Fashioned Feelings at Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. In 2017 Adele and her team won best live art project for her project ‘Onesie World’ at Vrystaat Arts Festival in South Africa. In 2016 she completed her PhD titled ‘Feeling Fashion’ in the School of Fashion and Textiles at RMIT where she now teaches.


Group of people in pink onesies playing with large inflatable ball

Onesie World, presented as part of MONA FOMA 2018 & 2019