Corsetry and couture womenswear with Amanda Nichols

30 Aug 2023

Amanda Nichols is passionate about fashion and textiles. She has worked as a costume cutter and maker for film and haute couture. Her film credits include Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Australia’, ‘The Great Gatsby’ and Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien: Covenant’. Amanda has also worked for the haute couture Atelier Caraco Canezou, producing garments for Givenchy and Schiaparelli.

Amanda holds a Bachelor of Arts in Visual, Textiles and Printmedia from the Australian National University; a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Costume from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA); and a Master’s degree -Fashion/Apparel Design, RMIT.

In 2015 Amanda received the Gilbert Spottiswood Churchill Fellowship to travel to France, Japan and the United Kingdom to develop expertise in the traditional and current practices of corsetry and couture womenswear. On her return, Amanda decided to change her career path, undertaking a Master’s degree in Fashion and Apparel Design at RMIT.

In 2019 Amanda received the prestigious Australian Fashion Foundation Award for her graduating project for her Master of Fashion (Design) providing her with $US20,000 ($27,880) to obtain overseas experience. She was also included in the VAMFF National Graduate Showcase and included in an exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria for an audience with Anna Wintour.

Today Amanda Nichols is a Melbourne-based designer and founder of Replica Project. Amanda’s training in film and haute couture informs a multi-layered practice that interrogates the complex connections between costume and fashion.

Between 2018 and February Amanda established The Replica Project – a micro fashion enterprise exploring the ‘replica’ as a design methodology within the shared territory of fashion and costume. The ethos is to maintain a sustainable business model offering annual capsule wardrobes with each garment designed to be worn together and each project worn with the previous. Between October 2019 and August 2020 Amanda worked in New York on Wardrobe NYC – design and production development. The Replica Project helps Amanda explore her film costume career through a new lens, backed up by the research and analytical skills she gained at RMIT.

You can read Amanda’s Churchill Fellowship report here

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