“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

Picasso said that. Considering his particular vocation, it’s very possible he was referring to artists in the literal sense – painters, sculpters, and so on. However, I believe his meaning was a little more esoteric than that. I like to think Picasso was musing how we maintain our individuality as we get older, forge careers, relationships and families, identify with others, and surround ourselves with similarly minded people.

One channel of self-expression that everyone can access is style. And, fortunately, that particular Art is being properly nurtured at a grass roots level in our country.

The L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival begins tonight, and while it is essentially a week-long junket for Australia’s major department stores, one of the truly exciting events of the schedule is the National Graduate Showcase featuring the brightest design talent of the future.

The Grad Showcase is supported by Sportsgirl, a brand with an impressive history of fostering up and coming fashion talent, and have this year launched ‘The Graduates’ collection. The inaugural range features the designs of the 2011 National Graduate Showcase students, Jessica O’Connor of label Outpost, and Ana Diaz of Diaz, and their pieces will appear in select Sportsgirl stores in the country. Take a look at their designs below:

Sportsgirl’s strategic brand manger, Prue Thomas told Pedestrian, “The selected designers exhibited an unadulterated level of creativity which was not only inspiring but such an incredible starting point in a design career.”

This year’s National Graduate Showcase will be held on Tuesday, 13 March, at L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival and will feature the most talented graduate designers in the country, some of whom will find their designs available in Sportsgirl stores in 2013.

Here is a preview of all the designers who are taking part in the Graduate Showcase and the breadth of talent is fantastic. Oscar Wilde said, “One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.” and in the images below you’ll see some art that is well worth wearing.

View Collection via Sportsgirl