Aussie Fashion, Australian Designer, Australian Fashion

Laura Addis | Fashion Design Studio

November 23
Laura Addis from Fashion Design Studio at Ultimo TAFE Graduate Collection 2020

Laura Addis from Fashion Design Studio at Ultimo TAFE Graduate Collection 2020

In recent weeks, as I do every year, I have been liaising with the wonderful emerging designers from Fashion Design Studio as they move closer to what will be their greatest moment thus far, in their fashion careers. The FDS Graduate Runway. This is where their final collections are put on show celebrating the amazing detail of the many aspects which have made up their fashion design degrees.

The creation of their textile designs alone come into being from the most incredible sources … in one case, from the students own photography. Textiles, dyeing, devore, screen printing … are the basis of the incredible work which is consistently turned out, year in and year out at Fashion Design Studio.  The lecturers are full of heart, love and professionalism. Their enthusiasm and devotion to the industry they love and the people who choose to walk in their original footsteps is unending. To all of them, Alex Zehntner, Laura Washington, Julie, Mary and Narelle, I say “Thank You”. They are the unsung heroes in this story as they are the foundations of the success of the long list of Australian fashion icons that have stepped out of this institution many moons ago now. This year, we are entering a new paradigm for the Graduate Runway, in line with the release of my new project, The Ageless Runway, where I will be walking along with some other silver foxes 🙂 I think we are all aware now that fashion is for everyone, and we all want success for everyone in all sectors of the industry. This is our new future of Australian fashion, and it always starts with those who will literally form the future of our industry … the wonderful emerging talent. In the next little while on the Label Ministry platform I will be showcasing the FDS designers who have chosen to have the golden oldies walk for them.

Stay tuned for the next interview.

In the meantime designer Laura Addis from Manners Please, answered some of my questions …

Enjoy!

Continue Reading…

Aussie Fashion, Australian Designer, Australian Fashion

Claire Marrazza | Fashion Design Studio

November 21
Claire Marrazza and her label Nokoff, graduating student from Fashion Design Studio, Ultimo TAFE 2020

In recent weeks, as I do every year, I have been liaising with the wonderful emerging designers from Fashion Design Studio as they move closer to what will be their greatest moment thus far, in their fashion careers. The FDS Graduate Runway. This is where their final collections are put on show celebrating the amazing detail of the many aspects which have made up their fashion design degrees.

Claire’s name was incredibly familiar to me and as I pondered, I realised that she had been one of the wonderful volunteers at the Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Runway developed and produced by yours truly in 2018 in collaboration with Universal Studios to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Jurassic Park franchise at Australian Technology Park. The first collaboration of its kind for Australian fashion.

I asked Claire how she enjoyed the experience … 

CM

The 2018 Jurassic World event held at Australian Technology Park was the first big fashion event I ever got to experience/work behind the scenes at. The quick changes and energetic atmosphere were super new and exciting to me as a baby fashion student and the event was a great introduction to the inner workings of a runway. It gave me great insight into the organisation and work that goes into a show. It was an invaluable experience.

Meet Claire Merrazza and her label, Nokoff.

Enjoy!

Claire Marrazza and her label Nokoff, graduating student from Fashion Design Studio, Ultimo TAFE 2020

 

What was the driving force for you to study fashion design?

I have always been interested in clothes, dressing up and having fun with fashion. I wanted to study fashion design. It is exciting and is a way for us to express ourselves and be whatever we want to be. The expression of it is limitless.

What are your hopes and dreams for your chosen career as a fashion designer?

I hope to work in and to explore many different facets of the fashion world, from photography, styling and costume to designing, creating and making. I want to collaborate with and meet other creative people, to see lots of new places and to learn as much as I can about my field and about myself.

How would you describe your particular aesthetic and where did the inspiration come from for this aesthetic?

My aesthetic can be described as playful, novel, humorous and colourful. It is simply what comes naturally to me and is generally inspired by how I dress and what I admire in clothes and styling. My designs are a hyperbolic version of how I dress myself. Experimentation with imagery, colour and texture, as well as the idea of “playing dress-ups” are all central parts of my aesthetic.

Who do you see as your customer?

Anyone who wants to have fun with the way they dress and to feel less inhibited. My ideal customer has no age, no gender, and no body type — and  fashion the ideal of fashion which includes everyone is something I hope to encourage.

How much importance do you place on the theatre of “the runway”?

I think the runway is an exciting atmosphere. There are other ways to showcase clothing that are also welcoming and accessible to people, especially those that are new to exploring fashion.

What do you feel is the difference between a successful fashion designer and an unsuccessful fashion designer?

I think a successful fashion designer looks to themselves for reassurance of what they are doing, not to others for trends or profits. To me, staying true to oneself as a designer is what true success means, and it deeply enriches a designer’s work when they do so.

How do you feel the fashion industry has supported you so far?

So far, I have felt most supported by my peers and fellow creatives within the industry. The understanding we have of one another — especially through tough times of self-doubt and unsureness — is one of great importance in an industry so tough.

Claire Marrazza and her label Nokoff, graduating student from Fashion Design Studio, Ultimo TAFE 2020

What changes and level of support would you like to see for the future of the Australian fashion industry?

Increased opportunities for emerging designers is something that I think everyone would like to see in the near future. Graduates have lesser opportunity and are forced into working countless internships before a chance in a design role. The Australian fashion landscape has a lot of growth to do in terms of jobs, variety and inclusiveness and I hope to see that shift sooner rather than later.

What is the hardest thing you have had to face in your journey of the fashion industry so far?

Undoubtably, staying true to what you want to design can be really difficult due to outside pressures and constant exposure to other creatives design work. Not following trends can be really tricky but it is so worth it to stick with your personal vision and what you truly want to create.

What does Australian fashion mean to you and how do you see it in terms of contrast with other countries and regions of the world?

I feel that Australian fashion is a little bit timid and hesitant to jump into the more eccentric and experimental fashion seen in other parts of the world. Australian designers and students have some crazy big talent and I hope they can assist in helping Australia have a bigger standing on the global fashion stage.

What does the word fashion mean to you and the people around you?

Fashion is a means to connect with others and is also a way of exploring and connecting to your own identity through self-expression.

People often describe fashion as vacuous and unnecessary. What would you say to people who hold this opinion?

Unfortunately the fashion world can be very exclusive and polarising, but things are definitely changing. I think we need to keep pushing for a fashion world that includes everyone. To those who say fashion is trivial, I believe that it’s a matter of engaging with the parts of fashion that connects with ones sense of self.

Do you feel excited about your fashion career or do you feel that it is peppered with anxiety about the future?

It changes every day!

Like most creative careers, there are times of anxiety, but the outcomes and exciting times outweigh the fears.

Claire Marrazza and her label Nokoff, graduating student from Fashion Design Studio, Ultimo TAFE 2020

How do you feel about stepping out in the big wide world of fashion after having been in study mode for three years?

It’s scary, but I’m really not  fussed as long as I’m constantly creating and having a good time. I’m looking forward to learning and growing and expanding my skills. So much has changed for me in the last three years since I started studying fashion, and at this rate I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me in the future.

What are you looking forward to the most for your graduate runway and your moment of glory?

To see the work come together as a cohesive collection will be so rewarding. It’s surreal to finally see the illustrations on the page and the ideas in my head become a walking reality.

How do you feel about having older models walk in your show, when this has not been done before.

I’m really excited about it and I think it’s something that will become a permanent change in the industry, which is so important and fantastic.

So often older people are largely excluded from being represented in fashion and are expected to conform to a certain way of dressing.

Fashion should be fun for everyone, and self-expression doesn’t become less important after a certain age.

Amen!

What would you like to see as the format of the runway in the future?

I would love to see a rise in fashion displayed in showcases or performance-art like artist Vanessa Beecroft’s style. I think it’s another way that the designer can create a stronger and more cohesive vision for their collections that enhance the power of the garments.

The creation of their textile designs alone come into being from the most incredible sources … in one case, from the students own photography. Textiles, dyeing, devore, screen printing … are the basis of the incredible work which is consistently turned out, year in and year out at Fashion Design Studio.  The lecturers are full of heart, love and professionalism. Their enthusiasm and devotion to the industry they love and the people who choose to walk in their original footsteps is unending. To all of them, Alex Zehntner, Laura Washington, Julie, Mary and Narelle, I say “Thank You”. They are the unsung heroes in this story as they are the foundations of the success of the long list of Australian fashion icons that have stepped out of this institution many moons ago now. This year, we are entering a new paradigm for the Graduate Runway, in line with the release of my new project, The Ageless Runway, where I will be walking along with some other silver foxes 🙂 I think we are all aware now that fashion is for everyone, and we all want success for everyone in all sectors of the industry. This is our new future of Australian fashion, and it always starts with those who will literally form the future of our industry … the wonderful emerging talent. In the next little while on the Label Ministry platform I will be showcasing the FDS designers who have chosen to have the golden oldies walk for them.

Stay tuned for the next interview …

Until next time,

Jade xx

Label Ministry Logo

Aussie Fashion, Australian Designer, Australian Fashion

Thomas Anderson | Fashion Design Studio

November 18
Thomas Anderson Graduate Collection 2020 Fashion Design Studio TAFE Ultimo Sydney

In recent weeks, as I do every year, I have been liaising with the wonderful emerging designers from Fashion Design Studio as they move closer to what will be their greatest moment thus far, in their fashion careers. The FDS Graduate Runway. This is where their final collections are put on show celebrating the amazing detail of the many aspects which have made up their fashion design degrees.

Enjoy! Continue Reading…

Aussie Fashion, Australian Designer, Australian Fashion

Kiki Ollila | Fashion Design Studio

November 18
Mirka (Kiki) Ollilo and her graduate collection from Fashion Design Studio 2020

In recent weeks, as I do every year, I have been liaising with the wonderful emerging designers from Fashion Design Studio as they move closer to what will be their greatest moment to date … the FDS Graduate Runway. This is where their final collections are put on show celebrating the amazing detail of the many aspects which have made up the entirety thus far, in their fashion design degrees. Continue Reading…

Aussie Fashion, Australian Fashion, Australian Fashion Industry

A Moments Silence

October 13
Jade Cosgrove for the launch of The Ageless Project May 2020

I salute you 2020. You’ve been a total Bitch but as we move to your conclusion, I see your gift.

A Moments Silence if you will Fashionistas … for in our hearts, in our minds, and in our lives, so many of us are mourning the state of what was the Australian fashion industry.

This is an article with a difference. A reflection if you will of 2020. The year where many say twenty-twenty vision represents the spiritual blending of our 3D lives and the deeper understanding of our own souls and purpose for being here.

No longer are we completely satisfied with the cursory glimpse into our fashion futures but I believe so many of us have become moving beacons of light driving forth the importance of our personal dreams and using this awareness to step solidly into our new paradigm. For those of us who see, it is the opportunity for us to step into the finer awareness and greater understanding of all things in our lives, not only our careers but everything that does not ring true or hold proper value.

It has been a time of great sadness to witness the demise of the fashion world, Fashion Week, the retail market; the general fashion vehicle as we know it. The ripple effects of the current destructive mechanisms worldwide have caused the irreparable havoc that is 2020. Paradoxically, it is also a time of pure excitement, incredible opportunity, where long needed changes to the fashion industry can now come into full effect for the benefit of us all.

For those of us who have made fashion industry work our lives, it is a demoralising period indeed. I know I speak for many when I say that many of us are wondering if we will ever work in fashion again.

I have been privy to many complex conversations over the last while. People who seem convinced that at some point everything fashion will return to normal and we will all breathe a huge sigh of relief.  Naturally because of the work I do, I have been asked repeatedly what I see as the ultimate fate of the industry.

It is a sobering moment, is it not, when one realises that the vaults of the vehicle they have supported for so long are completely empty. In this, I realise I am not alone. In a world where the term “equality” was used ad nauseam and so liberally, when there simply wasn’t any is disappointing indeed.

I have been witness to so many talented, creative, and hard working individuals who have never been recognised for their work over the period of many, many years.

At the same time, I have been witness to five minute wonders who have experienced almost celebrity status idolatry in their success and the ridiculous ease of upward movement.

Surely the initiations of talent, hard work and experience should count for everything.

The sad reality has been that it didn’t.

Change as we have seen this year has been incredibly difficult for many.

For the people I know and love in the industry, I have watched carefully their pain through redundancy and their change of choice around their fashion careers, mainly through having no choice at all.  Like so many, I too lost many booked jobs and opportunities due to the unexpected 2020 shenanigans.

I am here however, to bring good news on the fashion front and although you will not be breathing a total sigh of relief after reading this article, I do hope it will bring some level of hope to an industry that we all love.

I promise you, just as the sun greets us every day, we will rise again.

Will it ever be the same, you may ask? Will the industry recover and how might it be fixed?

Certainly not. I don’t believe for one moment, it will be “fixed” or return to what we knew as the norm. I do believe it will most certainly be re-written.

Why?

Because the good folk have been burned people. Badly.

Scorched, in a way that will never be forgotten. And good folk always win in the end. In the exciting rebuilding of the years to come, their work will not only be recognised but they will take their rightful place as the solid, quite achieving leaders they always were.

I hate to say, I told you so, but I have been writing and speaking about this demise for a very long time, not because I have super powers of knowing, but because for way too long I have been witnessing the unfair distribution of goodies within an industry that forgets and disregards far too easily the people who have underpinned the vehicle generously with their beautiful energy, undying commitment, creativity and hard work.

Since when was is it okay to ignore key people in any industry where the loosely used expressions of equality and creative talent swirled around backstage or auditoriums with gay abandon and with no real benefit to anyone? This reality was never a sustainable model and was only ever designed to support those at the top helping themselves to the cream. The Australian fashion industry will no longer just serve a chosen few, many of whom, were self appointed and not even chosen.

Fashion is for everyone, all people, from all places, of all origins, and all ages.  It is one of the reasons that my latest project, The Ageless Runway was developed in the first place.

In our new fashion paradigm all creatives will be involved and their work recognised. All designers will be represented and applauded. All models will be glorified and appreciated. All editors will be invited to sit in prominent positions from which they can report and write their articles. All fashion enthusiasts will be welcome. All budding fashionistas, designers, and groupies will find a place to enjoy one of the most beautiful art forms the world has to offer and nobody will be left out. Simple. I firmly believe that Australian fashion will be rebuilt in a manner of which we will all be proud and I for one cannot wait for the day.

This world needs beauty and lots of it. Beauty uplifts, brings hope and joy to the hearts of us all. Fashion belongs in our world, even more so when we enter periods of change and dystopia.  For those of us who have always resided in the fashion realm, it is inconceivable to think that fashion is on a slippery slope even though it is our current reality.

I predict that much of our fashion world, at least for the moment, will be about community and the people with whom we are already connected, until we have completed our personal Moments of Silence.

We are living through a time where each of us are being asked to stop, reassess, look at our lives and the people in them and decide on our continued pathways. To know who we truly are is the greatest gift on earth, and then, and only then, can we know how to visualise the way forward and the future which is designed for us and therefore, truly authentic.

If you would like to be a part of The Ageless Project please get in touch.  It is the kind of fashion project you have been waiting for. Inclusive, different, and all encompassing in its connection to other industries. If our Moment of Silence has taught me anything, it is that we are not alone. It may feel that way but the way of all of our conscious futures is to know that we are here to work together for the benefit of all.

Australian fashion has taken a hit, there is no doubt, but we will rise again like the Phoenix from the Ashes in a sustainable, productive, and respectful way. One which will pay homage to the real reasons that beauty exists in life and pays ultimate respect to those who are truly deserving.

Enormous thanks to …

Terri Anderson Photography for the love and her devotion to The Ageless Project.

Until next time,

Jade xx

 

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Aussie Fashion, Australian Fashion, Australian Fashion Industry

The Ageless Project 2020

May 14
Jade Cosgrove for the launch of The Ageless Project May 2020

Well it’s May already. May always means something to me, over and above the other months of the year. A few things come to mind. First of all, it is my birthday month. Second it is the time of Fashion Week, (albeit not this year). Thirdly it is the time of year when my heart breathes a sigh of relief, the leaves fall, and with it any lingering heavy energies slip away, ready to be transformed by the crisp and present coolness of winter. A time of reflection, nurturing and the potential creation of ideas ready to ignite and blossom in the Spring. One such project has been in the creative stages for quite some time now, and as all creative people know dreams are not and should not, be manifested too hastily. Continue Reading…

Aussie Fashion, Australian Fashion, Australian Fashion Industry

Unsocial Media

April 28
Jade Cosgrove for the launch of The Ageless Project May 2020

Well, here it is.

The article on social media I have been promising for years. You will notice that I have named it Unsocial Media, so at this junction you will glean an insight into my feelings on the subject. For those who know me professionally and personally you will know that this is a subject close to my heart and you will also be well versed in my opinion about social media and the destruction it causes in peoples lives, young and old. Those same people have been asking repeatedly when I was going to write this article which I have contemplated for a very long time.

For reasons unknown even to myself, apart from my own intuition, I have resisted until now.

It seems the time is now.

For the longest time, I have been watching, observing, discussing, and lamenting the some positives but largely negative impacts of the shiny, interactive platforms we call “social media”. It is a contentious subject at the very least, and one which creates very heated responses very quickly in any group you care to mention, but especially the fashion industry. For at least the last three years at Sydney Fashion Week, sadly cancelled this year, this discussion has been one that doesn’t get old. Most people I’ve spoken with have a love/hate relationship with it for a plethora of valid reasons.

In our current global situation, where social media is playing an even greater role in the lives of nearly everyone we know, it has become alarmingly apparent to me that platforms upon which the fashion world particularly focuses has reached the lowest ebb ever. You might ask which platforms I am referring to? Well, Instagram mostly and Facebook to a lesser degree as I think it is no longer patronised by the fashion world to the extent it once was.

I have seen a rapid decline in interesting content on Instagram and in my opinion it has just turned into a tart. A once interesting, varied, high quality content experience has now mutated into a highly inane and dissatisfying experience of scrolling, and subjection to copious amounts of people yelling at me through automated videos about subjects which hold no interest or connection to my account. Advertisements that I spend my life trying to lessen (when I can be bothered) answering Instagram’s questions about “why I don’t want to see this”. Followed by nauseating low level porn that I have grown so tired of seeing that my eyes glaze over at having to semi-accept the garbage being presented as “content”.

In the hope of not offending anyone, it is also rapidly turning into a vehicle of self promotion for many. Even in the current global circumstances, where most fashion people have literally gone from working jobs to not at all, I have witnessed quite a number of people continuing to self promote, instead of creating vehicles that collectively help the many in order to drive change and hope for all of our fashion futures.

I cannot be the only person who is so irritated by Instagram brands who have no real brick and mortar presence, and therefore no real “skin in the game’. Massive followings, important Instagram space, yes. Don’t we have to question the actual contribution to the industry? Is it not a question of ethics? We are now so vocal about the ethical responsibility of brands, the hows and the wheres of their production but yet we fail to discuss the ethical presence of those brands on social media and the impact they have on the real fashion and retail platforms.

Then of course, there is the subject of the “influencer” and the role they should be allowed to play within our fashion world. Both difficult subjects I know, and believe me,  I have been present in so many discussions around both these subjects. I know how contentious they are and have been in a few heated discussions of my own. I don’t say that there is no place for these things but I am a big fan of bringing elements to the fashion industry at large that serve the collective and not individuals. Our industry can no longer afford or sustain this selfish approach of self serving and self important behaviour.  Things are way too dire for that.  I believe our focus needs to be around contribution and what serves our collective interests and subsequent global recognition.

Rightly or wrongly, I have a very small Instagram following. I think the term for someone like me is a “micro-influencer” in the sense that my following genuinely follows my fashion work. Importantly, I don’t feel the need to have a large following, and as a dear friend and professional colleague of mine said, “keeping track of and controlling social media is a job in itself and if you are a solo business person it’s often hard to do this. You find yourself wasting time trying to work on your social media presence instead of working on your strengths within your business. I find that I have the potential to waste a lot of time trying to understand growing a business via social media, which can be frustrating when that is not your strength. It can also be hard to navigate the authenticity of accounts and products, as people tend to believe in products simply if they have a good account with lots of followers, which can be just smoke and mirrors”.

Perfectly described don’t you think? And no, she is not old like I am so it is not a generational difference.

To further this narrative, some years ago now, I well remember speaking to another in the fashion world; a beautiful, successful, young woman who described her feelings around social media like she was a cardboard cutout due to the isolation she felt due to the pressures put upon her by social media.  The expectations, the perfect lifestyle, and the constant perceived requirement to post content, several times each day, which would serve to impress or dare I say “trump”, her followers and friends. I am not suggesting that she fell into this trap, because, we all know it is a trap, right? I am only describing the sentiment of her words and the potential debilitating consequences and subsequent feelings of inadequacy and misery for those who do succumb to its powers. A very real problem in our current world wrapped up in our collective addiction to devices, low attention spans, and our unhealthy patterns of communicating through devices versus open communication.

She also commented that she struggled to come to terms with the level of comparison she felt in all aspects of her life because of her social media accounts. This ranged from her hair, body and beauty choices, her choice of boyfriend, her living quarters, her lifestyle, hobbies and diet. She explained that she felt this led to an inauthentic expression of herself and the resulting inability to live a life that was just her own. She felt the pressure to keep up with her friends and their illusory social media lives was at times, crushing, and perhaps even worse, that her most personal moments, those which she cherished alongside her greatest disappointments were exposed not only for everyone to see, but for all and sundry, many of whom were complete strangers, to comment on and gloat over. My heart melted when I heard her describe the effect social media had had on her young life. Simultaneously, I was extremely heartened to witness her realisation that her own common sense and innate sense of self prevailed as she declared she did not need social media to revel in her own authenticity and shine in her own beautiful essence.

I post to Instagram rarely now. Largely because I am genuinely busy and partly because I don’t want to bore people with content about nothing. I post when I feel I can motivate, inspire or uplift people who genuinely follow my work and whom I can help. In essence, I try only to share the love and the passion of the work I do in Australian Fashion.

My dear friend went on to say, “I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I don’t spend a lot of time on it because I recognise that it can put me in a negative state of mind. I enjoy it in small doses”. She went on to say, “on the other hand I don’t like the feeling that you may be missing out on some particular thing. Being able to look at so many different activities in one quick moment makes you feel you should be packing more into your day/life. It often confuses what your values are in relation to others.  For example, seeing a picture of a mother baking with their child all of a sudden makes you feel like you should be baking with your children, when this isn’t necessarily a passion of yours. 

It can create unnecessary anxiety in this way.

I don’t often feel jealous because I want people to have amazing lives and love people doing well and succeeding. This makes me feel happy, but social media sometimes makes me feel like I’m not doing/achieving what I should be”.

An older person I know, and a mother of three told me that all her kids are completely addicted to social media, particularly her teenage daughter. She said that she personally used social media as a tool, as she regarded it as beneficial and informative for shopping, trends, and news.

Hmmm. I don’t know what I think about that. Shopping? Well, maybe.

Trends? Does the world actually have trends anymore? I think we’ve moved past that.

News? Well, let’s not go there.

She did make the comment that in their (kids) head, social media was their link to the rest of the world and that it was an addiction. I liked her honesty.

My focus is really on whether social media is negative or positive and how it relates to the fashion world. So on we go.

There is something else that really worries me about the social media world and its particular relevance to the fashion world.

It is just me? … or are many young women and men starting to look like each other?

This insistent and consistent trend for the young ones to look the “same” is really disturbing.

Why and how have we created and consented to a world where individual differences are not celebrated? I am not talking about runways, only general audience here. Why have our levels of self esteem plummeted to the all-time-low of not being comfortable with ‘who we truly are’, and if this is truly the paradigm we are happy to accept, what depths of despair awaits us?

Is the older generation of fashionistas responsible for this and if so, did we not have a duty of care to mentor this younger generation of fashion followers? This tendency to over-do everything … fake tan, enhancing boobs, eyelashes, waistlines, and butts is not only ugly but completely unnatural not to mention the shellac! I don’t want to think for a nano second what the health implications might be down the track and don’t even start me on the eyebrows!!! You can hate me if you want, but I say, it is time to reclaim our natural beauty and encourage the young ones to do the same, in all our glory. We all possess beauty in one form or another, and the tendency to want to look like each other is an aspect which belongs to sheep not the human race.

My purpose in writing this article is not to bad mouth social media as part of me does recognise its benefits, although I do believe that many accounts are reducing to all time lows as every day passes. I do however see a lot of misery and sadness created by this illusory reality which takes us away from our blessed daily lives and the beautiful experience that living in every moment can provide. Whilst our heads are buried in our phones and our social media accounts, real opportunities and real life friendships are walking by. I encourage you to be led by your heart, and return to your true fashion souls. Be who you are and be proud of you. Be strong in your sense of self and by all means, beautify your magnificent self.  I don’t mean to put guidelines around what this might mean for you as individuals, for of course, that is not my place. I also love to beautify myself, and for all the people that love and know me … they will tell you … I am as vain as all Hell!

Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that!

In the heyday of my styling years, I used to tell the scores of women and men I styled, and occasionally even now when I fall back to that work, “look into that mirror and have the courage to see the beautiful soul that is looking back at you. Allow your tears to flow in the realisation of who you truly are, and adorn your magnificent self appropriately”.

It seems the pertinent moment in time to let all you beautiful fashion people know, that I have cried real tears for the state of the fashion world right now. I come however with a message of great hope and to let all of you know that all will be well.

Yes, our industry will change and perhaps the new fashion world will be unrecognisable to some. It is a change that has been coming for a very long time, and one that is timely and sadly, very necessary.

Our new fashion space will be refreshingly re-calibrated, and those people who were temporarily acting as place holders, but who never really cared, will fall away.

Those who remain will be the real deal ; The leaders ; Those who hold, and who always have, held the vision of what is to come and those who possess the ability to take it to new heights ; Those people will rebuild the amazingness of what has never been in question – the brilliance of Australian Fashion.

Be a vehicle of light everyone and hold your heads high. This too shall pass and when it does, the landscape of Australian Fashion will never look so bright …

Watch this space.

Until next time,

Jade xx

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Australian Designer, Australian Fashion, Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial

“Gone Bush” … New York Fashion Week 2020

February 4
Charlotte Terry & Julianne Propsting | The Arlo Studio

A couple of years ago, I was sitting front row at the Fashion Design Studio‘s graduate runway as I do each and every year. It is my yearly gift to FDS that I write an article about the emerging designers who most stand out for me and to support the incredible contribution and long list of enormously successful designers which have called FDS their home.  Continue Reading…

Australian Designer, Australian Fashion, Australian Fashion Industry

My Journey … FROW to RUNWAY

May 28
A model shows a creation by Australian designer Aqua Blu during Fashion Week Australia in Sydney on May 16, 2019. (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP) (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

Jade Cosgrove of Label Ministry and Reuben Cheok walking the catwalk at Sydney's Fashion Week at MBFWA Resort 2020 in Aqua Blu Resort May 2019

Well, I’ve just had my birthday and that always means one thing … Fashion Week is over.

This year Sydney Fashion Week was a completely different experience for its devotees, as many less than positive media articles have already touched on. An event usually well patronised, it was unusually quiet and I have to agree that it wasn’t the well oiled machine of times past. But I think we can all agree we are in changing times aren’t we and as such, are collectively witnessing phenomenal transformations.

The absolute highlight this year was the Aqua Blu show; always a hit in the eyes of the media worldwide, but this year even more so.

For me, the Aqua Blu show rocked for a totally different and very personal reason.

You’ll notice the title of this article. FROW TO RUNWAY … My Journey.

Let me explain. Usually, I get to hang out in the front row …

Continue Reading…

Aussie Fashion, Australian Designer, Australian Fashion, Australian Fashion Industry

The Innovators – Fashion Design Studio 2019

May 13
Sarah Moore - MANON. The Innovators show at Carriageworks Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2019

So here we are again.

Fashion Week 2019.

It started with a bang last night at the AJE show which opened the week and which all fashionistas and industry heavy-weights wait for.

My fashion family are around me again. Simply. Excitement and hugs all ’round.

Day 1 this year is the day ‘The Innovators’, the FDS Alumni get to show Australian fashion devotees what they are truly capable of, not to mention the direction in which our beloved industry is travelling.

I am always in awe of the talent which struts that runway and this year will be no different. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that we are in for something really special.

I literally can’t wait to grace the FROW. I don’t always get to sit in the FROW and I am totally happy with that.  I feel privileged to be able to attend any of the shows and feel blessed to be seated at all.

Sitting in the front row however at The Innovators show is an essential, because it is from this vantage point that I and many others can truly appreciate the blood, sweat and tears which have been spilled over these intricate and varied collections. Every detail, stitch, and beads of anxious perspiration that has baptised every, single, piece.

For these young designers, Fashion Week is EVERYTHING.

It is their introduction to playing with the Big Kids on the Block, and I should imagine it has its bloody scary moments.

I sat down and had a chat with Alex Zehntner, Senior Design Lecturer, followed by some insights of some of the designers who will be showing this year.

Please … Share the LOVE!

Fashion Week LOVE! Reuben Cheok, Fashionizer.TV and Jade Cosgrove, Label Ministry.

Fashion Week LOVE! Reuben Cheok, Fashionizer.TV and Jade Cosgrove, Label Ministry.

Alex Zehntner.

Senior Design Lecturer, person extraordinaire, lover of style, and creative mentor to Fashion Design Studio is utterly dedicated to the legacy we create for Australian emerging fashion designers.

We caught up this morning and he shared his thoughts about why FDS churns out the most fabulous talent, time and again, each and every year filling our fashion minds with respect and our fashion hearts with joy.

“All our full time staff have been with the school for over a decade, and have exceptional hands-on skills in all areas.  We also work closely and carefully with industry experts who act as guest lecturers in their areas of speciality.  Also, our part time teachers are currently working in the Australian fashion industry.

We are committed to teaching our students the importance of conceptual and original thinking. To understand the crucial and full aspects of the design process is key – from inception through to completion.  There is enormous focus on traditional hand skills such as bespoke tailoring, couture hand finishing, menswear and sportswear, textile printing and surface design.

All students must be committed to building and successfully developing strong skills in all areas of fashion, fashion design, the history of fashion and its evolution, pattern cutting, drawing, textile and CAD design as well as business acumen.

This is done extensively and students dedicate hours to each subject. They must be deemed competent in order to pass each subject allowing them opportunity to continue on with the course.

Once they have completed two very intense years they are required to focus on a third year, culminating in their fashion design degree.  This final year is filled with notions of collaborations and sustainability and this is infused consistently throughout the course.  Also, in this final year, the students are guided through the global fashion industry and introduced to local and international artisans and contacts to create their final collections.

We already have a fabulous vehicle to showcase the seemingly never-ending talent that is FDS, but we need the industry itself to support emerging designers through financial grants, government interest and funding. A general nurturing and support from Australian industry platforms at large is necessary.

It is our greatest desire to see this sector grow so that we are able to provide the proper legacy for this country’s future fashion designers; something so many who have gone before, have been able to take for granted”.

Alex Zehntner – Senior Lecturer, Fashion Design Studio.

 

Sarah Moore – MANON

I began my career in nutrition after studying Health Science straight out of school, however I felt that something was missing from my life. After a period of reflection I decided follow my passion for beautiful, interesting and unusual fashion and become a fashion designer.

My short term plan was to work for a label so I could gain some insights into the industry and how it works. Now that I have completed fashion design I dream of having my own label and potentially working away from Sydney.

My label, MANON possesses a dark and moody tone.  It sits in alignment with my desire to finding beauty in the duality and darker things in life.

I am drawn to monochromatic looks and garments which promote the layering of texture versus colour.

My choice in using limited colours forces me to broaden my aesthetic through the mastering of patterning and textile manipulations.  Establishing the “signature” of my brand was the easiest part, and it is deeply linked in with my true nature and aspirations. My process is always developed around the particular mood and feeling that I want to convey and is always represented in the mixed media images which I create.

The target age for my brand is for women between 25-40 as I feel there is a significant gap in the market for this demographic. I focus on sustainability in my design process and this allows me to create garments which are “forever wearable”. I pay attention to utilising subtraction cutting methods which importantly reduce fabric wastage and wherever possible I include locally sourced natural fibres. FDS is not for the faint hearted.  The course is tough and full-on, but I have left with enormously strong skills. I am extremely grateful for the wealth of knowledge which I can now confidently build my fashion future on.

 

Sarah Moore - MANON. The Innovators show at Carriageworks Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2019

 

Sarah Moore - MANON. The Innovators show at Carriageworks Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2019

 

Sarah Moore - MANON. The Innovators show at Carriageworks Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2019

 

Sarah Moore - MANON. The Innovators show at Carriageworks Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2019

 

Sarah Moore - MANON. The Innovators show at Carriageworks Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2019

 

Sarah Moore - MANON. The Innovators show at Carriageworks Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2019

George Habibeh

It’s very easy to learn to sew, design and create, but to take all this to a further level, requires an immense amount of well, sacrifice.

To manifest the dream of fashion week, every waking second must be devoted to the cause. For me being mentally prepared and strong is a very important aspect. Sitting in four walls, most days, can take its toll. Having systems in place to stay focused and motivated is important. Ted-Talks, fashion documentaries and fashion movies have kept me inspired. Strong support systems, family and my teachers at college with whom I could be open and honest were key.

Studying, FDS industry night, and now Fashion Week. My biggest anxiety was being able to juggle everything. I was never concerned about my skill of sewing, cutting or construction. I work 3-4 days in the industry and am blessed to have a brilliant team of hand sewers who did help me with hand work and embellishments.

Australian born to Lebanese parents, provided the combination of two very different cultures and has allowed me to break the mould of couture in Australian fashion. The excess and luxury of middle eastern fashion flows through my collections and my label is totally made in Australia.

This years collection “Azrael” is a narrative based on women and mental and emotional trauma. My demographic is women who have an appreciation for quality, handmade and intricately detailed garments. Couture is a very detailed, precise and tactile form of construction.

I’ve always loved the notion of a “Couture Maison”. To create an empire, home based to live, work, and meet clients is my dream.

One of the few things that the Australian fashion platform is missing, is support.

Label Ministry and other similar platforms are a fundamental cog in the fashion machine. It is so important that there are people writing about designers, getting to know who they are, what they do, and how they get to the point of creating a collection.

I find that Australian fashion has long been extremely commercialised; the sad reality is that designers that once made it due to their innovation and creativity are slowing acquiescing to the demands of what sells.

George Habbibeh - Collection for The Innovators at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2019 at Carriageworks

 

George Habbibeh - Collection for The Innovators at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2019 at Carriageworks

 

George Habbibeh - Collection for The Innovators at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2019 at Carriageworks

 

George Habbibeh - Collection for The Innovators at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2019 at Carriageworks

 

George Habbibeh - Collection for The Innovators at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2019 at Carriageworks

 

George Habbibeh - Collection for The Innovators at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2019 at Carriageworks

Mia Rodriguez – Mi’an’Mar

I’ve literally always wanted to be a fashion designer – right down to my early days in kindergarten where we asked to draw what we wanted to be. Mine said. Mia – Fashion Designer.

It means a great deal to be involved in Fashion Week. Long, long nights and hard work have paid off.

The opportunity is something I have been working towards for the last three years of my fashion life. I hope that literally everyone loves my collection.

Building dreams of a career in fashion is not an easy thing to accomplish and it is platforms like Label Ministry which help us to gain confidence in our careers, bringing publicity and attention through the coverage of our journeys, and to instil the importance in our minds of working hard and understanding that this equals success.

I have enormous confidence in my designs as I alone know, how much work goes into them. Naturally I hope that the industry at large will see this too. The fashion world is so hectic, but it is really a buzz to see  everyone gathering around a runway to see what I have been designing and creating. 

I’ve had a blast at FDS and looking back on it I have experienced such amazing moments. Our buying trip to China and India with our incredible design teacher, and then on to Paris and London for couture. Now Fashion Week! It’s so incredible. 

I think the teachers at Fashion Design Studio … ROCK!

They care so much and they really push for all of us to succeed and excel!

In the lyrics of a song I liked, I remember the words …  “He is not fancy; he just wears black”.

This epitomised the underlying basis of my brand aesthetic and largely formed the reason I use so much colour.

I think it’s fun to be bold and to be seen! You only live once so why go under the radar?

I use illustrations for all my garments and I firmly believe the inside should be just as important as the outside. If you look inside of any of my garments you’ll see hand drawn printed linings that tell a story. 

I think, being a part of the fashion industry it’s so hard not to compare your designs and style to others, but I think my most brilliant moment was realising that there is no point comparing and now I can really embrace myself, my aesthetic and joyfully, my fashion future.

Mi’an’Mar … stands on its own.

 

Mia Rodriguez - Mi'an'Mar - The Innovators show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2019 at Carriageworks

 

Mia Rodriguez - Mi'an'Mar - The Innovators show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2019 at Carriageworks

 

Mia Rodriguez - Mi'an'Mar - The Innovators show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2019 at Carriageworks

 

 

Mia Rodriguez - Mi'an'Mar - The Innovators show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2019 at Carriageworks

Kate Ineson

Ineson’s aesthetic is refined, sophisticated, deconstructed, with a focus on tailoring, feminine draping and silhouettes designed to flatter the body.

The label, while highly conceptual, is firmly focused on remaining wearable and long lasting. It is designed for women of all ages, not trend focused. 

Ineson almost exclusively used natural fibres.

I am ethically aware, and where I have outsourced labour, it has been done in Australia and a fair wage has always been paid.

Once the label goes into production, I would need to produce overseas however I would strive to always seek ethical options.

I studied and continue to explore traditional and unique pattern making methods. My collection merges these processes and expands upon them. This experimental approach creates the innovative silhouettes and details that Ineson strongly identifies with.

I think my passion and skill in pattern making is what sets me apart. My design process is mainly pattern making. I am not a designer who can design through illustration – I design as I drape and pattern make.

The textiles for this collection are inspired by Kylie Minogue’s music video, Slow, a pop-culture reference rich with elements which draw inspiration from a Barcelona skyline, rippling waters, and sunbathers upon pool tiles. 

I chose to study at FDS because of their incredible Alumni.

The intensity and fast pace of the course means that only the students with passion and talent are successful.

Kate Ineson - The Innovators - Fashion Design Studio Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2019 at Carriageworks

 

 

Kate Ineson - The Innovators - Fashion Design Studio Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2019 at Carriageworks

 

Kate Ineson - The Innovators - Fashion Design Studio Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2019 at Carriageworks

 

Kate Ineson - The Innovators - Fashion Design Studio Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2019 at Carriageworks

 

Meet the designers here |

Sarah Moore MANON THE LABEL |

George Habibeh |

Mia Rodriguez MI’AN’MAR |

Kate Ineson

Until next time,

Jade xx