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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

 

Australian Designer, Australian Fashion, Australian Fashion Industry

Fashion Design Studio 2018

November 27
Models standing backstage at the Fashion Design Studio Graduate Runway 2018 at Ultimo TAFE

Tonight, I had the pleasure of attending the Fashion Design Studio’s 2018 annual graduate runway.

The eagerly awaited fashion spectacle which showcases the most celebrated of their students.  The outstanding and often times breathtaking talent is awe inspiring and one must always remember that we are, in that very moment, bearing witness to those who will be the future heroes of the Australian fashion industry.

May I open with this.

Fashion design is not for the faint hearted.

Models standing backstage with Jade Cosgrove, CEO Label Ministry at the Fashion Design Studio Graduate Runway 2018 at Ultimo TAFE

Photography | Romualdo Nubla Studio MOR+ | Fashion Design Studio Graduate Runway 2018

Continue Reading…

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Global Fashion Industry, New Zealand Fashion Week

Orange Is The New Black

October 15
A model walks the runway in a design by Ruscoe during the New Generation Emerging Couture show during New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 at Viaduct Events Centre on August 28, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

If you’ve been keeping up with our latest articles, you already know that Label Ministry ventured to lovely Auckland for New Zealand Fashion Week in August this year.

While most of Jade’s mission at NZFW revolved around the production of the unreal runway show for Heaven Swimwear I was lucky enough to have some time to kick back in the front-row of several other shows.

While I relished my time at every show, one label stood out among the rest. An… orange diamond in the (not-at-all) rough, if you will …

Enjoy xx

Continue Reading…

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Global Fashion Industry, New Zealand Fashion Week

Romance with Rachel Mills

October 5
Rachel Mills at New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 in Auckland, seen and written about by intern Sophie.

As you know Label Ministry recently visited New Zealand for fashion week. I was there to cover and work on the Heaven swimwear show for which I crafted the involvement of none other than the amazing Imogen Anthony, beauty extraordinaire and one of the best walkers of the catwalk I have ever seen.

This year for the first time, I travelled with Sophie, my wonderful intern who will, as I explained in a previous article be contributing to Label Ministry from now on. It is a most gleeful subject that Label Ministry is growing at an incredibly exciting rate and Sophie’s experience in the Australian fashion industry is greatly welcomed and appreciated. She is experienced in fashion public relations and writing as I am sure you will find evident in her article below on Rachel Mills …

Say a big hello!

Jade X

Sophie van den Bogaerde

Sophie van den Bogaerde

Rachel Mills gently set in motion day two of New Zealand Fashion week this Tuesday gone. They are an Auckland-based womenswear label committed to sustainability and the sole use of local manufacturers. The label is based on seeking to “transform the process of getting dressed into a ritual rather than a chore.” Their designs can only be described as gracefully modern and charming, and the Rachel Mills Fashion week session captured this entirely.

Rachel Mills at New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 in Auckland, seen and written about by intern Sophie.

The intimate installation was essentially a room for spectators to walk through, broken up by the blocking of different models against hanging material. It took place in The Studio of the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre, inducing a sense of ease in all of us who, (at first hazily), wandered through the room. The studio itself had high ceilings and a definite industrial sense about it, which made it feel, when set against the installation, like a New York loft apartment or a quiet street when one meandered within it.

Rachel Mills at New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 in Auckland, seen and written about by intern Sophie.

Almost every piece in the collection was simplistic but embellished tastefully with romantic wraps, folds, relaxed fits, clinched-waists and tie details. The colour palette mostly stuck to light-greys, whites, and neutrals, with the occasional delightful pop of lemon or electric blue. The result: A willowy, sophisticated, feminine, effortlessly-cool vibe. The pieces on show largely tailored to smart-casual looks, but could be suitable for any occasion that calls for an understated yet chic beauty.

Rachel Mills at New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 in Auckland, seen and written about by intern Sophie.

The piece that stood out most for me was the ‘Divided Pants’ in Harlequin spot and organic multi check, available now online for pre-order. (IMAGE: Divided Pant.jpg). The pants are split into two different halves: A soft cotton check in pale purple and white, and a silky black and white polka dot. They can be styled to look almost like a wrap maxi-skirt, or just left looking like trousers. I don’t quite understand the mechanics behind the pants and how they transform, but they were very flattering on model Diana Anuenue who sported them styled as a skirt on the day, and something I’m dying to get my hands on.

Rachel Mills at New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 in Auckland, seen and written about by intern Sophie.

 

The room was dimmed, while the beautiful wistful-looking models were lit up against sheer curtains that evoked the feeling of a lazy Sunday morning. Most notable among them was stunning model Raina Masters, who commanded the room with her warm disposition and enthusiasm to quietly work with those photographing her, making for an enjoyable and personable event so different to that of many other installations.

Rachel Mills at New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 in Auckland, seen and written about by intern Sophie.

Cinematic projections played out against the fabric backdrops, with the enchanting live vocals of Lilly Carron weaving a post-breakup mood that was utterly dreamy and captivating. It was as though Lilly’s presence was a ‘final destination’ within the installation, as at first it seemed that the vocals were recorded. Alas- no. Lilly’s voice really was that hauntingly beautiful live, and added the final touch needed to concoct Rachel Mills’ magical session. Lilly Carron is certainly one to keep an eye on for those interested in the music scene looking to support local vocalists as well as local fashion labels.

Rachel Mills at New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 in Auckland, seen and written about by intern Sophie.

The whole thing had me wanting to own and wear every piece on show, while sitting in a cafe, gazing out a window at rainy streets with Lilly’s rendition of Etta James’ ‘I Would Rather Go Blind’ on repeat.

Rachel Mills at New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 in Auckland, seen and written about by intern Sophie.

If it was Rachel Mills’ intention to have me wanting to stay a while with a book and a hot cup of tea…

She certainly succeeded.

Rachel Mills | Instagram

Until next time,

Sophie xx

Label Ministry Logo

 

 

Australian Fashion Industry, Beauty, Editorial, Health

The Grey Haired Revolution

September 27
Rebecca O'Hearn, founder of Smart. Casual. Classic.

This year I was fortunate enough to meet a wonderful inspiring woman by the name of Rebecca O’Hearn, the founder of a website which you may have heard of … Smart. Casual. Classic.

A website, refreshingly aimed at the 45+ market age and imperfection is almost the centre point for all it represents and encompasses. A wonderful juxtaposition of style, health, and fashion for the older market.

With a background in Australian magazines and media, she spent seven years with FHM where her position culminated as the Fashion and Grooming Editor. She then went on to be the Fashion Editor of Woman’s Day, and during her time there, Bauer launched Yours magazine for which she became Fashion Editor also. In 2017 Bauer closed the title at which time she directed her passions online to her current website.

Bec describes Smart. Casual. Classic as the “market out there who are starving for relevant content for the mature Australian woman”.

Continue Reading…

Australian Designer, Australian Fashion Industry

Heaven Swimwear

September 20
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 28: Model Imogen Anthony prepares backstage ahead of the Swim and Activewear Collective show during New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 at Viaduct Events Centre on August 28, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Imogen Anthony

As many of you will already know, in August of this year I travelled to Auckland, New Zealand to work on the Heaven Swimwear show.

As a show producer, fashion editor and stylist I was privileged to bring on board for this event, the beautiful Imogen Anthony who walked for the show. The first time ever that an Australian swimwear label has shown in NZ.

And walk she did.

Like a boss.

And … mustn’t forget the gorgeous boys!

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 28: Model Imogen Anthony prepares backstage ahead of the Swim and Activewear Collective show during New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 at Viaduct Events Centre on August 28, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Imogen Anthony

This article however is to celebrate the designer behind this ever growing label Heaven who has now stepped in to some very large shoes after the Creative Director of Oz Swim Group, Kristian Chase has decided to concentrate solely on designing the globally acclaimed sister label Aqua Blu.

Enter Stephanie Cunningham …

LM

Stephanie Cunningham started her Fashion Design degree in 2008 at Whitehouse. Starting with sixty in the course, it soon reduced to twenty five. Right from her point of graduation, Stephanie went straight to Hussy as an intern and describes this as most fortuitous as it pushed her into the industry straight away. They produced womens clothing, shoes and accessories. From there she went into a hands-on-role in sampling and designing for a girl who started a formal wear label. From there. she moved across to a label which produced a maternity line. As strange as that seems it gave Stephanie three solid years of well rounded and invaluable experience.  As the fabrics were all stretch it provided Stephanie with the knowledge and all she needed to know about creating fashion “with a bump”. During this time, the label opened a physical store, so Stephanie learned to interact with customers to find out exactly what they wanted.  After that she went to bridal wear, again dealing directly with customers which allowed her to see the design process right through from start to finish.  She then started to design for herself and finally moved across into swimwear.

LM

What is the only aesthetic you haven’t worked on so far?

SC

Probably, denim …

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 28: Model Imogen Anthony prepares backstage ahead of the Swim and Activewear Collective show during New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 at Viaduct Events Centre on August 28, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Imogen Anthony

LM

In your experience, what does the customer want?

SC

The customer wants “the familiar” but not something that has been done before.  For example, women love the crop top but my job is not just to re-create the crop top.  It is to take the popular item and add fresh, new elements to create a new masterpiece.

In my mind, this is the problem with Instagram brands who churn out the same thing.  I think the design element is missing and does not consider what the customer wants.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 28: A model walks the runway in a design by Heaven Swimwear during the Swim and Activewear Collective show during New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 at Viaduct Events Centre on August 28, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images)

LM

What is your opinion of social media?

SC

I love social media and as the same time, I hate social media.

People who follow Instagram closely seem to take so much notice of the influencers but some of the brands saturate Instagram so much with the same material that there is a real pressure for everyone to look the same.

Heaven has strongly pushed the view forward that our customers do not have to look like everyone else.  I think we are helping people to realise that they don’t have to look like they are all the same and that in reality, colour and individuality speak volumes.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 28: Model Imogen Anthony prepares backstage ahead of the Swim and Activewear Collective show during New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 at Viaduct Events Centre on August 28, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Imogen Anthony

LM

Why do you think people who follow Instagram feel like it’s important to look the same?

SC

I think it’s because of the celebrity culture, and everyone is desperate to fit in.

Slightly older groups have the opinion that they don’t want to be the same, but the younger demographic does not know anything different and therefore, don’t have the confidence to be completely individual.

We are seeing lately a translation of older designs, and the revival culture is huge which really equals a trend. To me, this proves that we are not completely innovating as much as we could, and this is why we try to be as creative as we can at Heaven to fill in those fashion and social gaps.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 28: Model Imogen Anthony prepares backstage ahead of the Swim and Activewear Collective show during New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 at Viaduct Events Centre on August 28, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Imogen Anthony

LM

What is your opinion of the influencer?

SC

In some ways I think that the influencer is unnecessary due to the the constant saturation of that one person and one general style.

On the other hand, I feel that it can work well, as long as the influencer translates specifically to the brand that they are aligned with.

There is an obsessive tendency around the culture of Instagram and influencers, so I would prefer to see “quality over quantity”. The exposure should be about the brand, not the influencer.

The saturation point has reached an all time high and over exposure can reverse the benefits to a brand.

At Heaven we are extremely careful to research the value of the influencer to make sure that it is right for our brand and not just an avenue to provide the influencer with free content.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 28: A model walks the runway in a design by Heaven Swimwear during the Swim and Activewear Collective show during New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 at Viaduct Events Centre on August 28, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images)

LM

What is your opinion of paid posts on Instagram?

SC

In my opinion that would be need to be attached to specific strategy and my feeling is many Instagram brands are fleeting and this is the reason why.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 28: A model walks the runway in a design by Heaven Swimwear during the Swim and Activewear Collective show during New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 at Viaduct Events Centre on August 28, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images)

LM

What do you think about influencers sitting in the FROW at events?

SC

I think the same strategy applies, and for my brand it is important that loyalty for our customers is paramount.

The industry people who attend our shows actually bring something to the event, the industry, the brand and its culture. They are not just there for the selfies.

It is the difference between having a brand that has the real world aspects; bricks and mortar office space, staff, sewing rooms, etc and the desire to be globally successful and recognised. Very different to some of todays “Instagram” brands.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 28: Model Imogen Anthony prepares backstage ahead of the Swim and Activewear Collective show during New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 at Viaduct Events Centre on August 28, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Imogen Anthony

LM

What keeps the Heaven brand so well patronised and popular is the attention you pay to your customers and quite simply the quality. Would you agree?

SC

Yes. We work hard at those aspects and they have always been at the pinnacle of our brand motivation.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 28: Model Imogen Anthony prepares backstage ahead of the Swim and Activewear Collective show during New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 at Viaduct Events Centre on August 28, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Imogen Anthony

LM

I was reading an article the other day about the huge problem of things being worn, and then returned in massive numbers via online shopping portals. What is your view about this problem?

SC

I think it comes back to the same old problem that we can’t see, feel and try the garment and therefore our motivation becomes purchasing for the instant adrenalin rush of something new, the Instagram post and the ultimate “like”. It is no longer about the garment, but more so about the moment.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 28: A model walks the runway in a design by Heaven Swimwear during the Swim and Activewear Collective show during New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 at Viaduct Events Centre on August 28, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images)

LM

Where do you see the future of Heaven?

SC

Well, quite literally at the moment? … the sky’s the limit.

LM

Funny about that … it is after all called Heaven 🙂

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 28: A model walks the runway in a design by Heaven Swimwear during the Swim and Activewear Collective show during New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 at Viaduct Events Centre on August 28, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images)

THANKS to:

Model Extraordinaire | Imogen Anthony

Imogen’s Team | JayMillionaires

Photography | Thanks to Fiona Goodall of Getty Images for the photographs.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 28: A model walks the runway in a design by Heaven Swimwear during the Swim and Activewear Collective show during New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 at Viaduct Events Centre on August 28, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images)

Check out the beautiful, luxurious garments by Heaven.

Follow them on Instagram.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 28: Model Imogen Anthony prepares backstage ahead of the Swim and Activewear Collective show during New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 at Viaduct Events Centre on August 28, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Imogen Anthony

Until next time,

Jade xx

 

 

 

 

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Global Fashion Industry

Meet Sophie

September 13
Sophie van den Bogaerde

It has been an extraordinary journey watching Label Ministry grow, and grow it has.

After the epic success and completion of the Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Runway in collaboration with Universal Brand Development earlier this year it was time to introduce a young new face to the Label Ministry platform to weave an even greater complexity of magic.

I don’t know about you but I simply don’t believe in looking for things or people.  I believe that whatever and whomever you need to meet, and whatever is right for you, will find you.

My theory holds strong with regards to Sophie who will be contributing to Label Ministry and the next stage of iconic brand building. Label Ministry does not welcome fashion egos or fashion industry tantrums. We are driven by passion and the necessity for hard work to create important change.

Sophie Van Den Bogaerde grew up abroad which instilled in her an insatiable curiosity of all things creative. Completing a BA in Creative Writing and European studies her interests led her to the fashion industry about which she is passionate. Her childhood was filled with using her “lead pencil set very seriously”; carving out designs and entire looks for all manner of clothing on models. She says, “I have always had a fascination with the way people decorate themselves”.

I thought long and hard about that sentence.  It made me remember and reflect upon the very moment that I realised: I always have as well. 

It is, I think, the deeply resonant and unwavering knowledge that the way people dress is an art form all in itself and the unmistakable worldly material stamp of individualising ourselves.

When we realise that ones clothes are not only just the way they choose to cover themselves on a daily basis, we start to realise it often has a much deeper attachment to who they really are.

She continued to explain that her interest in fashion “comes from a delight in both the creation and the observation of personal expression, and that the fashion world hones in on the subconscious expression and statement we make everyday to the world”.

It feels to me at this point like my own words are being spoken …

Sophie will be a contributing editor and her new gig will start with covering some recent exciting fashion news after we both attended New Zealand Fashion Week at the end of August.

Sophie van den Bogaerde

Notably, the amazing swimwear label Heaven, sister label to the globally recognised Aqua Blu showed on the New Zealand platform; the first time ever that an Australian swimwear label has shown in New Zealand.

Led by Creative Director extraordinaire Kristian Chase and Heaven’s designer, Stephanie Cunningham the show was one of the highlights. The wonderfully colourful and superbly created collection always speaks for itself.

To add to the excitement, A SUUPEER exciting personality, no other than Imogen Anthony, walked the iconic show … and you can read all about that in the next article!

New Zealand fashion has always been one of my favourites to follow. Historically, they have consistently produced wonderful labels.  The likes of Trelise Cooper, Zambesi, Kate Sylvester and Karen Walker to mention but a few.

I asked Sophie some questions about her views regarding Australian fashion.

LM

As a young woman, what do you look for when scouring for labels to buy? Which are your favourite labels?

Sophie

I do like labels but for me it’s more about unique pieces.  Patterns and shapes draw me in by way of the energy of the fabric and textures. I look at the way it’s made and I look for detailing like contrast stitching which makes it different to the things I already have or that other people have.

LM

What are your views about ethical and sustainable practices? Do these aspects cause you to buy certain labels?

Sophie

Ethical production is important to me and I am concerned about sustainability. I’m glad about the movement but it doesn’t stop me from buying a label if I like it.  I do however like Afends – shirts and street wear for younger people, made out of recycled materials and hemp. I am also a fan of Windsor Smith, New Balance, One Teaspoon, Maurie & Eve, May The Label, Levis,.

I love Aussie labels but I gravitate to the UK aesthetic. I like brands but I am not a slave to them.  I like branded pieces to add to my eclectic mix.

LM

What is your opinion of on line shopping?

Sophie

I think it can be very disappointing and for me it is not the most immersive experience. 

Merchandising is essential. I tire easily when I am shopping so online shopping does feed my need for quietness, but it is not a salubrious experience and it encourages fast fashion which I am not a fan of. Also, more often than not it is poor quality product.

LM

What do you think of fast fashion?

Sophie

It is very easy to be drawn into but I try to stay away from it now.  Quite obviously it is targeted at teens and people who follow social media and who are clearly heavily affected by trends.

I simply don’t go in anymore as I know that I will end up not liking it after a very short period of time.

LM

What is your opinion of “influencers”? As a young woman, do you feel they add to the fashion industry at large?

Sophie

The concept of influencers is a complete puzzle to me simply because I am not really sure what they do. 

I don’t understand why we are influenced by them. It is different to me if the are a celebrity, a singer etc but popularity on Instagram for the sake of it?

No. For me, it is a waste of resources.

How can companies justify paying money … Why?

LM

What is your style and from what and from whom do you take inspiration?

Sophie

My style is ever-changing. I would like to think, funky. I like to live stylistically “around the edges”. Ripped, grunge, dark lipsticks. I love alternate patterns but I am not really alternative. I love turtlenecks and I take inspiration from the nineties.

When I was younger I looked for inspiration from Lana Del Rey, Cara Delevingne but now I am just solid in who I am.

LM

Have you ever thought that in our current world many young women strive to look the same? Why is this?

Sophie

Yes.

I believe it is because of Instagram and the way of our modern “influencing culture”.

It discourages individualism and the confidence to just be who you are for fear of lack of acceptance.

Sophie van den Bogaerde

LM

What is your opinion about cosmetic procedures on young women?

Sophie

I actually think it is really sad. Warped. Unfortunate.

LM

Are you a fan of social media? What do you see as the positives and the negatives?

Sophie

Yes, but not completely. I am not obsessed and dogmatic about it. Often, I question its validity and the strangeness of its influence.

I can see that some positivity could be the avenues to communicate new ideas, fashion styles and looks.

I do feel however that it is alienating and most certainly not based on reality.

Everyones likes really amount to nothing, and whilst this may have some benefit for businesses, individuals who rely on it to feed their self esteem is definitely problematic.

LM

Thank you Sophie.

And. A BIG welcome. Your specialness has found its fashion home.

Until next time,

Jade xx

Australian Designer, Australian Fashion Industry, MBFWA

BACKSTAGE #mbfwa2018

June 14
Backstage at Fashion Design Studio at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Sydney at Carriageworks 2018.

Backstage at Fashion Design Studio at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Sydney at Carriageworks 2018.

Fashion Week is always special. And strangely, always, each and every year, in a different way.

For me, arriving there one year since the last time felt strange.  So much has happened in one year, and quite literally months of my life had been devoted to a very important project, both for myself and for the Australian fashion industry.  Those of you who know me, and now there are many, you will know that that project was none other than the Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Runway, held in April of this year. I was thrilled to be able to work with, encourage, and develop the designers with whom I was so closely aligned on this project, as well as developing the concept in this country of working with international big guns who see benefit in fashion collaboration.  This has long been my vision and I hope to see much more of it in the future.

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