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Australian Designer, Australian Fashion Industry, Global Fashion Industry, Interview

Heavenly Scarves

August 16
Model sitting in a photographic shoot wearing an emerald green dress on a colourful green patterned modern chair, covered in green colourful scarves.

She is feminine, vulnerable, creative, and kind. Always confident and probably an environmental activist. Supremely human, flawed, constantly in flux, and always learning. A perfectionist of course, and highly passionate, but not fettered by the passing of time or conventional boundaries. Aspiring to soar and constantly on the search for inner and outer freedom, she has embarked on a life long journey to find creative fulfilment through which she can finally liberate her soul.

Linda Valentina Avramides

Model sitting for a photographic shoot for designer scarf label Valentina Avramides wrapped in a scarf and wearing a faux cream shaggy jacket.

Photography | Karlstrom Creatives | Hair & MUA | Chris Chisato Arai | Stylist | Jade Cosgrove | Label Ministry | Production | Cartel Public Relations | Model | Kyra Charalambu

One of the things that I love most about Australian fashion is the freedom of expression, inspiration and diversity that is ever-changing, ever-present and ever-evolving.  One such brilliant example is Valentina Avramides, a wonderfully luxurious, colourful and contemporary scarf range.  The collection exudes sophistication, class and finesse. I am not especially a scarf ‘donner’ but since discovering the superb quality and silky luxury, I am proud to announce that I am probably the newest convert. Scarves, especially silk, are incredibly versatile and they hide a multitude of sins, not to mention incredibly warm in cold weather.  The designer, Linda Avramides, a Sydney graphic artist, has just launched her first collection. Her strict upbringing ensured that old Hollywood films took the place of her social life and early influencers were the glamorous and great iconic beauties, Ava, Grace, Audrey, Elizabeth, Natalie and Sophia, who engendered a love of photography, architecture and dance. About to unleash her creative masterpieces in London, Paris, Dubai and New York, the collection is available for pre-order now at Valentina Avramides … but you better get in fast girl because these babies won’t last for long!

Model sitting for a photographic shoot for designer scarf label Valentina Avramides in a red dress and high black shoes.

Photography | Karlstrom Creatives | Hair & MUA | Chris Chisato Arai | Stylist | Jade Cosgrove | Label Ministry | Production | Cartel Public Relations | Model | Kyra Charalambu

LM

How was the Valentina Avramides label concept birthed?

VA

I was inspired to do a show of my paintings in 2012, ‘Spirit Dance’; a series of illustrations depicting women in various stages of life and love. The paintings were multi media; collage, Japanese ink brush, vinyl paint, watercolour and pen on parchment. Deeply inspired by the fluidity and energy of dance, I knew it would transpose beautifully on silk showcasing the flow and sensuality inherent in its texture. This showing lead to the creation of my scarf collection where women can literally wear the specific dance of their own life’s journey.

LM

You once mentioned that the inspiration for your label comes from outside of yourself. Please explain the relationship you have to your product?

VA

This is true of creative processes for all people, however, I believe I am especially and consciously connected with my angels. When I began to paint, I had no clear vision; no real idea.

Just raw passion.  An inspired, subconscious emotion. Almost a blind compulsion, which I felt the need to express and communicate visually.

At times, I would paint and rest and then I was asked to continue. It was almost trance like. I felt my hand was guided, a little like automatic writing. When the feeling of my trance subsided, I knew my image was completed.

Model sitting for a photographic shoot for designer scarf label Valentina Avramides wearing a black dress and scarf wrapped around her head.

Photography | Karlstrom Creatives | Hair & MUA | Chris Chisato Arai | Stylist | Jade Cosgrove | Label Ministry | Production | Cartel Public Relations | Model | Kyra Charalambu

LM

Who is the Valentina Avramides woman?

VA

She is feminine, vulnerable, creative, and kind. Always confident and probably an environmental activist. Supremely human, flawed, constantly in flux, and always learning. A perfectionist of course, and highly passionate, but not fettered by the passing of time or conventional boundaries. Aspiring to soar and constantly on the search for inner and outer freedom, she has embarked on a life long journey to find creative fulfilment through which she can finally liberate her soul.

LM

How did you decide upon the chosen colour palette?

VA

I am very well known for my monochromatic, and grey tonal wardrobe. I almost never wear colour or patterns. I believe strongly that colour heals. I intuitively choose colours to reflect a particular mood and soothe my aura. That is why I always adorn my tonal canvas with a bright flash of colour. A ring, a statement piece… a scarf.

In early 2012 I visited the retrospective Picasso exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW, ‘Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris’. I was truly transported by the fluidity of line and extraordinary use of colour to convey narrative and emotion, as well as his ability to depict the female form in all its unique beauty. I was compelled and inspired to paint again.

LM

Where do you see your product in years to come?

VA

I see my scarves in huge demand in all the exclusive boutiques and stores throughout the world, bringing to light Australian design as leading edge and as current as any major fashion capital.

I also intend to expand my range incorporating silk evening coats, wraps, stoles and silk designer evening bags.

Model sitting for a photographic shoot for designer scarf label Valentina Avramides wearing a white contemporary jacket, white pants, lounging on a purple lounge.

Photography | Karlstrom Creatives | Hair & MUA | Chris Chisato Arai | Stylist | Jade Cosgrove | Label Ministry | Production | Cartel Public Relations | Model | Kyra Charalambu

LM

What kind of retailers will stock your luxury scarf label?

VA

High end, exclusive retailers throughout the world across the globe.

LM

What designers are your heroes?

VA

Christian Dior has inspired me in all its incarnations, from its inception to its latest collections. I would always opt for vintage Dior and Dior inspired creations.

LM

You have always believed that your product is most suited to the overseas market. Why is that?

VA

I find there is greater sophistication and emphasis on history and culture in Europe. I have strong family ties and friends scattered throughout the world. Culturally I align myself more with a European salon than the Australian outdoors and beach culture.

Model sitting for a photographic shoot for designer scarf label Valentina Avramides in a black dress and high black shoes.

Photography | Karlstrom Creatives | Hair & MUA | Chris Chisato Arai | Stylist | Jade Cosgrove | Label Ministry | Production | Cartel Public Relations | Model | Kyra Charalambu

LM

Your range consists of three different sizes and two different styles? What inspired you to create the feminine tie, as well as the conventional square scarf style?

VA

In my first collection, I found that the large square scarf was a shape that would best showcase the proportions of my paintings and artwork. I then expanded my collection with a smaller version of the square scarf to make it more versatile, later bringing in the tie scarf which is unisex and current.

I have always found my design inspiration in street-style as opposed to runway. My silk scarves are statement pieces that add an edge to any wardrobe and the ties can be worn as statement unisex jewellery.

LM

Your scarves are made in Australia, with only the hand rolling of the square scarves being finished overseas. How important is Australian manufacturing to you?

VA

I believe in supporting local industry and talent, in the same way that I wish to be encouraged and mentored by my peers. I worked closely with Think Positive (Digital Fabric Printers). A group of artists and technicians who strive to maintain high values, have uncompromising attention to detail, strict quality control and believe strongly in sustainability.

Model sitting for a photographic shoot for designer scarf label Valentina Avramides in an emerald green top with open shoulders and white trouser.

Photography | Karlstrom Creatives | Hair & MUA | Chris Chisato Arai | Stylist | Jade Cosgrove | Label Ministry | Production | Cartel Public Relations | Model | Kyra Charalambu

As an Australian artist I want to collaborate with like-minded, creative Australians. Australian design is leading edge and world class, and we must commit to our future by nurturing the amazing talent we have here.

LM

What do you see as the current problems in the Australian fashion industry? Do you feel supported?

VA

I feel that new designers need help to establish a business plan and general business advice. Too many designers start big, invest big and fail quickly.

LM

I know we don’t like to focus on difficulty, but it does inspire other designers to know of your challenges when launching a label. What have yours been?

VA

My biggest challenges have been to find locally made fabric, an almost impossible task, and competitively priced local hand finishers in order to produce a 100% Australian designed and manufactured product.

Model sitting in a photographic shoot wearing an emerald green dress on a colourful green patterned modern chair, covered in green colourful scarves.

Photography | Karlstrom Creatives | Hair & MUA | Chris Chisato Arai | Stylist | Jade Cosgrove | Label Ministry | Production | Cartel Public Relations | Model | Kyra Charalambu

LM

How important is it for you, to follow the dream of realising your own label?

VA

I believe totally in my creativity and passion which is reflected in the Valentina Avramides label.

It is and will continue to be, my life’s work.

LM

You see your label in London, Paris and New York … what retailers do you hope will stock your amazing collection?

VA

Saks, Barneys, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Harrods, Victoria BeckhamGalleries Lafayette in Paris, and Corso Como in Milan.

Model sitting for a photographic shoot for designer scarf label Valentina Avramides wearing a black dress with converse.

Photography | Karlstrom Creatives | Hair & MUA | Chris Chisato Arai | Stylist | Jade Cosgrove | Label Ministry | Production | Cartel Public Relations | Model | Kyra Charalambu

LM

What advice would you give to someone who is starting their own label?

VA

To carefully do your research, have a clear business plan, and engage professional advice.

LM

How would you like Australian designers and creatives to be better supported?

VA

I would like to see more open access to government grants and workshops for new emerging designers.

LM

When can we look forward to another collection?

VA

2018!

Model sitting for a photographic shoot for designer scarf label Valentina Avramides wearing a black strapless bra and covered in a scarf.

Photography | Karlstrom Creatives | Hair & MUA | Chris Chisato Arai | Stylist | Jade Cosgrove | Label Ministry | Production | Cartel Public Relations | Model | Kyra Charalambu

LM

What Australian designers inspire you?

VA

Zimmermann, Scanlan & Theodore, Constantina, Dion Lee

LM

And international?

VA

Giambattista Valli, Gucci, Prada, Christian Dior, Armani, Nina Ricci, Nicolas Ghesquiere, Balenciaga and Lanvin

LM

How would you best describe the Australian aesthetic?

VA

Colourful, outdoorsy, wild, unfettered and free.

LM

Where do you see yourself in five years from now?

VA

Designing my successful label and travelling between the major, global fashion capitals.

Meet Valentina Avramides on Instagram

Shop Valentina Avramides … pre-order now!

Model sitting for a photographic shoot for designer scarf label Valentina Avramides wearing a black open shoulder top, white pants on a bright yellow chair.

Photography | Karlstrom Creatives | Hair & MUA | Chris Chisato Arai | Stylist | Jade Cosgrove | Label Ministry | Production | Cartel Public Relations | Model | Kyra Charalambu

 

Accreditations

Designer | Linda Valentina Avramides

Photography | Karlstrom Creatives

Hair & MUA | Chris Chisato Arai

Stylist | Jade Cosgrove | Label Ministry

Production | Cartel Public Relations

Model | Kyra Charalambu

 

Until next time,

Jade xx

 

Interiors, Interview, Shopping

Queen of Interiors

July 26

In every industry, there is always a gem. Often, within the sparkling facets of that gem, there is a special person who knows their trade like no other.

They live and breathe the ups and downs, the successes and the disappointments like riding the proverbial wave. Except that the swell which carries this wave is usually the wave of passion, in this case, driven by a love of beauty, and the momentum of which is carried forth by success, inspiration and joy.

It was my pleasure some months ago, after having been a long time devotee and advocate of the Horgan’s product, that I met Marion Horgan. She is the name and inspiration behind the impressive importing and exporting business which has been influencing the world of design, particularly in this country, for four decades.

I know only too well the finer details of running your own ship and the stormy seas that often need to be navigated. To actually meet the woman who started this business … well, let’s just say I was more than privileged.

For those of you who follow me, you will know only too well that fashion is usually my game and usually my only game, but every now and then I feel so inspired by someone that crosses my path, I need to tell the world.

As I have worked in the world of fashion for what seems like forever now, it is only natural that my related travels would bring me into contact with the fabulous creative people in the world of interiors. It is my belief that interiors sit very firmly on the fringe of the fashion industry anyhow, so the apparent blending of the two is the perfect marriage.

Horgan’s is the most exquisite mix of gorgeousness, luxury, beauty, comfort and creative homeliness I have ever had the pleasure of standing amongst.

Marion has the quirky knack of sourcing pieces that no-one else has, which can, and mostly do, find a place in many a creative residential or retail setting.

In our current design world we have become accustomed, unfortunately, to the hideous boring homogenisation of, well, pretty much everything.

You can imagine how delighted I was to find myself so deliciously inspired!

I so wish that more fashion retailers would embrace the idea of interesting spaces by making use of beautiful and inspirational furniture, tables, chairs, sofas, rugs, and lighting which could so easily enhance their stores and their labels.

It is so important to understand that the experience of the consumer is not only about finding wonderful fashion labels to swoon over, buy, and wear to death … but also about the all important retail shopping experience.

Once this country can embrace the merits of marrying the amazing fashion label with an energised, brilliant injection of beauty gained through interior masterminds like Marion Horgan, maybe our retail climate will start to climb to the heights of greatness once again.

A stairway to heaven you might say … at least of the fashion kind.

Enjoy xx

Blue velvet luxury sofa by Horgans interiors.

LM

I believe you started Horgan’s in 1983. What inspired you to create the business?

MH

My love of homewares and all that is associated. As a teenager, I started styling my own bedroom and making my own clothing as I needed an outlet for my creativeness. I was always thinking how I could make something more interesting but beautiful at the same time.

LM

Where did your love of interiors come from?

MH

My mother – she was house proud and had a sense of style in everything she did and wore. She knew where to position furniture and how to just add a beautiful edge whether it be a painting, cushion or flowers.

LM

What do you attribute your talent for buying and finding wonderful, original items?

MH

Comes from within – it’s my passion.

LM

What do you believe makes the “soul” of an interior?

MH

It needs to be a space where people feel comfortable – a space they want to be in.

Perhaps this means that they can just be in awe of the space in which they are standing, or that the space just evokes a feeling of peace.

This can be achieved with personal touches and pieces of interest. It needs to excite the senses whether it be colour, luxe textiles or aromas like the use of candles.

The key to a great space is that itt must be calming.

LM

What is your opinion of our current homogenised world of design? Why do you think we have arrived at this point?

MH

So many people today just follow what they see on Instagram and duplicate it. Thus everything in the end becomes “vanilla”.

LM

What do you believe makes an exceptional designer, fashion or interior?

MH

One that stands out from the crowd – not being a slave to current trends.

LM

I would love to see the retail world of fashion embrace fabulous inspirational interiors. Wouldn’t you?

MH

Yes absolutely, they complement each other perfectly.

LM

What attributes do you believe are necessary to be a wonderful successful designer?

MH

Passion, passion and more passion … and hard work … you must be humble in success.

LM

Are you a lover of colour? Or do you prefer the monochromatic palette?

MH

Both.

LM

Who are your favourite, iconic interior designers?

MH

At the moment, Axel Vervoordt with his wonderful Wabi Sabi style.

LM

What have you learned after being in business for forty years and what advice would you give someone who is thinking of travelling a similar path?

MH

You need to have a strong passion for what you are doing and be able to have confidence in your vision.  

To be a leader you need to take risks and be different.

The greatest joy is that today, difference is embraced, especially for women.

They are now being properly recognised within my industry which is very different from when I started.

As with all success, it is sustained with vision, commitment and hard work.

Find out more about Horgan’s here.

Horgan’s Instagram

Until next time,

Jade xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian Fashion Industry

Ruby … Queen of Swim

June 11
Model Bridget with long dark hair modelling the latest designs of LunarSand swimwear collection, Deliverance on a Sydney beach.

Australian swimwear label LunarSand was conceived, fittingly, on the iconic stretch of beach, the last frontier, Seal Rocks.

Birthed in 2015, the label grew from the concept of strength and energy, inspired by the moon and the earth. The epitome of wholeness and magic.

Ruby Licciardi is the iconic name behind the LunarSand label. She has been dubbed Australia’s hottest emerging swimwear designer.

The collections are quite simply ‘wearable art’ and the label renowned for its edgy, unique and feminine style.

Model Bridget with long dark hair modelling the latest designs of LunarSand swimwear collection, Deliverance on a Sydney beach.

Photographer | Dan Gosse | Model | Bridget Rootsey | Styling | Ruby Licciardi |

Ruby says LunarSand “embraces the wild, creative energy synonymous with the LunarSand range and its devoted tribe of empowered goddesses”.

Ruby is well known for her vibrant, dynamic prints. Her specific talent is firmly augmented in garment and print engineering, allowing the pieces to perfectly sculpt and contour the female body. This creates perfect balance and visual rhythm.

Model Bridget with long dark hair modelling the latest designs of LunarSand swimwear collection, Deliverance on a Sydney beach.

Photographer | Dan Gosse | Model | Bridget Rootsey | Styling | Ruby Licciardi |

LunarSand has released three collections to date.

Arch Empress, Ardent Sea and Felix. The Felix the Cat collection was the result of exclusive invitation by DreamWorks Pictures USA, The First Thread and The Design Residency.

Model Bridget with long dark hair modelling the latest designs of LunarSand swimwear collection, Deliverance on a Sydney beach.

Photographer | Dan Gosse | Model | Bridget Rootsey | Styling | Ruby Licciardi |

Deliverance, launched in May 2017 will be available to purchase in October 2017.

Close your eyes. Breathe. Inhale the soft, cool air deep into your lungs. Spread your veiled wings, and soar!!!

Deliverance is a collection that lives for the golden hours. The dusk and the dawn. those delicious golden hours that are filled with lucidity.

Unified and connected by freedom of body and mind, Deliverance is sophisticated, powerful and sleek, possessing gritty undertones.

The colourways are deep and luxurious. Subtle and understated.

Accentuated by metallic trims, the subtle palette of nude, grey, black and white are complimented by dusty pinks, turquoise and forest greens.

The prints reference geometric ikats and cicada wings, creating diverse, varied, and flattering silhouettes which shine brightly and independently.

Deliverance embodies athleticism and inspires a contemporary and refreshing approach to the traditional bikini and one-piece.

Model Bridget with long dark hair modelling the latest designs of LunarSand swimwear collection, Deliverance on a Sydney beach.

Photographer | Dan Gosse | Model | Bridget Rootsey | Styling | Ruby Licciardi |

It can be seen on the runway in October this year at the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival.

Support LunarSand … Shop the label

Meet Ruby …

Until next time,

Jade xx

Interior Design, Interview, Shopping

Suzie Anderson Home

May 29
Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

I recently had the pleasure of wandering into Suzie Anderson Home in Moss Vale.  For those of you who have not yet discovered this beautiful store, Suzie Anderson is a haven of exquisite homewares, a fairytale of interior inspiration, and quite simply ‘the’ grown up playground for anyone who has a love of interiors and design. Suzie Anderson and her partner Dave have created a wondrous space where one can amble through endless vestibules portraying individual rooms. Not only does this give the impression of being in one’s home but it offers continual moments of delight as one discovers yet another gorgeous intimate and inspiring space. Once owning the beautiful and renowned Hopewood House in Bowral, Suzie is no stranger to beautiful interiors or a beautiful home. She wanted her customer to experience her interior collection in this way and that, coupled with the perhaps the friendliest staff I have ever encountered makes any visit just magical.  When you’re next in the Southern Highlands be sure to pay them a visit. Enjoy xx

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

What inspired you to create the Suzie Anderson Home brand?

SA

I had been buying and selling a mix of old and new pieces on  a part time basis while bringing up my three gorgeous children.  I started with a small stand at the Sydney Antique Centre. I enjoyed going to auctions, garage sales and then overseas antique and trade fairs to fill my home and my little stand. Eventually we had a shop in Paddington selling mainly French antiques and decorative pieces.

On moving to the Southern Highlands I felt my style had broadened after travelling to other countries.  A colleague suggested I move away from the “French & Country” brand that my business was then named. As I had an interest in creating my  own brand of accessories, it made sense to create the Suzie Anderson Home brand.

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

Where did your love of interior design come from?

SA

I grew up with very creative parents.  There wasn’t a time that I can remember that my Dad wasn’t doing something creative, making models, restoring vintage cars, painting, building dolls houses and my Mum was never one to sit still.  Hook rugging, tapestries, sewing, knitting, making bears … and now gorgeous beanies for our shop.  Our houses were always decorated quite neutrally in soft greens, whites, natural tones which is where I think this aesthetic developed in my own personal style.

When I got married, my (then) husband had a passion for antiques and beautiful furniture.  He and his friends would spend time going to antique auctions and I tagged along and learned a lot along the way.  We renovated many houses, which allowed me to use my passion for interior styling.  We found this both enjoyable and profitable.  Any left over furniture and accessories that may not have worked in the next house could be re-sold in my store.  It was a perfect creative outlet!

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

Your store is like walking into a wonderland of someones real home. Was that your intention?

SA

Yes.  From my first shop, a little terrace, we found it more interesting to display furniture as you would see it in your own home.  So the kitchen of the shop would therefore have kitchen cabinets and benches set up with relevant accessories.  Upstairs in the terrace the bedroom would be set with a bed, chest of drawers, bedsides, linen, lamps etc as you would expect in any normal house.  We didn’t have bulk product of any one type, rather change it up once it sold.  We continued this when we set up our showroom at Hopewood in Bowral and now our store in Moss Vale.  We often get feedback that this is helpful for our customers when seeing items in ‘real life’ settings.  We like our customers to feel they are walking into our home.  We want them to feel comfortable hence the necessity to greet and farewell each person that enters our store as you would if they popped in to our home.

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

Do you offer in-home interior design services?

SA

I am not a trained interior designer, I am a stylist/retailer.  I have styled several of my customers homes and done a lot of styling of homes for sale, which I really enjoy.  It is difficult to balance the demands of running two retail spaces and giving customers the full focus they need when taking on an interior styling job. It can be very time consuming.  More often people are after just a few simple suggestions of how their rooms can be brought together with a few new pieces, a new rug and some better lighting. I can visit their home for a few hours and then they come to the store and we select the right pieces to suit.

LM

I was impressed to learn that you actually custom make sofas for a specific space. For people interested, how does this work?

SA

I work with several different furniture makers who have a wide range of styles from contemporary to classic. Single chairs, ottomans and full modular lounges.  Working with their budget, we  select the size and style suitable for the space, select the fabric, the comfort level, leg styles and colours.  It’s great to work with local makers rather than buying imported lounges. If there is any problem the maker is at hand not oceans away!  The quality difference is noticeable … you do get what you pay for!

LM

Where do you source your product? I know you import from France. How do you decide what to buy and what will sell?

SA

I buy what I like.  I don’t buy on trend.  For me, I am interested in classic, ageless furniture pieces.   I like to have a mix of old and new, I like decorative pieces that tell a story, and wherever possible in a room, I like to incorporate something with a history/soul.  It adds character to new spaces and a comfortability to a room.  I appreciate rooms that are not too uptight!  I source from all over.  It could be a country market in the Highlands or the South of France.  Paris, Singapore and New York trade fairs for new items, Belgium for lighting, Denmark for Christmas decorations, Indonesia for hand made ceramics and rattan … truly anywhere I travel I am on the look out.

As far as knowing what will sell…experience helps with that, but it is like gambling, sometimes you win and sometimes things go to charity stores!  The best thing with shopping for classics, like shopping for a wardrobe, is that they are ageless and do not even go to tomorrow’s land fill.

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

Your shop is unique and inspiring. What and who has inspired the development of your brand?

SA

Thank you for thinking so!  My partner David and I wanted to create a space that felt unique.  In this day of internet shopping, we wanted to be able to offer an experience for our customers.  A place where they are delighted by  friendly, interested staff who are present to talk with about the gift/furniture item/rug/perfume/dress…whatever it may be that they need at that time.

Sometimes people just bring their visiting friends in to have a wander.  To experience our environment. To listen to the music, sample the hand creams, flick through one of over 200 books we have on display, touch the beautiful French linens or play on the grand piano!  It was our intention to engage with the customers senses.  All the things you cannot do when ordering product from behind a computer screen.

Travel has certainly been a huge inspiration for the development of the brand.  I have travelled each year for 2 decades now and each trip has involved an element of discovering new suppliers and makers.  Hotels are also a huge inspiration so I often seek out places that have a strong design element.  I have many moleskin diaries full of sketches of fabrics, furniture and decorative ideas.

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

What is your home like? Does it look like your beautiful store?

SA

My partner just had a little laugh when he saw this question!  Since selling Hopewood, my decorative highlight so far, I have put all my design energies in to the new store.  My new home hasn’t had a thing done to it since I bought two years ago … luckily the bones are great, a 1950’s weatherboard, gorgeous garden, lots of natural light, lovely open plan living and a fireplace.  It was already painted white and so my existing furniture fit in easily.  Easy when you work in a neutral palette.

I did take all the window coverings down as they were bright country floral, so winter is a little chilly!  I also have done nothing about ceiling lighting so each room just has bayonet sockets!  My partner is an electrician so if we had time we could fix things,  but we are kept so busy in the business our home is on the back burner for now!

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

What do you think is the secret of a truly beautiful interior?

SA

Attention paid to all the senses. I think the best rooms have a balance of classic, ageless furniture, harmonious lighting via lamp, wall, floor and spot lighting, the warmth of quality textiles in rugs, sofa coverings, accent colours through cushions and window treatments. Objects on display within the rooms that are unique representations of the people living there.  Items that tell a story about the lives of the owners … pieces from past travels, a few pieces showing their passion for art, gardening or other interests. Music, candles, beautiful coffee table books that invite, surfaces that say ‘use me’, exotic, calming scents, a drinks trolley are all things that “welcome you in”.  I like the fact the a beautiful interior doesn’t have to come at a beautiful price … I have had caravans with beautiful interiors sourced from local flea markets and garage sales and a can of paint!  You can make beautiful interiors on any budget if consideration is paid to the senses.

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

For people who do not have the ability to style their own home or have millions of dollars, what advice could you offer them?

SA

Firstly you have to have the desire to enhance your living environment.  Many people simply use their homes as a place to sleep and don’t place importance on creating their haven.  For those that have an interest but not necessarily the ideas or the spare dollars, I’d suggest looking at the many inspiring images on Tumblr, Pinterest, Houzz, Instagram.  Before these social media platforms I spent a small fortune on home design magazines, locally and imported.  Ouch!  I still have them all as classic style is always there for inspiration so I often revisit my old Cote Sud and Vogue Living magazines for ideas.

Visiting furniture and homewares stores to understand what your true aesthetic is, is really helpful. Some stores won’t move or inspire you … the more you stockpile mental and online image files, you soon find you have a style that you are most attracted to and from there you start to interpret those and create your own version of that aesthetic.   For those too busy to do that, engage an interior designer/stylist to suggest how best to implement your style into your own environment.

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

Who are your favourite interior designers, internationally and locally?

SA

Internationally, Ralph Lauren, Axel Vervoordt, Victoria Hagen, Jacques Garcia, Matthew Patrick Smyth. Appley Hoare in Pimlico, London and Restoration Hardware whenever I’m in the United States.

Locally, Marco Meneguzzi, Adelaide Bragg and Judy Elliott.

LM

What attributes do you believe make a great interior designer and/or stylist?

SA

Be original. Take risks. Achieve something out of the ordinary but not for egos sake, but to engage and emote a positive physical sensation. If the designer/stylist is engaged by a client to create and enhance their home, that the designer truly understands all the people who inhabit and interact in that space and to bring together all the right elements of design to achieve something unique for them.

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

Your store appears to be very much an example of strong but neutral colours. Is this your preferred colour palette?

SA

Yes, neutrals are very  much my palette.  Having a neutral palette, particularly in my retail space, means I can introduce colour at any time through cushions, throws, art, floristry, carpets/rugs and accessories.  I’m not tied to any colour palette for any length of time.  Repainting and wall papering can be expensive and time consuming so I find if the background is a neutral canvas, you can change it up seasonally or as lifestyles change, with little expense.  I also find it calming.  I appreciate other design aesthetics, and love staying in a English country houses with embossed wallpapers and heavily framed oil portraits, or brightly decorated urban hotels such as Kit Kemps Firmdale chain. It’s just not my personal style for every day.

LM

What do you think of strong colour in an interior?

SA

I think it can create an impactful statement and a beautiful contrast against crisp white painted or rich woodwork and add incredible energy to a room.  Strong doesn’t need to be garish. I find dark charcoal/ink walls against white woodwork and cornice incredibly appealing even though it stays within my desired neutral palette. However, the use of strong colours with no context to an overall design can also be a jolt to the system.  Some of the TV make over programmes are a perfect example of this. I find there are certain strong colours that are used for shock value and are a massive attack on my senses!

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

I noticed that you now stock a fantastic range of women’s clothing. What labels are they, and where do they come from?

SA

Yes, fashion has been a new area for me but one that my customers are enjoying.

We stock a mix of local and overseas brands from Second Female Denmark, Ba&sh France, Yaya The Netherlands, Current Elliott USA, Frockk Indonesia, Sophie Digard France, Beck Sonnegard Copenhagen, Bosabo  West France, Victoria, Spain, Carolina, and Columbia, Estilo Emporio and Caprio, Positano, Italy.

LM

Do you love fashion? Who are your favourite fashion designers both internationally and locally?

SA

I appreciate fashion but I love homewares!  I would choose shopping for homewares over shopping for clothes but that is mainly because I am often short on time and make mistakes with my purchases!  I found that certain designers work for my lifestyle and taste so I find it easier to shop directly with those brands and then I make less mistakes and work with what suits me.  Designers I like apart from the ones I now stock! Ralph Lauren, Leona Edmiston, Diane von Furstenberg, Sass & Bide, Rag & Bone, Celine, Vannessa Bruno, Hugo Boss, Sambag, Little Joe Woman by Gail Elliott.

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

Do you find it easy to style yourself?

SA

NO!  It would be a dream if I had someone who laid out my clothes each day!  I would love to wear classic, RL blazers, the perfect denim jeans, gorgeous shoes or a divine dress but one minute I’m flat packing boxes, loading stock or waxing a newly painted furniture piece.  Like superman I suddenly have to look half way decent to serve customers in the shop!  It’s a juggle.  My life before retail and design was in advertising and then in a woman’s magazine advertising sales so I loved getting dressed up each day to wear heels and enjoy manicured hands!  Those days are long gone for now so it’s a mix of comfortably casual for me.  It’s more casual living in the country than the city so over the past eight years my wardrobe has definitely changed.  It’s a little bit of a spin if we have a special dinner or event to go to in Sydney as I don’t have the wardrobe to suit those occasions any more!

LM

What period in history and what architecture inspires you the most?

SA

Definitely 18-20th century.  I am inspired by European architecture and design, particularly Swedish, Belgian and French styles.  The stonemasonry, the embellishments, the grandiosity.  Truly mind blowing!

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

Where can people find you and how can they buy from you?

SA

We have two stores in the Southern Highlands of NSW,  one in Moss Vale and a smaller space in Bowral.  We have just leased another property close by in Moss Vale that we will use for storage in the short term but we have plans to open it  with another retail concept in 2018. A similar style but with a slightly different focus. Watch this space!

As far as online shopping, we are working at the moment on a new POS system and our on-line store is in development so we hope to have that fully operational by Spring this year.  It is currently available to view a limited selection of product lines and is a platform to view overall images of the shop and inspirational décor images.

Meet Suzie here.

Suzie Anderson Home, Suzie Anderson Instagram, Suzie Anderson Facebook.

Do yourself a favour. Be inspired. Relax in the energy. Build your beautiful interior … and if you will, your wardrobe, at …

One. Gorgeous. Place. Suzie Anderson Home.

Until next time,

Jade xx

Coat Hanger Logo done in black on white in the style of chinese calligraphy and paint brushing style with the words Label Ministry placed in capital letters below it.

 

Aussie Fashion, Australian Designer, Australian Fashion, Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Events, MBFWA, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2018

The Innovators

May 17

For those who embrace rebellion and eccentricity every day.

Angela Lowe, EWOL

Fashion Design Studio, TAFE NSW Ultimo, is the home of many famous people.

If you wait for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week every year with the highest anticipation then welcome to my world.

If fashion is your thing you’re in the right place.

If emerging talent is your passion, then let me personally thank you, because your love is much appreciated.

By oh! soooo many!

This is the story of “The Innovators”.

Graduates of Fashion Design Studio.

Where Sydney fashion design is concerned, FDS is the home and very solid bedrock of many iconic established Australian fashion labels … Dion Lee, Akira Isogawa, Christopher Esber, Gary Bigeni,  Nicky Zimmerman, and Bianca Spender to name a few.

It is a creative hub of design excellence, like no other.

Led by experienced, devoted, passionate, brilliant educators like the famous Nicholas Huxley, the wonderful Sophie Drysdale and Andrea Cainero, the walls are lined with the distinct flavour of adventures just begun.

And the fashion talent just keeps oozing out … Every. Single. Year.

Meet, “The Innovators” at this years Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2017.

 

AMELIA AKLE

Amelia’s work is a reflection of all her interests; the inspiration of which is to embrace the classic feminine aesthetic and to represent a new-age feminine ideal.  The collection is a combination of modernity and rebellion against traditional femininity. Internship at Zimmermann is where her specific interest in exceptional garment finishes and the perfect cut grew. Amelia was a winner in the World Square Fashion Illustration competition. During her final year of study, she collaborated with Vogue Australia and Witchery to create a piece for the ‘White Shirt Campaign’, in support of ovarian cancer. Recently pieces from her graduate collection appeared in the London-based ‘Schön’ magazine.

Meet Amelia Akle.

EWOL by ANGELA LOWE

Angela Lowe’s, EWOL exists at the periphery of normality. Where male and female overlap to create an ‘other’. Atypical in its use of material, its references and inspirations … EWOL blurs the boundaries of streetwear and high fashion to create wearable art worn by risk-takers. Those who relish the stares and the double takes.

Drawing inspiration from the juxtaposition of conflicting ideas – conviction and humour; masculinity and femininity. EWOL is for individuals who identify with a movement against the norm. For those who embrace rebellion and eccentricity every day. There are so many incredible things that we do not see with the naked eye.

Meet Angela Lowe. Ewol by Angela Lowe on Instagram.

ANN XIAO

A secret application to study fashion design, encouraged by her best friend and partner was the start of beautiful beginnings. As a child, Ann was an avid sketcher and would often design outfits for friends and family. It was only after partially completing an economics degree that she decided fashion was her real passion. She had found her voice, so to speak. YouTube tutorials helped Ann to learn the basics, followed by an internship with House of Quirky, Dion Lee, and Manning Cartell. She is now working as a womenswear and menswear design assistant at The Upside, with plans to look overseas to further broaden her horizons and gain insight into international markets.

Meet Ann Xiao. AnxDesigns on Instagram.

CASEA by CASEA HEWITT

Cassie Hewitt released her first collection in December 2016. She has formerly interned with Manning Cartell, Bianca Spender, Carla Zampatti and Sara Phillips. Cassie was a finalist for the Australian Fashion Foundation’s Annual Scholarship Program, where she presented her graduate collection to industry leaders. This year Cassie went on to win the Graduate of the Year Award for Fashion and Textiles at the Design Institute of Australia.

Each CASEA piece tells a story through vibrant signature prints, rich colours, intricate embellishment, craftsmanship and luxurious fabrics. CASEA challenges the misconception that fast fashion is sufficient if the price is “right”. The brand’s accentuation on quality and craftsmanship aims to create a world where the trend of expendable fashion is diminished and a high value is placed on heirloom and sentimental pieces.

Meet Cassie Hewitt. CASEA The Label on Instagram.

HANDSY SWIMWEAR

It took eighteen months for Emma Standon to identify her passion for designing swimwear and experimenting with bending the restricted rules of this fashion genre. Swimwear tends to be restricted in its ability to explore innovation in design, as functionality typically is the upmost priority.Fascinated by emerging technologies and the opportunities to explore innovative techniques in fashion design, Emma was especially interested by 3D printing. This was the spark which fuelled her interest in couture swimwear. This ideology, fused with underlining tones of sexual promiscuity and empowerment, became Handsy Swimwear.

Meet Emma Standon. Handsy Swimwear on Instagram.

RICHARD GIANG

Richard Giang is an Australian emerging fashion designer. Formerly an Architectural graduate at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), he decided to pursue his dream in the world of fashion. Richard’s designs are trans-seasonal, diverse, and wearable. Garments that evoke feelings of confidence, empowerment, sophistication and allure. His designs incorporate unique elements, techniques and textural fabrications that allow him to compromise and to create interesting aesthetic garments to suit all manner of occasions. Feminism and female empowerment are the foundations of his creativity, inspired by architecture, visual arts and Helmut Newton’s photography.

Meet Richard Giang. Richard Giang on Instagram.

JOHANNA SMITH

Johanna Smith was originally a teacher working in an isolated
Aboriginal community in far west NSW.  Sheer isolation saw Johanna fall into a surreal entity of creative inspiration. The abstract arrangement of colour in outback Australia and the Aboriginal people became the embodiment, reference and muse of her label. The launch of YOHANA is infused with muddy hues and bold colour contrasts where obscure leather accents, cotton canvas and shirting are contrasted with lustrous texture.

Meet Johanna Smith. Yohana on Instagram.

Thank you to everyone who supports emerging Australian designers. They need your support, your interest, your passion, your encouragement, and your money. Please invest in their labels. Buy their product. Share the love by following their social media and …

LOVE Label Ministry on social, because the love starts here!

Until next time,

Jade xx

Coat Hanger Logo done in black on white in the style of chinese calligraphy and paint brushing style with the words Label Ministry placed in capital letters below it.

Aussie Fashion, Australian Designer, Australian Fashion, Australian Fashion Industry, Interview, Melbourne Fashion Festival, VAMFF

The Fashion Advocate

February 28
Girl sitting on a chair slouched back in a modelling shoot with black top, black leather pants and high black stilettos.

 

Tatyana Designs

Tatyana Designs

Runways are crucial to the development of fashion. They illustrate a moment in time, a shift in trends, a certain look, they reflect the current culture and they represent who we are. It’s not just a string of clothes on a catwalk – it’s a story. Runways are stories, and they’re special.

Claire Goldsworthy, The Fashion Advocate.

It’s that time of year again. VAMFF is here. The Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival  is fast approaching and the city of Melbourne and fashion devotees from far and wide make their way to the eighteen day long festival. As tribute to this years festival the star of this article is Claire Goldsworthy. A girl after my own heart.

She is the passionate fashionista and founder of the print and digital magazine, The Fashion Advocate and the creator of the collaborative brainchild, The Dress Collective. A collective of emerging Australian designers who manufacture their product in Australia.

This year Claire is at the helm. The Fashion Advocate Runway is a hand-picked collection of emerging Australian designers from around the country. As a vocal and passionate advocate of Australian fashion myself, this runway is one not to be missed by virtue of the fact that its focal point is Australian designers who manufacture in Australia.

Contrary to popular belief there are many emerging and established designers who still manufacture in Australia. In my opinion we should all be following them with great interest, applauding their ethics and moral values, and then setting aside our fashion budget to committing to buying their product, thus supporting their work, and most importantly keeping them in business.

Claire Goldsworthy describes “fast fashion” as “The dirty F-word”! I couldn’t agree more!

Why do we buy fast, dirty, cheap, badly made, unethically produced, highly pollutive fast fashion? Designs that are all too often ripped off from the world’s top designers?? If you have the answer, please let me know, because I am totally miffed as to why these fast fashion giants have such an enormous share of our fashion market. I have written many an article about supporting local Australian fashion and all of you who follow me (God love you all!), well know my opinion on this important subject. Some of you may have already read my article on the Zara Phenomenon

Have we become such lazy and disinterested sheep that we are incapable of thinking for ourselves? Are we so disinterested in our own local fashion market, and our own economy that we have just given up fighting for what is right? Please. Pretty Please. Buy Australian Made Fashion. Support Australian Designers. Vote with your fashion dollar to create much needed change.

Girl sitting on a chair slouched back in a modelling shoot with black top, black leather pants and high black stilettos.

Mhoo Mhoo

Anyhow, back to The Fashion Advocate.

Isn’t it just soooo refreshing to find someone who champions the importance of showcasing, supporting, and bringing to the spotlight, Australian designers, who produce sustainable, ethical product and manufacture in Australia.

Meet Claire Goldsworthy. She is. The Fashion Advocate.

Melbourne Entrepreneur. Fashionista. Editor. Founder of The Dress Collective. Runway Curator. Lover of Australian fashion. Gem.

If you would like to attend the The Fashion Advocate Runway on March 11 get in quick because tix are selling fast!

Here is her story.

Until next time,

Jade xx

15978072_1929456800673847_3130442573824799901_n

VAMFF … Book your tix! March 01 – March 19 2017

 

Fast fashion has no meaning, no purpose, and no value …

Claire Goldsworthy, The Fashion Advocate.

LM

What is the work of The Fashion Advocate?

TFA

The Fashion Advocate is a print and digital magazine dedicated to Australian made fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands, with a focus on ethical and sustainable content.

LM

What has been the major inspiration for your work?

TFA

I wanted to see change. It drives me mad to see the plethora of fast fashion in shopping centres selling for five dollars a piece. How on earth can a garment be made, transported and retailed for five dollars?

It can’t – unless it’s been created under unsustainable and unethical standards. I was sick of seeing fast fashion crap. Sick of the facts and figures that get released every year about the negative environmental impacts of the fashion industry, and sick and tired of seeing the same style top in ten different stores.

It’s robotic.

Fast fashion has no meaning, no purpose, no value.

The inspiration for The Fashion Advocate was my desire for change; I wanted to promote fashion that matters. I wanted to inspire other people to start thinking about the impact of their shopping habits. I launched The Fashion Advocate to support Australian brands who have morals, values and ethics. To introduce consumers to a range of options that they might not otherwise have known about.

Pale girl with red hair and red lipstick standing in front of a beige wall and flowers being photographed in a modelling shoot in a pale pink satin dress. Designer Teagan Jacobs.

‘Blushed’ By Teagan Jacobs

LM

You are a fashion designer yourself. How does that assist you in understanding the difficulties other designers face?

TFA

I launched my own fashion label straight out of high school and worked everything out the hard way from the bottom up. I have a first-hand understanding of the blood, sweat and tears that go into a locally made fashion label because I’ve been there and done that. I’ve since put that label to rest as my aesthetic has changed, but having the first hand experience exposed me to the ups and downs of fashion.

I understand what brands go through. It helps me connect with designers and it’s not a foreign topic; fashion is simultaneously heart-breakingly hard. It conjures up so many different emotions. My experience helps me write about fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands in a personal way because I get it.

Line up of models waiting to walk the runway at a fashion event. Designs by Habadakas.

HABADAKAS

LM

How much has your own label, Harriette Hill, influenced your own work?

TFA

Although I don’t run the brand anymore, it all started with Harriette Hill… My love of vintage fabrics, traditional sewing techniques and my ethical values all stem from my first brand. When I inherited my great grandmother’s 1950’s and 1960’s fabric collection, I was forced to find ways to make it last and so my journey into sustainability began.

LM

How important do you believe is the unveiling of collections on the runway?

TFA

Runways are crucial to the development of fashion.

They illustrate a moment in time, a shift in trends, a certain look.

They reflect the current culture and represent who we are. It’s not just a string of clothes on a catwalk – it’s a story.

Runways are stories, and they’re special.

Model standing in front of a pale blue wall in an emerald green slinky dress by Dida.

Dida

LM

Yes. Yes. Yes!

LM

How was The Dress Collective birthed?

TFA

Much the same as The Fashion Advocate – I wanted to see change. I had always been interested in fashion and over the years, I worked nationally and internationally in retail, brand management, PR and marketing, runway management, creative direction for various brands large and small, and always in fashion.

I was never truly content with working for other brands as their values and ethics didn’t quite align with mine. I launched The Dress Collective in 2015 to make a positive change for the fashion industry. I just couldn’t sit back and watch the damage anymore.

LM

Please describe the role of The Dress Collective?

TFA

The Dress Collective is an online store that sells only 100 per cent Australian made fashion. It’s also 100 per cent transparent and each designers story is attached to every single item we sell, along with the garment’s design and manufacturing origins. The Dress Collective is more than just an online shop for Australian designers though; it’s a support network and creative foundation, built on a vision of positive and sustainable growth for the future of the Australian fashion industry. It doesn’t focus solely on ‘trends’ or seasonal collections, because that can sometimes create the ideal of ‘past season’ or ‘out of fashion’. Instead, The Dress Collective helps consumers make long term decisions about their wardrobe by introducing them to high quality, trans-seasonal and unique labels.

LM

How difficult is it for Australian labels to produce their collections in Australia?

TFA

Contrary to popular belief, quite easy.

The cost is sometimes higher, but we do have a host of high quality manufacturers in Australia. The question though is about values and profit.

Is it difficult to manufacture in Australia? No.

Is it difficult to compete with fast fashion when you manufacture in Australia? Yes.

Local manufacturing can be costly, which drives up the cost of the final garment, but the value is in the ethical benefits of local manufacturing, so it depends on what you value and which part of the production cycle you consider to be more important.

Model standing in an urban street scene wearing a cropped black t with netting and loose black and white pants.

Cameron & James

LM

What do you believe is the greatest challenge facing Australian designers in our current market?

TFA

Fast fashion. The dirty F-word!

People are hungry for unique clothing; the challenge isn’t demand as there’s plenty of that.

It’s the cheap fast fashion that causes a problem, and it starts to desensitise people to the bigger problem. You don’t think much about a twenty dollar top because you’d pay the same for pizza, therefore you’re more likely to throw it away, not care for it, and replace it with another twenty dollar top.

It’s a vicious cycle and it’s a hard one to break. The constant struggle is educating people about the importance of supporting local brands and the play-off between fast and slow fashion is an enormous challenge.

LM

What is your opinion of fast fashion? What do you believe is its future?

TFA

Fast fashion has ruined our industry, globally.

It’s raping and pillaging the earth, killing garment workers and devaluing something that deserves so much more credit and thought. I do believe that people are slowly waking up to the impact of fast fashion and slowly making better choices, but it’s going to take a long time to see a total shift.

I won’t stop fighting for slow fashion though, no matter long it takes.

Model lying on steps with tussled blonde hair and sunglasses for a swimwear shoot wearing a black bikini and draped cardigan.

Sets of Seven

LM

What do you most love about Australian fashion?

TFA

The diversity of it. I know labels that make entire garments out of pompoms, and some that make entire garments out of repurposed jeans. There are so many unique and diverse labels locally. I love it! Australian designers tend to be very self-driven and not focus on global trends too much because of the differences in season and locality compared with the rest of the world.

LM

What are your favourite Australian labels?

TFA

All of the labels I stock online at The Dress Collective!

I hand pick them and they’re all so unique, yet very wearable and practical. Black Mob is incredible – it’s unisex and very vocal about the issues it stands for, I love it. DEVOI is another of my favourites; I absolutely love bright colour and prints, and this label delivers both.

Model in a studio with hair bunched up in pigtails wearing a see-through cropped net top with scalloped pink collar with large peddle-pusher wide pink pants with white sneakers and bright pink laces.

Rayan Ardati

LM

Please share your views on the importance of ethical and sustainable fashion production?

TFA

It’s not even a question for me – you either engage ethical and sustainable practices, or you shouldn’t be running a business. If you are going to offer a product to the world, it is your responsibility to do so in an ethical manner; the harm of people or the environment shouldn’t be something that is gambled in the process. It is so very simple to ensure ethical and sustainable production and something you choose. Every step of the process is a choice for brands. We live in an incredible country and we are so very fortunate; we take it for granted. No-one in Australia would accept the garment factory working conditions or pay that are ‘the norm’ in third world countries. No-one would show up to work in Australia for those conditions. If you wouldn’t accept it for yourself, you shouldn’t accept it for any other person involved in the cycle of your business.

LM

How does VAMFF differ to the other events across the Australian fashion calendar?

TFA

I love VAMFF!

It is such an inclusive, diverse festival that appeals to so many different people from all walks of life. The main fashion week is of course very targeted to your fashion-nuts, but the wider calendar includes beauty events, styling workshops, business seminars, shopping activations, film, photography … there’s something for everyone and I’m all about inclusion and diversity.

LM

I believe you are curating your own show this year at VAMFF – The Fashion Advocate Runway. Please tell us more …

TFA

I am SO excited to be curating this event! I’ve handpicked twelve labels from around the country to showcase the diversity and talent of the Australian fashion industry, and all labels are entirely Australian made.

There tends to be a stigma around Australian made fashion and I’m working endlessly to ensure that the wider public understands the industry. People don’t realise that everything you need in your wardrobe – whether it be corporate attire, lingerie, formal wear, swimwear, sleepwear, whatever – can be bought from designers who manufacture locally. The details have been meticulously planned, from the local cocktails on offer to the gifts in the VIP bags – it’s all about Australian made. I’ve partnered with Luna Park too; I’m honoured to be hosting an event at such an iconic and historic venue, it all ties in with the message of valuing local, our roots and delving deeper into everything we buy, wear and engage with.

It’s going to be a very special event!

LM

And indeed it will be! The designers are …

HabadakasTatyana DesignVincent LiDiidap’junk by Kate HannahOroceo CastroLorenza The LabelRayan ArdatiCameron & JamesMhoo MhooBlushed by Teagan Jacobs, and Fool.

Two girls holding hands on a lush green lawn wearing pretty dresses.

Lorenza The Label

LM

If you could speak openly, what would you say to Australian consumers?

TFA

Buy less, choose well, shop local. Start thinking about the impact of your choices and start creating the kind of world that you want for future generations; the world’s resources are not infinite. Support your local designers and design your own image around the message you want to promote; use fashion as a method of positive impact and change.

LM

How can we best support emerging designers in Australia?

TFA

By shopping online at The Dress Collective!

Shameless plug!

LM

Love a shameless plug!

Come on peeps … Shop. Shop. Shop!

Asian model half lying down looking backwards and to the side wearing designs by Vincent Li.

Vincent Li

The Fashion Advocate Runway Designer Line-Up

Follow them on Instagram and show your support!

Habadakas Instagram, Tatyana Design Instagram, Vincent Li Instagram, Diida Instagram, p’junk by Kate Hannah, Oreceo Castro, Lorenza The Label, Rayan Ardati, Cameron & James, Mhoo Mhoo, ‘Blushed’ by Teagan Jacobs, and Fool.

SHOP The Dress Collective!

Annabelle and EveAwaken The HausAzulant AkoraBlack Mob The LabelCameron & JamesDevoiDon’t Do PrettyEspire ClothingHarriette HillJudeLetitia GreenMarcela’s AccessoriesMici JayOroceo CastroRbcca KstrSets of SevenTatyana DesignThe Spotted Quoll StudioVincent LiVousWhy Mary

Model sitting in a photographic studio with dark hair, black and white top and bright red skirt. Designer, Oroceo Castro.

Orocéo Castro

Remember …

“Buy less, choose well, shop local. Start thinking about the impact of your choices and start creating the kind of world that you want for future generations; the world’s resources are not infinite. Support your local designers and design your own image around the message you want to promote; use fashion as a method of positive impact and change”.

Claire Goldsworthy, The Fashion Advocate.

 

Picture of Luna Park in Melbourne, Victoria. One of the runway venues for this years Virgin Australia's Melbourne Fashion Festival.

The Fashion Advocate Runway Venue

See you at VAMFF 2017! …

Until next time,

Jade xx

Coat Hanger Logo done in black on white in the style of chinese calligraphy and paint brushing style with the words Label Ministry placed in capital letters below it.

 

 

Australian Fashion Industry, Beauty, Interview, women

Alex Perrin, Sydney Makeup Artist

December 19
A photo of Alex Perrin with full makeup.

 

Picture of roses, luxury products and Tom Ford perfume.

 

We spend valuable time and money making sure our hair is done, skin glowing, tan in place, new dress ready, and makeup perfect for Christmas Day and the following holiday season.

Jade Cosgrove, Label Ministry

 

It’s the week before Christmas!

First of all I would like to wish all my wonderful Label Ministry followers a very Merry Christmas and the most wonderful New Year! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your wonderful support and interest in Australasian fashion. Thank you also to the never-ending supply of exceptional talent the Australian fashion industry dishes up each and every year by way of brilliant designers and creative teams. Writing about you, but essentially for you, is my passion and the reason the Label Ministry platform exists.

I thought I would finish up on the note of what can only be described as the ‘epic’ 2016 with an article about Alex Perrin, a Sydney makeup artist.

At this time of year we all like to go that extra mile with ourselves don’t we?

Making sure our hair is done, skin glowing, tan in place, new dress ready, and makeup perfect for Christmas Day and the following holiday season.

I hope you enjoy every moment of this festive season and Label Ministry will be back in your blog feed in January 2017!

I hope you enjoy reading about Alex and her valuable beauty tips!

Enjoy xx

A photo of Alex Perrin with full makeup.

LM

I LOVE your work! Where does your inspiration come from?

AP

Being a creative mind, I’m constantly inspired by so many different things in my day to day life. A lot of the time I will constantly have ideas popping up in my head and I just roll with that! When I am working with my clients, I will always create a vision with them based on the occasion, what they are wearing and how they want to feel. Once I have a clear vision, thats where the magic happens!

LM

What was your driving motivation to become a makeup artist?

AP

It honestly was one of those moments where the penny dropped. It really took me quite some time to work out what I wanted to pursue with my life and career, not to please anyone else but myself at the same time. I was hungry to find my passion and that alone took 3 years after school. It came down to a single moment that one of my closest friends had reminded me; on a leadership camp at school we had an inspirational speaker come and share his success story on how he got to where he was. There was a single moment in that 2 hour seminar that really resonated with me, and what he had said was “Start your day doing something that you love.” It didn’t take much for me to work that one out; for me, that’s doing my makeup.

LM

What advice would you give to young women regarding makeup?

AP

The best advice I could give to you which I wish I had been told from a younger age, is to take care of your skin. Get into good habits now. The better condition and health that your skin is in, the less makeup you need to wear.

LM

Do you think young women wear too much makeup? Do we all wear too much makeup?

AP

I think there is definitely a time and place for everything. I see so many young women ‘packing’ on so much product onto their skin, and that comes down to trends or lack of product knowledge or just simply using the wrong products all together! I personally am not one to criticise people on wearing too much makeup, I’ll have days where I will wear full glam just to go grocery shopping, because I feel like it..because it makes me feel good. It’s definitely a form of self expression and being who you want to be on that particular day.

A model with dark brown hair. Makeup done by Alex Perrin with red eyeshadow and full makeup.

LM

How important do you believe is the routine of skin care?

AP

Briefly touching on it previously says it all of how important it is. Especially for those who wear makeup on a day to day basis. I feel as though women are becoming more and more educated on skin care only now, there has been an emphasis on it in the past 5-10 years because ageing has become such a concern to everyone. In a nutshell, if you aren’t removing your makeup at the end of the day, you’re not allowing your skin to breathe! Using the right skin care for you is so important as well, no one has the same skin.

LM

There are those who insist, that whether we look after our skin or not that we still age the same? What is your view on this?

AB

This one is a bit of a hit and miss. Genetics definitely do play a big part in how one will age, but technology and science behind skin care is so advanced now, that you can definitely prevent and slow down the process. I would rather be safe than sorry! I personally use a lot of active skincare, and I have noticed a vast improvement in my complexion in comparison to when I wasn’t using a consistent skincare regime.

LM

What do you attribute to the reason that women age differently?

AP

I think the biggest factor to ageing is your lifestyle. Your body is designed to work in a certain way so if you give it the right tools to function properly, it will look after you. Generally people who smoke, drink alcohol frequently, have a poor diet or don’t exercise, will lack that youthful glow in their skin and will age quicker than someone who does the opposite and really looks after themselves.

LM

What would you suggest are good “makeup options” for middle aged women?

AP

Less is more! I would definitely say that enhancing the skin to make it appear more radiant and youthful is the way to go, starting with an illuminating primer to apply under foundation. Next to that would be a light weight foundation, that is designed to smooth out the skin and generally skin care based ingredients so you maintain hydration levels and still get your active ingredients working on your skin even during the day (By Terry is the complexion queen, her foundations are flawless on middle age/mature women). Clean, fresh eyes and a bit of colour on lips and cheeks to subtly enhance and bring life to the face is perfect for everyday wear.

Alex Perrin, Sydney makeup artist.

LM

Do you think women tend to wear more makeup as they get older? Why do you think that is?

AP

This one is also a mixed bag. I will most of the time get clients asking me to use light foundations because they don’t like the heavy feeling of makeup on their skin, but they still want the coverage to even out skin tone. I think with ageing, the skin loses that glow and generally unevenness is present (sun spots, redness/discolouration), but we are so blessed with whats available on the market now. Lightweight foundations with full coverage do exist!

LM

For people on a budget, and I guess that includes nearly everyone, what are the top three things you can’t live without in a skin care range.

AP

This question would be like asking me to pick a favourite child!! If I had to pick three key products that I couldn’t live without, it would come down to a good oil based cleanser, eye cream and a serum.

LM

For those of us not in the beauty industry, what does “cosmeceuticals” mean?

AP

Basically this comes down to the brand/products philosophy, having a scientific origin, rather than natural or organic.

A model with long dark hair and full makeup done by makeup artist Alex Perrin.

LM

Do you believe that with such amazing brands now available, that the traditional role of the beautician has become redundant?

AP

From a personal perspective, I would say yes. The last time I went to have a facial was about seven years ago, only because my daily skincare regime now delivers everything that my skin needs to be at optimum health. I think visiting a beautician is more of a luxury … a way for both men and women to pamper themselves.

LM

What is your personal view of botox and other injectables promoting youth preserving methods. Do you think this is a good thing?

AP

This all comes down to each individual, no one can tell you whats right or wrong or what you should or shouldn’t do. I am very neutral with this subject, I just say “as you like!” with this one. I would advise to do your research before you take the plunge with anything along these lines. People will always agree to disagree with injectables. I think if it sits well with you and its something that you want to do for yourself, then by all means go for it.

 

A photo of Alex Perrin with full makeup.

LM

Who are your favourite Australian fashion designers? International?

AP

Bec & Bridge, Camilla and Marc, Ellery and Scanlan and Theodore just to name a handful of my favourite Australian designers. My top International Designers would have to be Yves Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Chanel and Valentino .. I die!

LM

Who are your favourite makeup brands and makeup artists in Australia? International?

AP

My top brands would have to be Nars, Hourglass, By Terry, Anastasia Beverly Hills and Too Faced. As for Australian makeup artists, I would definitely say Max May, Mia Connor, Jenny Do and Ania Milczarcyk would be my picks. International artists that inspire me would be Patrickta, Mario Dedivanovic, Huda Kattan and Desi Perkins.

LM

Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

AP

In 5 years time, I would hope that I kicked a bunch of my goals that I have set! YouTube is the next step for me, so I think being successful going down that avenue would be a start and also running masterclasses/education is another venture on the to do list. I would love to have done some travelling with my work, Milan Fashion week is right up there along with photoshoots around the world. One thing at a time!

Picture of lots of different professional makeup products used by makeup artist Alex Perrin.

LM

What is your greatest dream?

AP

I think the end goal for me would be to have my own salon/studio in Sydney CBD with a team that I have trained up myself, teamed up with leading hair stylists and to bring my vision to life! Having my own makeup brand would be phenomenal, can’t even begin to tell you how excited that makes me even thinking about it!

LM

Good Luck Alex!

Makeup by Alex Perrin Facebook | Alex Perrin Instagram | Alex Perrin Twitter | Alex Perrin Contact 

Until next time,

Jade xx

Coat Hanger Logo done in black on white in the style of chinese calligraphy and paint brushing style with the words Label Ministry placed in capital letters below it.

 

Australian Designer, Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Fashion Designer, Global Fashion Industry, Interview

Akira Isogawa

December 14

 

“A garment can transcend, giving it a soul.

I translate fabrics into soft and romantic silhouettes, using natural fabrics like silks and cottons, which are kind to the skin.

Distressing fabrics and alchemically treating them, gives the feeling of already ‘being loved’, thus evoking emotion. Even one-off fabrics found in flea markets can be given new life.

Richly embellished fabrics echo Eastern influences, and I have great respect for their traditions. Inspiration can be found from the past – re-using vintage textiles and sometimes creating replicas of them, incorporated with specific craftsmanship.

The number of hours someone has spent on manual work like this makes it priceless.

I see craftsmanship as an implement with which to realise one’s vision. Past, present and future; that slogan continues in almost everything around which my work evolves. Timeless beauty and femininity in my design is profound, in a way for the wearer to express their inner soul.”

Akira Isogawa

Akira Isogawa | Spring Summer 2017

Akira Isogawa | Spring Summer 2017

 

This week I was blessed. Truly blessed.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Akira Isogawa, one of Australia’s most loved and iconic fashion designers. I can’t tell you how exciting this was for me. As a younger woman, some moons ago, ok, many moons ago, I used to ooooh and aaaah over the most exquisite fabrics reminiscent of liquid silk, colours that adorned only my imagination, and garments so beautiful I was sometimes left breathless. For the many moons which have passed since, Akira has continued as the master that he is, creating one collection after another, with the same, if not a greater level of beauty and craftsmanship.

To me this man is a legend.

Continue Reading…

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Events, Fashion Designer

Raffles Graduate Runway 2016

December 12
Model on the runway wearing a white ruffled design by Ruth Read from Raffles College of Design Graduate Runway 2016.

Fashion is no longer just about ‘the garment’ …

Nick Comino

On Tuesday night Sydney’s Raffles College of Design took over Ambush Gallery in Chippendale for their graduate show 2016.

A huge open space, walls pulsating with tunes, matched with sheer adrenalin and anticipation running through the fashionista veins of this year’s graduating emerging fashion designers.

The charge in the air was tangible.

Each and every year, Australia welcomes a new group of emerging designers who hope to break into the Australian fashion industry. It is competitive, fiercely challenging and not for the feint hearted. The vast global arms of the international fashion industry at large and its devotees stand and wait with baited breath, beckoning those to live up to the industry standard. And in Australia, that bar is high. Very high. At least creatively.

Commercially our industry has suffered greatly through years of the ever changing climate of the digital age, struggling economic trends, and the inevitable rise of the “fast fashion” chains.

It has long been the case, for independent designers, that success is difficult to achieve and recognition difficult to attain. Support, government funding and financial backing are not as easy to come by as one might think.

I know it is the sentiment of myself and many others that the nurturing of our beloved industry back to its former glory days is a work in progress, for established designers and particularly for emerging talent.

I am pleased to report, I am really starting to see the tide turn.

Thankfully …

Enjoy xx

Backstage scene at the Raffles College of Design Graduate Runway 2016 at Ambush Gallery.

Backstage | Raffles Graduate Runway 2016 | Photography Jessica Fekonia

We habitually look at fashion as the spectacle and traditionally iconic.

Nick Comino

The space was filled with chatty, enthusiastic people who clearly loved anything creative.

This year, different to last, where the event was held at Carriageworks in a traditional runway setting.

2016 saw the graduate fashion designers share their space with other graduating Raffles students from Fashion Marketing, Photography, Interior Design, Graphic Design and Digital Media.

I had a long chat with Nick Comino, Raffles Program Director, who said, “this year we wanted to produce a show that encompassed everyone. We habitually look at fashion as the spectacle and traditionally iconic, so this year, we wanted to address things a little differently”.

He added, “even though a lot of the designers who have historically graduated from Raffles, may not have a label as such, the course offers them the opportunity to explore themselves and their own minds. Most find placement within the industry that we all love. Fashion is no longer just about the garment”.  

I also spoke to Betsabeh Sohrabi-Sabi.  The Assistant Program Director of Fashion and teacher of the course, Fashion Marketing. I asked her about how she felt about the contrast of her fashion marketing students showing alongside the runway of graduate emerging fashion designers; so different from the preceding year. She proudly showed me the work of her fashion marketing students; an essential wheel of course in the industry of fashion and the imperative and successful marketing of such.

Shortly after 7pm the lighting changed and the audible sighs of said fashionistas filled the room.

It was a full and excited house. The usual, wonderful suspects were there.  Fedora hats, latest cuffed chinos and expensive brogues, not to mention the ever present designer handbag. Sky high heels, with and without platform, and carefully curated outfits. One doesn’t like to stare … but sometimes you just can’t help it! Surprisingly, many of the girls sported flats … an ever increasing trend I have noticed during recent months and events. A spill over from fashion week this year, with an obvious hint of permanence. Thank God! That’s a trend I’m all for!

Amazing tailoring, creative skill, and sheer mastery of sewing and construction went to Ruth Read who was selected to participate in an exchange program in Milan, an experience that fortified her attention to detail and craftsmanship, leading her to becoming a finalist for Emerging Designer of the Year in the 2015 Australian Wool Awards. Read currently has an internship with Vogue Australia, and will be travelling to Milan next year to gain further experience and refine her artistry. She said, “The making of fashion garments allows me to explore deep levels of personal expression. My designs and making processes allow me to develop fashion forms that communicate a ‘breaking through’ emotion. The final garment becomes a point of balance between internal and external. An equilibrium of dark and light”.

Model on the runway wearing a white ruffled design by Ruth Read from Raffles College of Design Graduate Runway 2016.

Ruth Read | Raffles College of Design Graduate Runway 2016 | Photography Romualdo Nubla Studio MOR+

 

Model on the runway wearing a white ruffled design by Ruth Read from Raffles College of Design Graduate Runway 2016.

Ruth Read | Raffles College of Design Graduate Runway 2016 | Photography Romualdo Nubla Studio MOR+

 

Model on the runway wearing a white ruffled design by Ruth Read from Raffles College of Design Graduate Runway 2016.

Ruth Read | Raffles College of Design Graduate Runway 2016 | Photography Romualdo Nubla Studio MOR+

 

Model on the runway wearing a white ruffled design by Ruth Read from Raffles College of Design Graduate Runway 2016.

Ruth Read | Raffles College of Design Graduate Runway 2016 | Photography Romualdo Nubla Studio MOR+

 

Another standout in the designer line up for me was Alexandra Uyen Nguyen. A label for both men and women, I loved her use of black and white and the “Flintstone” feel of her geometric prints. The see-through top combined with cotton; very clever, and my other favourite, the oversized, off the shoulder top with big bold stripes. I thought the collection refreshing indeed. Her collection, ‘States of Mind’ was influenced by the work of ‘outsider’ artists like Yayoi Kusama. Through the use of repetitive prints and oversized silhouettes her work challenges the conventional social norms of fashion.

Model on the runway in a striped oversize top with white skirt with geometric pattern at the Raffles College of Design Graduate Runway 2016.

Designer | Alexandra | Raffles College of Design Graduate Runway 2016 | | Photography Romualdo Nubla Studio MOR+

 

In Hayley Kang’s collection, we saw the return of the classic sundress, a black and white maxi skirt teamed with an interestingly created crop top, and the use of blue and orange tones combined. Men’s suiting; a combination of pastels worked alongside plain grey, teamed with cropped drop crutch pants. I enjoyed the assymetrical skirts and her clever take on the geometrically patterned pea coat with “crayon effect”design. The use of fabric with self patterned spots, fringing and lattice work was inspiring. An altogether Alice McCall feel to me. Apparently, inspiration for the collection came from a traditional Korean folk tale about a masked dance, the purpose of which was to breathe courage into people, to break through the status quo and forego self-regulation.

Hayley Chang | Raffles College of Design Graduate Runway | Photography Romualdo Nubla Studio MOR+

Hayley Chang | Raffles College of Design Graduate Runway | Photography | Jessica Fekonia

 

Mary Quach … more black and white. In my opinion, always a winner on the runway and in life. I could see from very quick glimpses of her graduate collection that this young lady has the gift of design, sewing, and commercial ability. I loved the men’s cropped white trousers with a broad panel of fabric finishing off the hem. The gorgeous red coat with subtle stripe and hood, a traditional take on the duffle coat of old. Her women’s black pants shown with an interesting, wearable and textured top. Her collection to me had an almost industrial feel and laboratory driven design. I loved the details of lacing, the use of industrial climbing ropes, and gorgeous khaki sensibility. Her collection embodied fashion in an era of political subterfuge and dysfunction. A collection directly influenced by the Japanese film ‘Akira’ and its dystopian vision, coupled with the aesthetic influences of the constructivist design movement of the Russian revolution. 

Alyce Chen’s beautiful cornflower blue leather dress was a standout also. A truly beautiful, wearable creation which I personally would like to see more of. Her collection explored female sensuality and sexuality as historically portrayed in romantic literature and painting.

Model on the runway wearing a cornflower blue leather dress by emerging designer Alyce Chen.

Alyce Chen | Raffles College of Design Graduate Runway 2016

Laura Davis’ work was a collection of immense quality. Clever layering, feminine skirts, and a beautiful green, long flowing coat closely related to the trench, but created outside of the box in super fun fabric. I loved her colour combinations, an art in itself. Her use of applique fabrics, unfinished hems, raw edges, and assymetrical skirts were interesting, versatile and wearable. “Frustrated by the perpetual revolving door of fashion, Laura took matters into her own hands, creating a label that represents a beautiful, minimalist life that prioritises style over quantity”.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to write about everyone in an article such as this, as time does not permit. Congratulations to all the emerging designers.

People are watching you. You are loved!

I should mention as a spokesperson for the Australian Fashion Industry … that our extremely talented established and emerging designers and their creative teams need your support.

What does that mean? It means we need you to spend your fashion dollar on Australian labels. Read our editorials. Buy tickets to events.

Follow LABEL MINISTRY on social media so our platform can become THE VOICE and THE PLATFORM. In this way, our work and our passion can ripple out to those whose full hearts are relying upon our work, far and wide across Australasia and the world.

Jade Cosgrove sitting in Ambush Gallery waiting for the Raffles College of Design graduate runway for emerging designers to start 2016.

Jade Cosgrove | Founder | Label Ministry | Photography | Romualdo Nubla | Studio MOR+ | Raffles Graduate Runway 2016

LOVE US on Facebook   &   FOLLOW US on Instagram

Until next time,

Jade xx

Thanks To |

Special thanks should go to Romualdo Nubla, the photographer behind StudioMOR+. Romualdo is devoted to supporting, photographing, and representing Australian fashion, Australian emerging designers, and Australian Fashion Week and associated festivals across the fashion calendar year.  Without these devoted professionals our industry would not exist. Please support so that our beloved fashion industry can flourish once again.

Studio MOR+ | StudioMOR+ |

StudioMOR+ Facebook | Romualdo Nubla | StudioMOR+ | Instagram

Raffles College of Design |

Raffles College of Design

Designers Featured |

Ruth Read Instagram

Laura Davis | Laura Davis Instagram

Mary Quach Instagram 

Alexandra Uyen Nguyen Instagram

Hayley Kang Instagram

Coat Hanger Logo done in black on white in the style of chinese calligraphy and paint brushing style with the words Label Ministry placed in capital letters below it.

 

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Fashion Designer, Instagram

Trash Talk

December 6

Fashion was and still is, about beauty, dignity, poise, and reverence.

 

When did it become ok for celebrities, Hollywood and otherwise to stop wearing underwear to red carpet events in the name of fashion just because they were wearing a certain type of dress? I have been watching this rise in vulgarity for some time now and I can no longer be quiet about it.

On the one hand we are all screaming about feminism and crying like babies when men stare at our boobs but then happily cement our own sexism and elevate to new heights our vulnerability and dissatisfaction by wearing fashion pieces which once upon a time would have shamed us all for being sluts.

Our obsession with things so tight, we can’t move, fabrics so sheer we leave nothing to the imagination, and openings on dresses so vast, we abandon our underwear and leave only parts God himself has witnessed on show to the world.

I don’t know what you think, but as this is an opinion piece, and as I fully have to admit, a little prone to a rant at times, I have to tell you that we are overdue for a change.

Sorry…

We all know what’s under people’s clothes. Do we really have to be subjected to the most private parts of one’s body and then pretend to call it fashion? Quite aside from the sheer ugliness of those body parts, who wants to see them? The line between pornography and fashion is becoming a little too “blended” for me. And no. Just because something has been carefully perfumed, manicured, and waxed doesn’t make it a show piece either.

I for one am sick of shorts so short I can almost see what’s been had for breakfast, tops so plunging I can see the shadow of the nipple, and dresses so short and revealing that I am unwillingly introduced to your cellulite thighs and then hello! nooo … your Ruby-Tuesday!

Enough!  Yes, fashion is about creativity, imagination, diversity, and even cheekiness. But when did it become about nakedness and the soft crevices of well …

Quite aside from what we find acceptable to look at, and I acknowledge that my conservative view will not be shared by everyone, I do have to point out, how does this exposure and behaviour impact on our younger generations and social media platforms such as Instagram?

In making this behaviour the new “normal” are we not teaching the younger audience of the global fashion industry and horrifyingly our children who are without question, the most prolific users of Instagram, that a “following” is all important and that this is often achieved by very explicit content?

I believe we have an obligation to teach our younger generation about pride and dignity. To help them to understand that they are valuable and wonderful human beings who can enjoy and delight in fashion without the social constructs which promote the growing insistence and then consequential confusion of body shaming.

Naturally, I do not include the world of swimwear in my critique, as little clothing within our long accepted beach culture it totally acceptable. As a female, four small triangles otherwise known as the bikini wouldn’t offend anyone. As for the men, most of them wear boardies anyway don’t they, and if they don’t, we have been conditioned a long time ago to “not” look!

But on stage? The red carpet? Really. I ask you? Do we have to see people’s genitalia?  In God’s name, what will be next? Men walking around with their penises slung out of their trousers just because the trousers boast a designer’s name? Would that make it ok?

Nope.

I have had enough.

I am the greatest lover of fashion of all time, but please don’t tell me it includes having to look at people’s breasts on mass bulging out of their garments or horrific glimpses of a vag.

There is ample opportunity in this world to wear as little as pleases you, but can we please not make it the stage or iconic red carpet events? It really, and I mean really, brings down the tone of an industry which has always enjoyed the exalted heights of glamour, class and style. Reminds me of that old adage … “money don’t buy class”. True or not?

Money these days seems to buy more and more of the same thing, especially on the red carpet.  It usually equates to less and sadly, less, class.

If anyone was to ask my opinion? Be an example! Look beautiful. Be dignified. Be the voice to tell the world about the world’s amazing fashion designers, particularly the Australian ones, because everyone knows we are the best!

But don’t bring fashion down to the depths of the gutter.

That’s where the rats live.

Where the infectious diseases reside.

And life starts not to matter …

Let’s not take it there.

Synonymous with the word fashion has always been the virtues of beauty and dignity.

We have seriously lost our connection to the importance of strong moralistic human virtues and instead have become immersed in a debased cultural mindset of anything goes. This attitude helps nobody. It does not help humanity and it certainly doesn’t help our beloved fashion industry, Australian or otherwise.

Fashion was and still is, about beauty, dignity, poise, and reverence.

Let’s keep it that way.

Until next time,

Jade xx

Coat Hanger Logo done in black on white in the style of chinese calligraphy and paint brushing style with the words Label Ministry placed in capital letters below it.