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

Orange Is The New Black

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

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

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

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

Enjoy xx

Continue Reading…

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

Romance with Rachel Mills

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

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

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

Say a big hello!

Jade X

Sophie van den Bogaerde

Sophie van den Bogaerde

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She certainly succeeded.

Rachel Mills | Instagram

Until next time,

Sophie xx

Label Ministry Logo

 

 

Australian Fashion Industry, Beauty, Editorial, Health

The Grey Haired Revolution

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

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

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

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

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

Continue Reading…

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Global Fashion Industry

Meet Sophie

September 13
Sophie van den Bogaerde

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sophie van den Bogaerde

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

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

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

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

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

LM

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

Sophie

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

LM

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

Sophie

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

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

LM

What is your opinion of on line shopping?

Sophie

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

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

LM

What do you think of fast fashion?

Sophie

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

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

LM

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

Sophie

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

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

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

How can companies justify paying money … Why?

LM

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

Sophie

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

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

LM

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

Sophie

Yes.

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

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

Sophie van den Bogaerde

LM

What is your opinion about cosmetic procedures on young women?

Sophie

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

LM

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

Sophie

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

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

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

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

LM

Thank you Sophie.

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

Until next time,

Jade xx

Aussie Fashion, Australian Designer, Australian Fashion, Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Events, MBFWA

Camilla and Marc Day #1 MBFWA 2018

May 13

So, Camilla and Marc opened Australian Fashion Week tonight in tandem celebration with their 15th Anniversary, with an incredible show!

Well, of course it was incredible … it was Camilla and Marc!!! What more would one expect?

I loved the feeling of this show. Firstly, it was reminiscent of times past as it was held at the iconic Sydney space, The Royal Hall of Industries at Moore Park.

I was so delighted to see this gorgeous collection … beautiful brocades in pale palettes graced the runway followed by the re-invention of traditional power suiting. I think I even detected some shoulder pads, matched in strength by the oversized double breasted jacket in various checks with very lengthy arms. A little impractical you might say … but bloody fantastic on the runway! Continue Reading…

Australian Designer, Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Events, Global Fashion Industry

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Runway 2018

May 13

On 11 April 2018, Universal Brand Development executed a sensational Australian fashion industry coup. In collaboration with Jade Cosgrove of Label Ministry, the entertainment giant staged the first ever film-fashion runway event to take place in Australia.

It was a meeting of,

Well … dinosaurs really … life size ones at that; and the biggest movie studio in the world collaborating with seven incredible Australian designers.

Yeah. That’s all.

The story goes like this …

The glamorous invitation-only event was a night to remember, as “Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom” came alive on the runway at Australian Technology Park, showcasing seven of Australia’s most talented designers who unleashed their Jurassic inspired collections. Continue Reading…

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.

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

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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.

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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.

 

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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.