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The Innovators MBFWA 2018

May 16

Welcome to Hump Day at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.  Traditionally, Wednesday is the day where the emerging talent hits the runway. They usually do it with incredible impact, and trust me when I tell you, this year will be one of their best. The Innovators are a group of young, full-hearted fashion fledglings who know nothing other than the sheer passion which drives their creative process and is the fuel upon which their dreamy aspirations rely. They are the most recent fashion graduates of FDS, the acronym for Fashion Design Studio, Ultimo TAFE. It is the eponymous fashion school of excellence which is quite simply, now, and historically, the birth place of so many of Australia’s incredible designers.  It has been fashion home, until his recent departure to pursue other incredible fashion endeavours, of the infamous Nicholas Huxley, about whom I will report in the coming months and whom I am privileged to know and share fabulous and funny fashion tales. Sophie Drysdale, Alex Zehntner and Laura Washington, and Kam …. quite literally move mountains with their passion, dedication and experience. FDS is, and always has been a whole lotta fabulousness all in one place, and this fabulousness is quite literally transferred to all the students who have the good fortune to walk through their doors.

Whose careers you might ask were birthed at FDS?

Well. Where should I start?

Dion Lee, Karla Spetic, Nicole Banning (Ephemera), Zimmermann, Akira Isogawa, Alex Perry, Ginger and Smart and Romance Was Born, to name but a few. Impressive eh?

But today we are concentrating on the up and comers who appear below, and I have no doubt, that just like their predecessors “up” and “come” they shall, as history has always proved such.

Such raw talent needs to be admired, respected and embraced.

They are the future of our local fashion industry and their creative visions will ripple out locally and globally with our support.

Make the applause loud for these legends.


Zsófia Mátrai

“MATRAI is an Avant-garde Couture Womenswear label launched by Zsófia Mátrai for her graduate collection in 2017. The brand is known for the expression of combining traditional tailoring with couture craftsmanship, creating innovative ready-to wear womenswear looks.

Her vision is to create the most radical garment construction by utilizing 3D printed techniques. Zsófia not only uses 3D garment construction building but also specialises in textile design, laser cutting and embroidery to express her artistic vision.

 The range combines traditional tailoring and couture techniques with innovative craftsmanship inspired by European architecture particularly through an analysis of  its inner structure.

Zsófia Mátrai

Dana Lock

The Ballina raised designer moved to Sydney in 2015, she proceeded to study at the prestigious Fashion Design Studio in Ultimo (graduating 2017) and interned under respected Australian designer, Akira Isogawa.

Dana Lock is a label that eradicates the constructs of normality with heavy reference to subjects that shock and disturb modern train of thought – eliciting reaction to counteract social standards and taboos. This is an extremist label that investigates the human condition, the interplay between imprisonment and freedom and most importantly the beauty that can be found in the most grotesque of places – physical or imaginary.

 These key conceptual dogmas are brought forth via the introduction of the avant-garde into daily life with sculptural silhouettes, unusual textures and consistent reference to traditional BDSM. Dana Lock is harsh yet empowering, eliciting the rawest form of vulnerability in the wearer via the ability to instigate change.

Dana Lock

Gillian Garde

Gillian Garde is a 2017 Fashion Design Studio graduate and women’s wear designer. Her work fuses the old with the new, creating feminine, modern design while acknowledging the past. History is brought to the forefront through traditional garment detailing and silhouette, but is modernised through quirky colour combinations and graphic prints. All of these elements combine to tell a story, which is the basis of all of the designer’s work. Through storytelling the audience is engaged on a personal level, which makes the wearer feel connected to each piece in the collection.

The story that is told through her graduate collection “Bloodline” is deeply personal and pays homage to her adopted Norwegian roots, while also questioning the importance of genetic heritage in order to belong in a society. Using the enchanting Nordic landscape that grew to define her childhood and the traditional folk costumes of Norway as her inspiration, she shares a part of her own journey of personal identity and belonging in what once was a foreign country to her. The collection bears some melancholic undertones, but ultimately is an ode to a place she now considers one of her two homelands.

Gillian Garde

ODD by Anna Jacobsen

ODD is a brand that is unafraid. Created by fashion design graduate Anna Jacobsen in 2017 as part of her graduate collection, Anna set out to create a brand that was both audaciously bold, inspired confidence in the wearer and empowered women to dare to be different. Traditional tailoring techniques and a diversity of art forms are morphed with clever experimental manipulations and treatments, resulting in unique, quality and enduring garment designs.

ODD is unafraid of expressing individuality and difference, even if they are idiosyncratic, peculiar or unconventional. Some of us like to outwardly show this by the clothing we wear as a way to express and embrace our differences.

Anna wishes to embrace and encourage those that are highly confident in themselves, who seek a brand that makes a statement, defies mainstream trends and enables the wearer to stand out in the crowd.

Her collection aims to provide well made, quality garments that have a quirky, unconventional humour and a classic transcending style. By pushing conventions she achieve designs that are eccentric and humorous and that have an energy and boldness. The range is characterised by its bright colours, interesting and experimental shapes, tailoring elements and superior quality of materials and make.

Gillian Garde

Shroud The Label

 ‘Shroud’ entails the symbolic idea of concealing or blanketing the body in a way in which clothing does. In doing so, conveying one’s personality in a manor beyond that of audible conversation.

A brand that was created for the future thinkers. The powerful, intellectual, artful, political minds who aim to make a statement with what they wear. We aim to not buy into the inefficiencies of unethical and unsustainable behaviour in order to make a quality honest product. A sensual nostalgic romance meets an alternative warped reality of titillating shock tactics and political undertones in its aim find where the two opposites meet. Giving birth to romantic modernity and protest. A satirical contradiction on societal norms presented in a manner of severe proportion manipulation. The brand presents a unique mixture of wearable must-haves and wearable art.

Shroud was founded by designer Jessica Carter-Kite in early 2017 as part of her graduating collection from Sydney’s leading fashion institution The Fashion Design Studio, TAFE NSW. She has since been selected as a finalist for the DIA’s Graduate of the Year Award and has showcased her garments in countless editorials. Shroud will be presenting it’s first collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2018.

Gillian Garde

ZRD by Ruby Zhang

Ruby Zhang is the founder of the fashion brand ZRD. Her designs reflect positive energy and creates a world that is limitless. Following her arrival in Australia in 2010, a passion for design led her to enrol in a design foundation course at UNSW. There, she found her forte in fashion and pursued it as her career path.

Ruby’s previous studies in music inspired her to create her garments. Sound can be created to a visual display of fashion. Since she was young, the link between the visual and music has been an important one. Fashion took Ruby overseas and Milan was the source of inspiration that changed everything. It propelled what was possible from what was taught in Australia and updated her standards on what fashion is. She returned to Australia and bought back her new ideas of fashion which would successfully assist her gaining her Bachelor’s degree at Sydney’s Fashion Design Studio, TAFE NSW.

Ruby Zhang

Whitehart by Danielle Soole

Whitehart is the 2017 Graduate collection of Danielle Soole. Originally hailing from Dubbo in regional NSW, she moved to Sydney to complete her studies in the Bachelor of Fashion Design. The label Whitehart showcases streetwear with a distinctive foundation in historical reference and inspiration.

Whitehart aims to create pieces that draw from the individualistic and highly wearable nature of streetwear, while combining the decorative and exaggerated embellishment of historical costume to create a distinctive modern flavour.

Whitehart brings to life a collection that is creatively considered and beautifully crafted, balancing femininity with rich historical context to create contemporary garments. With the intention to create a highly wearable, yet enduring collection that embodies a relaxed, effortlessness style with a distinct street culture aesthetic.


ZELLA MAY by Kamila May

Founded by designer and artist Kamila May, ZELLA MAY has captured the imagination of women who identify with a dreamy, sensual and evocative aesthetic. 

Designs are firmly based in historical techniques such as hand embroidery, pleating and smocking, brought into the 21st century by their adaption to modern fabrications such as tulle, machine lace and cast plastics. 

There is always a dose of the dreamy, brought out in this collection by the hand painted soft fabric figures that drape across garments. Juxtaposing this is edgy deconstructed suiting, demonstrating the duality of softness and strength. ZELLA MAY is for the modern woman; feminine, strong and free. 


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!


One of the things I love about Camilla and Marc is their absolute commitment to wearability. Gorgeous, but practical, for the most part, with many a glamour piece to call upon should the need arise.

I was lovin’ the sustained presence of the flares teamed with long sleeved blouses and even more structured and robust tops with high neck-lines.


I was delighted but not surprised tonight to witness the return of the once lost aspect of “demure”.

There was a definite return to the modest, the lady-like, an almost colonial American or Amish feel to some peplum inspired pieces.

How refreshing it was to see an abundance of fabric covering the body in the most feminine and flowing of ways post the never-ending era of the shortest of short dresses.


The freshness of white boots on the runway was sharp and clean but there was still the all important presence of the stiletto.

The layering of blouses and the use of the almost old-fashioned shirt placed strategically under the concept pinafore was strongly featured teamed with the quirky over-size, and I mean “hugely” over-sized bags.


My favourite pieces of this collection were the stunning sage green ‘top to toe’ outfit, the shiny “patent” T, and being the jacket freak that I am, I mostly adored the combination of the oversized jackets and tailored fitted shorts.

The absolute standout was the oversized checked double-breasted jacket atop, what appeared to be two skirts worn together in such a way as the fabric flowed and moved in harmonic synchronicity.



I absolutely loved this show! Yep. It’s gonna be one hell-of-a Fashion Week!

Until Day #2 …

Jade xx

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.

“It was so exciting to see our partnership with these incredibly talented Australian designers come to life down the runway last night. These inspired collections embody and celebrate the upcoming theatrical release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, providing Australian fashionistas a deeper connection to the beloved franchise”, said Jo Pascoe, Country Director, Universal Consumer Products, Universal Brand Development.
Sarah Joseph Couture Bridal couture and evening wear showed pristine and precise construction employing the use of British tailoring techniques. Highly coveted bespoke pieces, with laces tailored in a modern and forward-thinking style are sought after the world over. Dramatically blended laces, leather, bead work and flowing chiffons made a stand-out statement to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Jurassic Park. 
‘We. Can. Save. Them.’ by A.BCH, a label founded by Courtney Holm, bases itself on the responsible principles of Create, Care, Circulate. A radical disruptor of the current fashion industry standard of Take, Make, Dispose, A.BCH showcased a collection that represented this activism artfully connected to the Jurassic theme by drawing from the mission of the Dinosaur Protection Group. Presenting ‘Scientists’ and ‘Activists’ on the runway A.BCH connected the audience to the deeper plot line of survival, revealing not only humanity’s tendency to dominate, but more importantly their unique ability to drive change and selflessly contribute to the greater good.
EWOL, the epitome of fantasy and sci-fi, is the brain child of Angela Lowe, and Jurassic World proved the perfect alignment and inspiration for this up and coming label. Focusing on the more specific attributes of dinosaurs, EWOL explored fully the artistic license through teeth, scale, eyes, claws and skin tones. Angela endeavoured to create an immersive dinosaur experience, through her own choice of colours, shapes and prints, to send the audience on a journey, and at the same time, paying homage to the Jurassic World franchise.
A child of the 90s, Keegan Hunt, of Keegan, a Melbourne label, grew up on movies like Jurassic Park. “My collaboration for the Jurassic World Runway led to the development of a range of garments, featuring minimalist hand-drawn dinosaurs and skulls”, said Keegan. To complement the apparel, Keegan made use of the ‘amber’ from the very first release in 1993 for inspiration, to create nostalgic, yet modern, statement earrings.
Leah Da Gloria’s capsule collection was inspired by the combined textural and colour palette of the natural environment, the dinosaurs, and habitat from the movie itself. Sleek silhouettes juxtaposed with earthy tones and prints, organic textured and custom made beaded hardware complemented the natural fibres of silk and leather. A glorious merging of gracefulness and fluidity hit the runway in epic Jurassic glory.
Vincent Li took the deepest part of our psyche to synthesise the two conceptual parts into complex storylines – ‘Disguise’ and ‘Reborn’. Silhouettes contrasted by different textures, panels, layers, disguising bodies in a monochrome colour palette took the audience on the most special of Jurassic journeys.
To close, LunarSand, the swim label renowned for its unique and edgy aesthetic by Ruby Licciardi, exhibited the power of a collection hinging on the use of the iconic cult imagery. Pieces showed clever and significant use of jungle prints, punctuated by prehistoric dinosaur skeletons, abstract dinosaur skins and the famous Jurassic World logo. The collection incorporated women’s swim, children’s swim and athletic wear. Silhouettes were clean and sophisticated, retro, yet contemporary, with an influence of street. Colour ways were deep, luxurious, and subtle, yet understated. Neutral nudes, shades of khaki, and bottle green featured boldly. Black and white graphics were strongly emphasised but softened by desaturations of magenta and violet.
The runway roared that night.
The Jurassic World Runway has to be the perfect, organic alliance of fashion and film. As Australia’s fashion talent paid tribute to Universal’s cinematic pre-eminence, Universal Brand Development returned the compliment to Australian fashion, unleashing its mighty public relations vehicle for the benefit of the industry. And what an alchemy it was.
Never before has Australian fashion enjoyed the might of an illustrious brand such as Universal. 
There is so much more to share about this event … so keep checking back for updates about red carpet pics, and backstage insider pics …
Meet the designers:
Sarah Joseph Couture
Leah Da Gloria
Vincent Li 
A HUGE thank you to Universal Brand Development … you SIMPLY rock!
I would also like to thank the following people and companies for their commitment to Label Ministry and my vision … Suzie Grierson Hair | Glow By Beca | Coffee Alchemy | Dashing Print | AURA Makeup | Sanpellegrino | Bella Management | The Creative Collaborators | Alex Zehntner | Sophie Drysdale | Laura Washington … and so, so many others …
Until next time,
Jade xx
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’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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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 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 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.

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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, Events, Global Fashion Industry

Fashion Design Studio 2016

November 29



Forget restrictions. Forget modesty. Explore the freedom of sexual expression through couture swimwear with no rules. We didn’t come here to be sensible.

Emma Standen, Handsy Swimwear.

Last week I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Fashion Design Studio 2016 Graduate Runway Presentation at The Spine, Sydney TAFE.

Like each and every year, FDS seems to be able to churn out the most incredible fashion talent and this year was certainly no different.

Of course FDS, Fashion Design Studio, formerly East Sydney Tech is no stranger when it comes to churning out amazing creative talent. In it’s 61st year, it is the home of many a famous Australian designer whose names have well and truly commanded the respect and admiration of all within the industry both locally and internationally. And, stay there. Have they what! Akira Isogawa, Dion Lee, Nicky Zimmermann & Christopher Esber.

As I was only telling someone last night … yes, I am still banging on about my dearest passion.

At least I’m consistent!

It is the sole reason Label Ministry was created as an online platform.

To tell THE WORLD that we are simply the best!

Australian designers rock! I don’t believe there is a country in the world who can match the fashion talent we continuously unleash to the world at large, and quite frankly, I don’t believe there ever will.

We have “something”.  Intangible. Unmistakably ours.

A freshness that identifies as Australian. Our fabrics, our designs, and the way in which we wear our clothes demonstrate our acceptance of diversity and imagination. Fuelled by the blessing of unlimited sunshine, white sands and royal blue oceans which stretch as far as the eye can see.

Yep. No-one can touch us and that’s a fact.

Continue Reading…

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Events, Interview, Millinery, Spring Racing Carnival

The Dress Circle

November 21
Five national competitors for the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival. Alice Bright, Courtney Moore, Inessa McIntyre, Regina Thei, Ashleigh Jane, all sitting under a tree.


Alice Bright standing in a white lace dress, white clutch and matching white hat.

Alice Bright | Fashionista On the Field | 2016 | Photography | Ryan Pike



I’m feeling very lucky as I feel I am living some of my dreams right now.

Alice Bright

This year at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, I met a stunning, tall, gorgeous girl with a beautiful, welcoming smile. I initially greeted her because I admired her dress from afar, and made a bee line to her to compliment her on her standout appearance.

As an aside, I always try to do this when I see women who are beautifully dressed anywhere, as I have always seen great importance in uplifting each other in any way we can.

Anyhow, as we started chatting, the gorgeous young woman, who told me her name was Alice surprised me by telling me she was not a fashion designer. Why was I surprised you might ask? Well, because I was at Fashion Week.  Right?  That’s usually where you find them. Alice told me she had made the dress she was wearing which was drop dead gorgeous, and that she made all her dresses for events. What events I asked?

Racing Carnivals.

Over the course of the year, a Myer, Fashions on the Field winner is selected from each state in Australia. During the Melbourne Cup Carnival, a Myer Fashion on the Field winner is selected from literally hundreds of participants, on Melbourne Cup Day, Derby Day, and Oaks Day. The winner becomes the official Victorian representative and then competes for the national crown. 

Alice was Tasmania’s winner in February 2016 at The Hobart Cup.

All of the girls who are winners in their own states compete against one another to become the national winner of Myer’s Fashions on the Field, which is celebrated every year on Crown Oaks Day. This is the final day, at least for the fashionistas, during the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington.

The finalists this year were Alice Bright (Tas), Courtney Moore (SA), Ashleigh Ridgeway (WA), Gracyn Marsterson (VIC), Regina Thei (NSW) and Inessa McIntyre (QLD). First place went to Courtney Moore, second place to Gracyn Marsterson, and third place to Alice Bright.

Alice Bright is a woman blessed with the perfect surname.  She indeed has the “brightest” of futures, which will gloriously match her friendly smile.

Of course, being the insatiable fashionista that I am, I wait with great anticipation for the “Alice Bright” fashion label … another story, for another day.

For now let’s focus on her most recent amazingness.

Here is her story …

Enjoy xx


Crown Oaks Day | Left | Alice Bright | 3rd | Middle | Courtney Moore | Winner | Right | Gracyn Marsterson 2nd |



Congratulations! On your recent successes! How did you first come to be involved with Myer Fashions on the Field?


Thank you so much, it was such an amazing experience and I’m feeling very honoured to have received third place in the national final of Myer Fashions on the Field at Flemington Racecourse.

I started entering Fashions on the Field events when I lived in Launceston, Tasmania back in 2007. My first success came with second place in the Launceston Cup, Fashions on the Field.

This was the first outfit I designed and made to enter Fashions on the Field and looking back, a catalyst for why I am as passionate as am now. I had a little break from 2007 – 2011 and my second moment of significance came when I finished in the top 10 in Myer FOTF on Derby Day 2012. This was a very special moment for me as I designed and made this dress & headpiece with my mum. Similar to my first experience this success gave me the motivation I needed to keep designing and keep entering Myer FOTF.


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Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Events, MBFWA

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia 2016

May 26
Standing in front of the promotional board at Carriagework for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Sydney.

Last week I aged about five years. Just as well I was wearing my new Pradas. Like Anna Wintour. Except that I wasn’t wearing them to be cool. No. Just to cover up my very tired face.

This was our last day at Carriageworks, the sun was going down on the event for this year, quite literally.

I loved every single moment!

It is my most favourite week of the year. Strange you might say if it’s my favourite week. Why am I stating negatives? Yes. I can see what you mean.  But as wonderful as it is, it is a crazy mix of the greatest excitement you could ever imagine, and the most exhausting of any weeks, all at the same time. It is hype on top of hype. The excitement of seeing the most beautiful people once again, and naturally to catch up in person with all my fashion friends who live all over Australia.

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2016 or MBFWA.  A phenomenal week of the “work” kind of socialising, meeting industry friends, and of course, the reason we all go … to witness, enjoy and revel in the sheer talent of fashion design that Australia is known for.

An industry event full of buyers, bloggers, fashion journalists, editors, spotters, public relations teams, celebrities, and the Who’s Who of the Australian fashion world. I have lost track of how many shows I watched across the week, but what shows they were.

Opened by the incredible Toni Maticevski in the most inspiring of venues, Bangaroo.

Closed by the legendary, Oscar de la Renta, now passed, but Oh! how ‘The Legend’ lives on. It was full house indeed, and any wonder.  Elegance personified is our Oscar, and what a treat is was to be able to be present.

Bangaroo is just an incredible place, period. But for a fashion show? Simply memorable. Most of the other shows were at Carriageworks in Sydney’s Everleigh, and of course, like always there were the “off site” shows, like the one at Bradfield Park in Sydney’s north. Literally under the Harbour Bridge at 9am on a beautiful clear morning, with blue sky and perfectly acquainted by crisp Autumnal air, the Manning Cartell girls did not disappoint.  A stunning collection.

Mid week another highlight for me was the McGraw show. Speaking of sisters who never disappoint, I thought this show was beautifully balanced in every way.  A great collection. A fun collection.  Gorgeous models. Smiling models! Great choice of music and a beautiful happy, original, and unforgettable set!

I proudly tell everyone about MBFWA and my involvement there, because I am truly chuffed at the amazingness we get to call Australian fashion. We are expertly creative and distinctively original in the way we interpret and present fashion. We are a hub of far-away design genius as far as I am concerned and the rest of the world rightly watches in awe when we show our very best Fashionista selves.  I will be posting many interviews in the coming weeks about MBFWA Resort 2017 but for now, as a teaser, I thought you might enjoy a taste of my fashion week video gallery.

Until next time,

Jade xx

We are still young but you will never find passion like ours.


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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, Bloggers, Editorial, Events, Melbourne Fashion Festival

Tickets on Ourselves

March 17
Model on the fashion runway observed by front row fashionistas and bloggers sitting in "the frow".

Influencers realised they could turn themselves into a business by charging hundreds or thousands for posts, they appointed managers and this led to the ascent of blogger agencies signing talent to work with brands.

Suzanne Carbone


We all know that fashion bloggers and style influencers love fashion events. And why wouldn’t they? So do I. It is the chance to connect with people who live, work and breathe the fashion blog and fashion industry. To literally dive into the arena of fashion, design, styling, and the creative minds behind the expression of the runway is what keeps these events alive. The passion and enthusiasm abounds at events such as VAMFF. My most recent fashion fix. It is also a buzz to talk to likeminded fashionistas whose minds connect through the vehicle of fashion passion. Like all industries however, events like this do come with their problems. It was noticeable to me this time, the passive aggressive feel that lingered across the entire week around the subject of who could be seated in “The Frow”. So called because it is so easy to be seen with a frown!

When did attending a runway show become so stressful? Where one feels undervalued if they are not chosen to sit front row? And, what, if anything, constitutes the right to sit front row? Unless of course, you are, in all seriousness, a serious lover of fashionwho will, during the event, after the event, work generally, consistently and diligently, towards the growth, success and support of the fashion industry?

I would have to question why there needs to be such an unhealthy fixation with sitting in “the frow”, but do agree that the people who do sit on in “the frow”, should have adequate influence in order to create ‘good’ from their premium seating.

In Suzanne Carbone’s article this month in The Age, leading up to VAMFF, she says that “450 bloggers and influencers have applied for accreditation compared with 200 traditional print and broadcast media”.

I would argue that if The Blonde Salad, Gary Pepper, or Rosie of The Londoner was at VAMFF, sure, give the girls the best seat in the front row! With nearly 8 million Instagram followers between them, they obviously rule the blogosphere. Yeah baby! Wouldn’t that just be too cool for the galaxy of Australian fashion!


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I do think however, for a reasonably small event, at least on the world scale, with not quite several hundred fashion bloggers across the country, we should even out the distribution of these seats a little more evenly across the general sector of attendees.

That would mean, VIP’s, fashion buyers, bloggers, journalists, magazine editors, and devotees. Surely there is enough love to share around?

I know quite a few bloggers and style influencers who were not invited to events this year, and were disappointed. Their disappointment in many cases meant they did not attend at all. This I thought was a great shame. It is the bombardment of these faithful devotees which makes these events more interesting, more attended, more photographed, more publicised and generally more successful.

I do think it a shame that invitations on mass cannot be sent out, but I do understand from a costing point of view, that these expensive events need to be carefully curated and funded.

My individual passion is such, that I often pay to attend these events. I am often very fortunate to be able to attend and not pay, but I make sure that I pay back in kind. In the form of a great article, in response to what has been gifted to me. It is fact of life that everything we do, costs money. We all know that nothing is free. Nothing. I do wonder at times, why bloggers think it is their right to be invited to events for free, and even though I am a fashion editor/blogger myself, I recognise the need to support these events with real dollars. This currency, like it or not, is the only way these designers and all other people who are involved in the industry survive. That is the reality.

It is the world we now seem to live in where everyone feels ‘entitled’ to receive something for free. There is a total lack of interest in who pays, as long as we are assured that we don’t have to.

We are drowning in a sea of self importance, and narcissism. We expect our hands to be held in every way, without pulling out the stops, and working ethically towards building one’s following through the vehicle of what used to be the norm. Just sheer hard work.

I love to be invited to events and shows.

It does not equate however to me showcasing someone, or not.

Paying for tickets keeps events going. It support industries. It keeps people in jobs. It allows growth. And secures a future.

If we really believe in our local fashion industry, no matter where it happens in Australia, isn’t it worth buying a ticket?

If we can encourage people, consumers and bloggers alike, to understand why this is such a necessity, then we will sure up a wonderful strong future for the industry we all love, and loose these “tickets on ourselves”.

Until next time,

Jade xx