Browsing Tag

An Hour With

Interiors, Interview, Shopping

Queen of Interiors

July 26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy xx

Blue velvet luxury sofa by Horgans interiors.

LM

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

MH

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

LM

Where did your love of interiors come from?

MH

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

LM

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

MH

Comes from within – it’s my passion.

LM

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

MH

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

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

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

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

LM

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

MH

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

LM

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

MH

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

LM

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

MH

Yes absolutely, they complement each other perfectly.

LM

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

MH

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

LM

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

MH

Both.

LM

Who are your favourite, iconic interior designers?

MH

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

LM

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

MH

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more about Horgan’s here.

Horgan’s Instagram

Until next time,

Jade xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interior Design, Interview, Shopping

Suzie Anderson Home

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

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

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

What inspired you to create the Suzie Anderson Home brand?

SA

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

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

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

Where did your love of interior design come from?

SA

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

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

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

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

SA

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

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

Do you offer in-home interior design services?

SA

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

LM

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

SA

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

LM

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

SA

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

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

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

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

SA

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

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

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

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

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

SA

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

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

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

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

SA

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

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

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

SA

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

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

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

Who are your favourite interior designers, internationally and locally?

SA

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

Locally, Marco Meneguzzi, Adelaide Bragg and Judy Elliott.

LM

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

SA

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

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

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

SA

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

LM

What do you think of strong colour in an interior?

SA

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

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

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

SA

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

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

LM

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

SA

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

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

Do you find it easy to style yourself?

SA

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

LM

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

SA

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

Picture of Suzie Anderson's shop in Bowral.

LM

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

SA

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

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

Meet Suzie here.

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

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

One. Gorgeous. Place. Suzie Anderson Home.

Until next time,

Jade xx

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

 

Australian Fashion Industry, Beauty, Interview, women

Alex Perrin, Sydney Makeup Artist

December 19
A photo of Alex Perrin with full makeup.

 

Picture of roses, luxury products and Tom Ford perfume.

 

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

Jade Cosgrove, Label Ministry

 

It’s the week before Christmas!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy xx

A photo of Alex Perrin with full makeup.

LM

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

AP

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

LM

What was your driving motivation to become a makeup artist?

AP

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

LM

What advice would you give to young women regarding makeup?

AP

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

LM

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

AP

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

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

LM

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

AP

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

LM

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

AB

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

LM

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

AP

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

LM

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

AP

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

Alex Perrin, Sydney makeup artist.

LM

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

AP

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

LM

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

AP

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

LM

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

AP

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

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

LM

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

AP

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

LM

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

AP

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

 

A photo of Alex Perrin with full makeup.

LM

Who are your favourite Australian fashion designers? International?

AP

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

LM

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

AP

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

LM

Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

AP

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

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

LM

What is your greatest dream?

AP

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

LM

Good Luck Alex!

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

Until next time,

Jade xx

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

 

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

Akira Isogawa

December 14

 

“A garment can transcend, giving it a soul.

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

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

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

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

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

Akira Isogawa

Akira Isogawa | Spring Summer 2017

Akira Isogawa | Spring Summer 2017

 

This week I was blessed. Truly blessed.

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

To me this man is a legend.

Continue Reading…

Editorial, Interview, Lifestyle

Dream the Miracle

November 14
Picture of Barbara Callan standing outside in nature in a black and white geometric designed sleeveless dress.

 

This journey of self responsibility begins with the understanding that everything – without exception – that is in our lives and our experience is our own creation.

Barbara Callan

 

Picture of Barbara Callan standing outside in nature in a black and white geometric designed sleeveless dress.

 

Every now and again, I write an editorial piece which steers away slightly from the focus of fashion.

Our lives are so full of work, business, family, networking and goal setting that I thought it would be helpful to introduce my audience to someone who has made coaching ‘her life’.

Barbara Callan is an intuitive consultant whose work is becoming more and more known.

She is someone who understands the intrinsic details of working with energy. She believes we are all “energy first and physical second”.

Of course, traditional life and business coaching is something we have all been aware of, and had access to, for quite some time. The idea of placing our goals in plain sight via the vehicle of consistent and accountable coaching, is a perfectly common sense idea.

Slightly different however, is that Barbara encourages people to take responsibility for their own lives to expand themselves energetically, to understand the importance of meditation, and to maintain vigilant awareness of being in the moment, to move closer to our dream life.

I sat down with Barbara to ask her some questions that were on my mind.

Enjoy xx

 

LM

How would you describe “energy”?

BC

Energy is the living force or frequency that surrounds all living things. It has been successfully photographed using Kirlian photography, described as “a technique for recording photographic images of corona discharges and hence the auras of living creatures.” When we work at the energetic level we can effect changes at the physical level which is really cool. Our thoughts and feelings affect our energy field, which in turn affects our body.

 

Infrared pictures of two hands showing an energy field.

 

LM

As an Intuitive Consultant how do you hope to help people in their lives?

BC

I have the ability to tune in to someone’s energy field and to feel what is going on in their lives. I can see and experience blocks that people may be experiencing which are stopping them moving forward. Together we work to remove these and understand them so that they do not reappear. I provide inspiration, clarity and direction. I work by distance with clients all over the world, as energy is not bound by time and space.

Continue Reading…

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Photography, Styling

Karlstrom Creatives

November 8
Picture of a girl in black and white with large round sunglasses and long brown hair.
Model with blue hair standing in colourful skirt and top with high heeled white shoes for a campaign shoot.

Karlstrom Creatives | Photography | Peter Karlstrom | Stylist | Leigh Karlstrom

 

 

The passion and love comes from creating something that is yours. We see what we do as a story and the characters just come to life.

Petter Karlstrom

 

One of my most favourite topics within the realm of Australian fashion is the creative team. We often take for granted the contribution that these teams make to the success of independent designers, important events, and the general gorgeous hype that our industry rocks. No other creative team is more deserving of this kudos which is the topic of my latest editorial.

Who are they? Karlstrom Creatives.

I absolutely love the work of Petter and Leigh Karlstrom.

They have reached, what I consider to be, the pinnacle of creative prowess.

Petter and Leigh Karlstrom are the dynamic duo. Quite literally. Petter is the photographer,  Leigh the stylist.

I first discovered their work when I interviewed the amazing Chisato Chris Arai, another creative genius. Definitely one of Australia’s most coveted makeup artists. If you have not discovered Chris Arai yet, do yourself the pleasure of checking out her work. Just navigate through the menu to her article. Truly inspiring.

But back to the Karlstrom duo. Their work is fresh, inspiring, different, engaging, and pure creativity. It is the epitome of imagination and fantasy, and I love it!

I can’t sing the praises of these people enough. I know, I know. You think I say that about everyone I interview. Well I do try to sing everybody’s praises. That’s true. But it is never undeserved, as I am blessed to be granted interviews with the very coolest of people!

Every now and again, you come across people and talent that is truly special. And this article is about these human gemstones.

Petter told me, “the streets inspire us. Characters and spaces. I usually get an idea from being at a cool location and then the rest just comes naturally”.

Continue Reading…

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

Frederick Jenkyn

September 26
Model | Kelly Hockey Place | London Designer | Frederick Jenkyn Photographer | Chris Fatseas

Frederick Jenkyn, Australian Fashion Designer, TAFE Ultimo. The Innovators.

As all of my devoted followers already know, earlier this year, I had the pleasure of perusing on mass, the breathtaking young smorgasbord of talent that Australia serves up each and every year at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. After the week long event, which is the highlight of the years for all Australian fashion devotees, I methodically work my way through the incredible mix of entrepreneurial youth, offering them the opportunity to publish an affordable and effective public relations interview to promote their names and their emerging brands.

Frederick Jenkyns collection was outstanding. I met him the very day of the unveiling of his collection, but am bringing you this interview after corresponding with him in London, his new place of residence.

As I am sure you are aware, and if you are not, please consider this.

Our emerging designers are quite literally our fashion future.  They represent the group of people who will lead us strongly, both locally and internationally, in the ethical and sustainable production of our beloved fashion industry. Young people such as Frederick will most likely be the names behind your choice of dressing and the other interiors of our design lives for decades to come. It is essential that we support them, read about them, buy their product and offer them our gratitude and encouragement.

Please remember to share  the love.

Australian fashion is depending on you …

 

Meet Frederick Jenkyn.

In five years? I want to have my own studio with pattern makers/design assistants. A machinist and a social media/online manager.

Rolls and rolls of fabrics and a stock room filled to the brim.

I would like to think I’ll be complaining about needing more space. But then I will think, I need to pay for the embroidery for next season so it’s not a good time to upgrade.

I will only wear black. In case someone visits the studio and I won’t look a mess.

And in the bottom draw of my desk, that looks like a filing draw, I’ll keep some throw rugs for the “before show” all-nighters.

Frederick Jenkyn

 

Model Kelly Hockey modelling in London for Frederick Jenkyn. Photographer Chris Fatseas.

Here is Frederick Jenkyn’s story so far …

Frederick Jenkyn as a brand emphasises wearable innovation through unconventional textiles and hand crafted detailing traversing the borderline between couture extravagance and everyday wearability.

Frederick Jenkyn

 

Continue Reading…

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Global Fashion Industry, Photography

Lights. Cameras. Heaven.

June 28
Bill Cunningham, New York photographer. Passed away at age 87 years after a stroke.

“The problem is I’m not a good photographer. To be perfectly honest, I’m too shy. Not aggressive enough. Well, I’m not aggressive at all. I just loved to see wonderfully dressed women, and I still do. That’s all there is to it.”

– Bill Cunningham

This morning, as I drank my morning coffee and dreamily looked out the window, my eyes rested on a postcard sitting near me. The title was, “The King Is Dead”.

It is not often that I am totally affected by the passing of someone whom I have never met, spoken to, or even seen in person.

But this time was different.

Saturday, June 25 2016 was a sad day for the global fashion industry.

I woke that morning, Sydney time, with a heavy heart, to find that the iconic Bill Cunningham, the famous bicycle pedalling street photographer, and dedicated columnist for the New York Times, will no longer be seen in mid-town New York capturing his special version of visual fashion delights.

Bill has crossed over, and is now travelling on a runway of a different kind.

Bill Cunningham was special. Eccentric. Dedicated. One of a Kind. And. He Will Be So Missed.

It has literally taken me days to comprehend that he is gone. At least from my current world.

And so this post is dedicated to Bill.

A man I never met, but a man that I know has affected so many lives with his work. As I write these words I realise what an incredible thing that is.  To actually be such a contributory pillar of artistic genius that causes fashion lovers across the world to mourn his passing.

Bill is someone that I would have loved to have met, even briefly. For whatever reason, that was not to be. But it actually doesn’t matter because I hold such gratitude for the contribution he has made to my life. And to my own passion for fashion.

And there is that word again. Contribution.  Ahh yes! That word has been spoken about a lot lately, post Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, Sydney 2016.

Contribution.
Continue Reading…

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Fashion Designer, Interview, MBFWA

The new VANguard … Jessica VAN

June 22
A model walks the runway in a design by Jessica Van at the The Innovators: Fashion Design Studio show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Resort 17 Collections at Carriageworks on May 20, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images)

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2016 was really no different to me than it was last year in a general sense. I always love every minute of it.

If there is one, I am “the” tragic fashion week attendee.

This week is one where I cover all fashion designers, established or emerging, international and local. For those of you who know me my greatest love and the fire that drives the passion in my fashion belly, is that of the emerging designer.  

This year, my heart beat faster than usual in the frow. Why you ask? Because of the person who happens to be the subject of this editorial.

One Miss Jessica Van. 

It took precisely five minutes of my life to view the very first Jessica Van collection. An even shorter moment to recognise that I had just witnessed the work of a young designer, and currently relatively unknown designer, who I believe, is headed for the greatest of success. Words cannot describe how much I loved this collection.

I can hear you asking why?

Because sometimes, you just know.

You see an extraordinary talent and the beginnings of something huge and untapped, wrapped up in fabrication of the designs which parade in front of you on the runway.  

Jessica is young, inexperienced, and understandably in awe of a cut throat, competitive, and saturated industry.

She is also genius, dedicated, passionate, humble, and possibly one of the best young designers I have ever seen. She is full of hope and blessed with a dose of the smarts. She sees her designs as wearable art, and indeed they are. She understands the road she is about to travel and so do I.

She is, I believe a designer to watch, because if I am right, I think we will be seeing her name up in lights. And soon.

Here is her story.

Jade xx

Continue Reading…

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Fashion Designer, Interview, MBFWA

Monster Alphabets

June 8
Sarah Watanabe, designer of Monster Alphabets from Perth, Western Australia showing her collection for the first time in Sydney at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2016 at Carriageworks.

Every year at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, which this year has just come to a close, I do a series of interviews about Australia’s emerging fashion designers.

An important part of my week, and perhaps my greatest passion, is to review. to meet, and to bolster, the amazing collections of these designers who are newly graduated or who are nursing their young, wonderful labels through the tender years of their fashion infancy.

This year was no different. A broad array of talented and passionate individuals  whose collections graced the Carriageworks runways at MBFWA 2016.

The life of an emerging designer is a tenuous one, fraught with complex decision making, all weighing on the scales of balance combining creativity and commercialism.  In a world of fast fashion, and the universal hub of fashion manufacturing China, it is no wonder that these designers feel unloved by us all at times, trying to carve out their niche in the small consumer base of Australian fashion lovers down under.

I do my absolute best to make people aware of how dire our industry will become if we continue to ignore the importance of supporting our own.  My thoughts are not revolutionary, but I am completely devoted to my local designers and their hopes and dreams. My wish is that you are too.

So, may I leave you with this thought?

The next time you walk into Zara, TopShop or H&M think about the young Australian designers, who have studied for years, working second jobs just to support their chosen careers.

They need us. All of Us.  Me. And. You. To buy their product.

Their emerging labels need to find a permanent lodging in our heads, as the “Go To” for our next potential fashion fix. That is. If we still value the Australian fashion industry, which I am sure you do!

Meet Sarah Watanabe, the name behind Monster Alphabets, yet another of Perth’s fashion  talents …

For an independent label like Monster Alphabets, we try put an emphasis on slow fashion and an ethical way of producing.  This means that we do not produce big quantities or a large number of styles.  We want our customers to value our clothes and treat them as investment pieces.  Social media speeds up the process and everyone wants new images of new products on a daily basis.  This is not sustainable and works against small labels.

 

Sarah Watanabe, designer of Monster Alphabets from Perth, Western Australia showing her collection for the first time in Sydney at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2016 at Carriageworks.

Model | Alana | IMG |Photography | Shuwen Yu | Sydney MBFWA 2016

LM

I believe that you and your sister started “Monster Alphabets”. How did this eventuate?

MA

I was in between jobs in the latter half of 2011 and I saw a gap in the market for black clothes that expressed a unique twist with modern design.

As the label grew I dragged my sister Kacey into the business. She assists on the business side of the label.  She does the bookkeeping and basically makes sure I don’t do anything stupid.

LM

I love the name. Where did the inspiration for the name come from?

MA

Kacey briefly studied art at St Martins College in London. One of the projects she produced was called Monster Alphabets.

It was the study of implementing different characteristics and personality to each letter of the alphabet.  I liked the curious concept of the name and decided to steal it.

LM

What is the philosophy behind your label?

MA

Jenga. Design is like playing a game of Jenga.  How many elements can you eliminate before it crumbles. Less IS sometimes more.

LM

You talk about the “Japanese Design Pysche”. Could you please explain this further?

MA

It’s the subtleness in the detail. The alternate expression of beauty while not exposing too much skin.

LM

What is the inspiration behind your label? As an architecture student, does this influence your garments and collections strongly?

MA

I actually graduated from my architecture degree and worked full time before switching to fashion.

The design principles that I learned during my architecture days are the same minimalistic approaches and ethos that I now apply to my designs.

Sarah Watanabe, designer of Monster Alphabets from Perth, Western Australia showing her collection for the first time in Sydney at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2016 at Carriageworks.

Model | Anna | Photography | United Images | Sydney MBFWA 2016

LM

As an emerging label, how difficult has it been for you to secure a position within other markets, such as the US?

MA

I’ve only been active in Australia so I am not an international label yet but hopefully one day!

LM

Who are the people from whom you take inspiration and most admire within your industry?

MA

Diana Vreeland … her eccentric philosophy on fashion and life in general is so inspiring.

I am still looking for the Diana Vreeland of this generation.

LM

Lol! Aren’t we all?

LM

What do you love about the fashion industry in Perth?

MA

The fashion industry in Perth is so small that we all know each other and are extremely supportive towards each other.  There is nothing better than seeing a Perth face at events like MBFWA.

LM

Do you see yourself living and/or working in the eastern states?

MA

It is definitely something that I am asked about all the time.

With the digital proximity that is available to us now, I don’t think the geographical location is as crucial as it was before.  I am bit of a cavewoman so even if I lived in New York, I would probably still stay at home 20 hours a day sewing up a storm in the basement … #getalife

LM

What do you think of today’s street fashion?

MA

I personally feel that social media has made such an impact on street fashion.  My personal view is that girls want to stand out from the crowd – thus their focus is on creating an image that will outshine everyone else’s on Instagram and other social media outlets.  The priority now is to stand out even if it means compromising on style.

LM

What advice would you give to aspiring fashion designers?

MA

To accept the unpredictability of fashion.  Sometimes things just doesn’t make sense in fashion.  Just accept it and move on…

Sarah Watanabe, designer of Monster Alphabets from Perth, Western Australia showing her collection for the first time in Sydney at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2016 at Carriageworks.

Model | Subah | IMG | Photography | United Images | Sydney MBFWA 2016

LM

What is your advice to young women and the way they dress?

MA

Be true to yourself.  Wear something that makes you comfortable physically and mentally.

LM

What influence do you think social media has had on our current fashion industry and do you think it is a positive or negative influence?

MA

I think it has changed EVERYTHING from marketing strategy to the retail environment.

I think bringing any interest to fashion is always a good thing for the industry.  However I think providing the social media influencers with too much power when it is not justified will eventually become a questionable reality.

LM

Agreed!

For an independent label like Monster Alphabets, we try put an emphasis on slow fashion and an ethical way of producing.  This means that we do not produce big quantities or a large number of styles.  We want our customers to value our clothes and treat them as investment pieces.  Social media speeds up the process and everyone wants new images of new products on a daily basis.  This is not sustainable and works against small labels.

LM

Agreed a million times over!

LM

What is your favourite social media platform?

MA

Instagram. As a fashion designer, visual images is our currency.

LM

What age bracket do you design for?

MA

It’s not so much the age bracket, but I do tend to design for professional ladies who have a strong interest in the arts.

Sarah Watanabe, designer of Monster Alphabets from Perth, Western Australia showing her collection for the first time in Sydney at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2016 at Carriageworks.

Model | Juliette | IMG |Photography | Shuwen Yu | Sydney MBFWA 2016

LM

What do you think of the phenomenon of fast fashion and how has it affected you as a local designer?

MA

It has crippled my label but it has also motivated us to create designs that cannot be recreated by the fast fashion business model.

LM

Wonderful!  When you refuse to  join them … 

LM

Do you think fashion in Australia differs greatly to other countries?

MA

Yes. I think ultimately we design clothes to suit the climate we live in.  I also think that the climate dictates a lot of the cultural aspects too.  In Australia, we have beautiful sunny weather and gorgeous beaches. It is inevitable that we design garments that celebrate and accentuate this gift from Mother Nature.

LM

When your designs are photographed how do you like to see them represented and on whom?

MA

I think once the garment is handed over to the wearer, I enjoy seeing how they style them.

LM

Do you rely on fashion bloggers to spread the word about your label and how serious an effect do you think they have had on our industry?

MA

My label belongs to a very small niche.  Not a lot of bloggers endorse my dark aesthetics.

I think bloggers have been a major catalyst in this social media phenomenon.

Sometimes I feel like there is no censorship and at times I am wary about the opinions that are broadcasted on the web.

Blogging is not a protected profession so when they upload misleading information or weak content which can defame people, I find it very upsetting.

 

Sarah Watanabe, designer of Monster Alphabets from Perth, Western Australia showing her collection for the first time in Sydney at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2016 at Carriageworks.

Model | Anna Orsman | IMG | Photography | United Images | MBFWA 2016

LM

Why do you think fashion bloggers often look the same at events?

MA

Wow I thought it was just me that noticed! Ahhahaha!!!

LM

Nope!

MA

I think this could be due to the necessity to attract more and more people?  I ‘m really not sure.  It’s really unfamiliar territory for me.  I have never been the popular kid at school.  I was always the weird one who avoided the spotlight.  This desire to be so loved and get as many “likes” as possible is a very foreign concept to me.  Perhaps that is the reason why I have such modest number of followers haha!!!

LM

Well. I could argue that one’s contribution to the industry is more important than one’s following …

LM

Do you feel the industry needs to have a set of slightly older fashion bloggers to create a wider and broader space for a diverse representation of labels?

MA

ABSOUTELY.

Every human needs to wear clothes to protect themselves from the weather.  It is a primary necessity to wear clothes for human survival.  Style is what makes this process fun.  I strongly agree that there is a desperate need for more diversity in fashion.  My mother has a blog because she felt like there was a gap in the blogger world for older people.

Her idol is Iris Apfel.

LM

Mine too!

LM

Do you think our obsession with youth and only directing fashion to the very young has created a restricted playground for designers at large?

MA

No, not for my aesthetics.

Perhaps it would if I was running a label that solely relied on social media to measure success. If the interested in a label is largely generated by the power of the Instagram shock factor, then this would apply as only girls of a certain age can pull off the “half naked”, “sheer- sequinned” bodysuit … top … dress …nipple cover …

LM

How hard have you found it to show your collections and make connections overseas?

MA

I do get invited to take part in overseas events but as an independent fashion label, it would be irresponsible of me to do so when I am not ready to fund a bigger production line in keeping with greater demand.

Sarah Watanabe, designer of Monster Alphabets from Perth, Western Australia showing her collection for the first time in Sydney at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2016 at Carriageworks.

Model | Bianca IMG | Photography | Getty Images | Sydney MBFWA 2016

LM

Do you feel that the industry as a whole helps you to succeed?

MA

The panelists of Project Nextgen were all very important members of the fashion industry.  The fact that they saw something in a small label like mine with such a small social media following restored my faith in the industry.

LM

How could you be better supported?

MA

I think by educating people on the importance of shopping local would help alleviate the pressure that is experienced in the industry.

I think at the end of the day, if our business flourishes in Australia, we are one step closer towards international success.

Don’t we all want to see more Australian labels gracing the catwalks of Paris, New York and Milan?

LM

Yes. Yes. And Yes. We certainly do!!!

LM

What designers do you love in Australia? Overseas?

MA

I am a big fan of TOME.  Their minimalistic approach to design is breathtaking.  Yohji Yamamoto is my idol. He studied at Bunka as well so our teachers would often use his garments to demonstrate pattern making skills.

LM

Who do you think dresses the best, men or women?

MA

Men.  There is less to choose from so less chances of getting it wrong.

Sarah Watanabe, designer of Monster Alphabets from Perth, Western Australia showing her collection for the first time in Sydney at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2016 at Carriageworks.

Model | Alannah | IMG |
Photography | Getty Images | Sydney MBFWA 2016

LM

If you could change anything about what’s trending right now, what would that be?

MA

Narcissism ..

LM

Me too! Have you read my recent article NarcisSista Fashionista???

LM

What do you think about the prevalence of tattooes? Piercings?

MA

I don’t mind them at all.

LM

Do you think they had their day?

MA

Tattoos and piercings?  I think the phenomenon that was attached to it, ie. the taboo side of it, is gone.  As my friend Jono once said, having “NO tattoo is the NEW tattoo”.

LM

If we were speaking about fashion today, do you think we are becoming more modest or less so in our self expression?

MA

I think modesty is very rare when we talk about the fashion of today.  I think the danger is when the clothes end up wearing you, rather than you wearing the clothes.

LM

Why do you think some designers have gone broke in recent times?

MA

I think it is a combination of the difficult retail environment as well as the impact that social media has had.  The speed at which we are expected to develop new collections is ridiculous and just not financially viable.

LM

What advice would you give someone moving into fashion design?

MA

Develop a very thick skin. Get used to hearing “no” all the time.

LM

When you hear an emerging designer, with a full heart, and exceptional talent, describing the pursuit of their passion in this way, something needs to change. And. Fast.

A picture of Sarah Watanabe, designer of Monster Alphabets from Perth, standing at the foot of the runway, dressed in a black dress and black boots, after her show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Sydney 2016 in Sydney.

Monster Alphabets | Designer | Sarah Watanabe | St George NextGen | MBFWA 2016

LM

How do you cope with the commercial aspects of your design trade?

MA

The most challenging thing is finding the balance between design that is still commercial enough that it will sell and bring an income while maintaining the Monster Alphabets aesthetics.  I don’t want to produce watered-down designs just so I can make a sale.  This is not the reason I started the label.  Kacey and I sit down every week to balance the books and see where we are and strategise.  This part of the business is just as important, if not more important than the other, more fun aspects.

LM

Who are your favourite bloggers?

MA

I am really bad at this kind of stuff. I am not really familiar with many of them.  I do like whiteandcapsule.com however. I think her style is very unique and so refreshing!

LM

How important is the role of a stylist to a fashion designer?

MA

I enjoy how the stylists can challenge the way we see clothes. At times I see my garments styled with items that I never thought would match, but when put together it works!

LM

How important is runway exposure when offering a new collection?

MA

It helps to draw attention. In a setting like MBFWA a lot of the heavy weight industry members are present, together with key national buyers. It is the perfect opportunity to present a range.

LM

What do you feel the fashion industry needs to offer in Australia which it is not?

MA

Diversity.

LM

What are you most looking forward to this year, showing at MBFWA 2016?

MA

Being selected to show at MBFWA was a huge step for my label.

Until next time,

Jade xx

Meet Monster Alphabets | Monster Alphabets Facebook | Monster Alphabets Instagram |

Accreditations |

Photography | Stefan Gosatti | Getty Images | Joe Corcoran | United Images |

Assistant | Model | Bailey Jones | Bailey Jones Instagram

Mother and Father PR

Thanks To |

TheFashionSpotOfficial | Zara Wong | Perth Fashion Festival |

Fremantle Fashion Collective | Mother and Father PR | Getty Images | United Images

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.