Browsing Tag

Australian Designers

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

Heavenly Scarves

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

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

Linda Valentina Avramides

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

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

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

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

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

LM

How was the Valentina Avramides label concept birthed?

VA

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

LM

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

VA

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

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

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

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

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

LM

Who is the Valentina Avramides woman?

VA

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

LM

How did you decide upon the chosen colour palette?

VA

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

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

LM

Where do you see your product in years to come?

VA

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

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

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

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

LM

What kind of retailers will stock your luxury scarf label?

VA

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

LM

What designers are your heroes?

VA

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

LM

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

VA

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

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

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

LM

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

VA

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

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

LM

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

VA

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

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

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

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

LM

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

VA

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

LM

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

VA

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

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

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

LM

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

VA

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

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

LM

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

VA

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

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

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

LM

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

VA

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

LM

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

VA

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

LM

When can we look forward to another collection?

VA

2018!

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

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

LM

What Australian designers inspire you?

VA

Zimmermann, Scanlan & Theodore, Constantina, Dion Lee

LM

And international?

VA

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

LM

How would you best describe the Australian aesthetic?

VA

Colourful, outdoorsy, wild, unfettered and free.

LM

Where do you see yourself in five years from now?

VA

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

Meet Valentina Avramides on Instagram

Shop Valentina Avramides … pre-order now!

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

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

 

Accreditations

Designer | Linda Valentina Avramides

Photography | Karlstrom Creatives

Hair & MUA | Chris Chisato Arai

Stylist | Jade Cosgrove | Label Ministry

Production | Cartel Public Relations

Model | Kyra Charalambu

 

Until next time,

Jade xx

 

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

The Innovators

May 17

For those who embrace rebellion and eccentricity every day.

Angela Lowe, EWOL

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

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

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

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

By oh! soooo many!

This is the story of “The Innovators”.

Graduates of Fashion Design Studio.

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

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

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

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

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

 

AMELIA AKLE

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

Meet Amelia Akle.

EWOL by ANGELA LOWE

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

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

Meet Angela Lowe. Ewol by Angela Lowe on Instagram.

ANN XIAO

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

Meet Ann Xiao. AnxDesigns on Instagram.

CASEA by CASEA HEWITT

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

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

Meet Cassie Hewitt. CASEA The Label on Instagram.

HANDSY SWIMWEAR

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

Meet Emma Standon. Handsy Swimwear on Instagram.

RICHARD GIANG

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

Meet Richard Giang. Richard Giang on Instagram.

JOHANNA SMITH

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

Meet Johanna Smith. Yohana on Instagram.

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

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

Until next time,

Jade xx

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

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

The Fashion Advocate

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

 

Tatyana Designs

Tatyana Designs

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

Claire Goldsworthy, The Fashion Advocate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mhoo Mhoo

Anyhow, back to The Fashion Advocate.

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

Meet Claire Goldsworthy. She is. The Fashion Advocate.

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

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

Here is her story.

Until next time,

Jade xx

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

 

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

Claire Goldsworthy, The Fashion Advocate.

LM

What is the work of The Fashion Advocate?

TFA

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

LM

What has been the major inspiration for your work?

TFA

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

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

It’s robotic.

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

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

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

‘Blushed’ By Teagan Jacobs

LM

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

TFA

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

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

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

HABADAKAS

LM

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

TFA

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

LM

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

TFA

Runways are crucial to the development of fashion.

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

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

Runways are stories, and they’re special.

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

Dida

LM

Yes. Yes. Yes!

LM

How was The Dress Collective birthed?

TFA

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

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

LM

Please describe the role of The Dress Collective?

TFA

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

LM

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

TFA

Contrary to popular belief, quite easy.

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

Is it difficult to manufacture in Australia? No.

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

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

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

Cameron & James

LM

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

TFA

Fast fashion. The dirty F-word!

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

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

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

LM

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

TFA

Fast fashion has ruined our industry, globally.

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

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

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

Sets of Seven

LM

What do you most love about Australian fashion?

TFA

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

LM

What are your favourite Australian labels?

TFA

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

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

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

Rayan Ardati

LM

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

TFA

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

LM

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

TFA

I love VAMFF!

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

LM

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

TFA

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

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

It’s going to be a very special event!

LM

And indeed it will be! The designers are …

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

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

Lorenza The Label

LM

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

TFA

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

LM

How can we best support emerging designers in Australia?

TFA

By shopping online at The Dress Collective!

Shameless plug!

LM

Love a shameless plug!

Come on peeps … Shop. Shop. Shop!

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

Vincent Li

The Fashion Advocate Runway Designer Line-Up

Follow them on Instagram and show your support!

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

SHOP The Dress Collective!

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

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

Orocéo Castro

Remember …

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

Claire Goldsworthy, The Fashion Advocate.

 

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

The Fashion Advocate Runway Venue

See you at VAMFF 2017! …

Until next time,

Jade xx

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

 

 

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

Akira Isogawa

December 14

 

“A garment can transcend, giving it a soul.

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

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

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

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

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

Akira Isogawa

Akira Isogawa | Spring Summer 2017

Akira Isogawa | Spring Summer 2017

 

This week I was blessed. Truly blessed.

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

To me this man is a legend.

Continue Reading…

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Events, Fashion Designer

Raffles Graduate Runway 2016

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

Fashion is no longer just about ‘the garment’ …

Nick Comino

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

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

The charge in the air was tangible.

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

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

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

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

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

Thankfully …

Enjoy xx

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

Backstage | Raffles Graduate Runway 2016 | Photography Jessica Fekonia

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

Nick Comino

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Alyce Chen | Raffles College of Design Graduate Runway 2016

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

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

People are watching you. You are loved!

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

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

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

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

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

LOVE US on Facebook   &   FOLLOW US on Instagram

Until next time,

Jade xx

Thanks To |

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

Studio MOR+ | StudioMOR+ |

StudioMOR+ Facebook | Romualdo Nubla | StudioMOR+ | Instagram

Raffles College of Design |

Raffles College of Design

Designers Featured |

Ruth Read Instagram

Laura Davis | Laura Davis Instagram

Mary Quach Instagram 

Alexandra Uyen Nguyen Instagram

Hayley Kang Instagram

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

 

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Fashion Designer, Instagram

Trash Talk

December 6

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

 

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

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

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

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

Sorry…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nope.

I have had enough.

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

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

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

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

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

That’s where the rats live.

Where the infectious diseases reside.

And life starts not to matter …

Let’s not take it there.

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

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

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

Let’s keep it that way.

Until next time,

Jade xx

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

 

 

 

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Events, Global Fashion Industry

Fashion Design Studio 2016

November 29

fds_event_2016-ar5_7467-alexroberts_photo-lo

 

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, Fashion Designer, Interview, Swimwear

LunarSand

November 23
Dark haired girl lying on the beach resting on her elbow looking at the camera wearing a red checked bikini with a picture of Felix the Cat on her left breast in a modelling shoot for a swimwear label.
Girl lying in a modelling shoot wearing a black and white one piece costume with her hands up holding her hair away from her face.

Photographer | Dan Gosse | MUA | Linda Thi | Model | Sarah Halloran | Jewellery | Tessarella House | Assistant Director | Emma Scott | Styling | Ruby Licciardi

LunarSand is one of Australia’s rising swimwear labels.

Born in 2015 the label was birthed from the concept of strength and energy drawn from the moon and the earth representing wholeness and a sense of magic.

Founder Ruby Licciardi says her label, “embraces the wild, creative, energetic effect the full moon has on her devoted LunarSand tribe of empowered goddesses”.

It is synonymous with swimwear ‘funk’. It is the epitome of fun. Summer playfulness and heat related sillyness.

A lover of the one-piece, Ruby is equally comfortable creating the sexy bikini in all manner of colourful prints, coupled with lacing detail, and paying homage to the ever lovable “Felix The Cat”.

If you haven’t yet discovered LunarSand, you are just in time for summer!

Here is her story.

Enjoy xx

 

Model in a forest scene leaning backwards, outstretched in a white and emerald green bikini for a swimwear shoot.

Model | Creative Director | Eva Czarnocka

 

I love the night. It is quiet and mysterious. It feels like time stands still and you can just be amongst your thoughts.

Ruby Licciardi

 

LM

I absolutely LOVE your label LunarSand. Where did the origins of the name come from?

RL

Thank you so much! It’s always so nice to get positive feedback; it re-inspires and gives you that little boost you need. I played with names for months. I wanted something strong, which holds meaning and eludes to the origin of the product. I was helped along with glass or two of wine!

I love the effect of the full moon, people seem to be a little more wild, creative and energetic. I also feel a personal connection to the Lunar as many significant moments in our lives seem to be highlighted by a full moon. I met Asher (my husband) on a full moon, Atticus (our first son) was born on a full moon and funnily enough the very first LunarSand Look Book was shot on the week the stars and the moon were aligned.

LM

I believe you have a textiles background. Tell me more.

RL

Yes I do. I have always loved to create, draw, paint  – I love working with my hands. I didn’t quite know which discipline I wanted to go into so studied a Bachelor of Design at COFA- the College of Fine Art. It was during my early study that I fell in love with textiles. I adore the tactile nature of textiles; I love that you can touch, feel and see the beauty of fabric. I majored in Textiles and Jewellery. I then went on to tutor third year at COFA and worked as a freelance textiles designer specialising in digital print. After the birth of my first son I moved into children’s wear and started the label Max Licciardi for ‘cheeky cherubs’. This was a lot of fun but wasn’t where my passion lies. I have also worked as a stylist for children’s wear and swimwear. Whilst I was freelancing, I always enjoyed designing prints for swimwear. My favourite process is engineering a design to sculpt perfectly around the contour of the female body. I like experimenting with symmetry and asymmetry to create balance in a piece. Designing prints and swimwear patterns is almost like creating a beautiful visual rhythm.

Two girls laughing and talking during a modelling shoot on the beach. One is the model and the other is a stylist.

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

LM

What inspires you first. The fabric, the design, or a concept?

RL

I think these three elements inspire me equally but not always in the same order. My process changes with each collection and each individual style. All three elements come together to dictate the overall finish of a style. My earlier collections were perhaps more inspired by print design and driven by concept, but I have recently fallen back in love with fabric, texture and accessories. I am currently working on a collection that pushes the boundaries a little more in terms of fabric choice for swimwear, which is both exciting and challenging.

LM

As a swimwear designer, what do you believe is the greatest challenge?

RL

An interesting question! For me the greatest challenge is using restraint and limiting my collections to a smaller number of styles. I feel that swimwear is very personal; each woman has her own preferred fit and style. I would like to be able to create something for everyone and would keep on designing and adding if I could, but budget and time restrictions make this impossible so I must stick to a deadline and target.

LM

What do you find is the most comfortable style for women, or does this vary?

RL

I have found that there is not one ‘particular’ comfortable style for women. It differs hugely; it is such a personal preference. What one woman feels amazing in another wouldn’t consider wearing and visa versa. I also think that the print and colourway of a style plays a big role in making a woman feel comfortable and fabulous in a particular design. All female figures are gorgeous and a woman that feels confident from within shines. I believe we need to stop worrying about what everyone around us thinks and dress the way we like to dress; you only live in this body once, so wear what makes you smile!

Swimwear model lying on the beach facing the photographer with blue sky and blue ocean behind her wearing a blue and red and white bikini. Her hair is wet and she is smiling.

Photographer | Dan Gosse | MUA | Linda Thi | Model | Sarah Halloran | Jewellery | Tessarella House | Assistant Director | Emma Scott | Styling | Ruby Licciardi

LM

I am also a lover of the one-piece! It is comfortable, classy, and stays in place! What do you see as the benefits?

RL

YES – I am also completely in love with the one-piece and for all the same reasons! A well designed one-piece compliments the female frame beautifully, and you know I also feel that it can be incredibly sexy, in an understated, sophisticated way. A statement one-piece is also extremely versatile. You can team it with a pair of cut ofdenim shorts and kicks for a cute, grungy day of fun in the sun or a gorgeous pair of skinnies and heels for a night on the town.

LM

Are all of your swimsuits lined? How important do you believe this is in the comfort and longevity of the item?

RL

YES! All of our swimsuits are lined with beautiful milky silk lining. It is so important for comfort and longevity. Lining must be just as luxurious and soft as the outer shell fabric as this is what sits against the skin. It also gives a swimsuit that extra substance and prevents a see-through cossie – I think we have all experienced the dreaded moment on a crowded beach when you realize that your unlined swimsuit is see-through! Mine happened in the Christmas holidays at Avoca beach when I was thirteen! I still remember that lime green sparkly bikini, and its one and only outing – ha ha ha!

LM

How do you arrive at conceptual ideas for a swimwear range?

RL

I love to take inspiration from all sorts of sources: visual stimulation, feelings and moods, as well as philosophies, concepts and historical context. I often arrive at ideas after sessions of deep thought or sometimes a moment or a dream will spark something in my imagination. I then research this topic and develop it into a story. I also like to work backwards sometimes. When my mind is too busy and needs quietening, sometimes I like to just start drawing and let the motifs, shapes and colours take their own direction and then apply a concept once the design has come together. When I was freelancing, I would generate these ideas quite quickly as you have deadlines and sometimes client briefs. The process can take you a little longer when you are working on your own collection, as there is always that critical inner voice that makes you re-evaluate along the way. I ultimately like each style to tell its own story, but also sit within a conceptual and/or visual collection.

LM

How important is exposure on the runway for a swimwear designer?

RL

Exposure on the runway is extremely important for a swimwear designer. People need to see how swimwear fits the body when in motion. Swimwear is also sexy, exciting, exotic and reminds us of time spent playing and relaxing. The runway creates a feeling of excitement; it is a spectacle and stimulates the senses – this is how swimwear should be seen!

Model standing on the sand with the waves behind her for a swimwear shoot. Her hands are above her head and she is modelling a white bikini top with coloured bikini bottoms.

Model | Creative Director | Eva Czarnocka

LM

Have you accessed the overseas market yet?

RL

Yes. The LunarSand ‘Felix the Cat’ range was launched on the September 1 and is available internationally in the USA, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. I would love to start exploring the possibilities of introducing the LunarSand label as a whole to an international market.

LM

I absolutely LOVE  your “Felix The Cat” range!  Can we expect more gorgeous capsule collections from you?

RL

Thank you so much! The “Felix the Cat” range was an absolute treat to work on. I grew up loving Felix – such a groovy, iconic character. I was thrilled to be invited by DreamWorks to design this collection. Capsule collections and collaborations are my passion! This is what gets me excited – creative freedom, experimentation and a great team of people who inspire and support each other. I would ultimately love to create at least one capsule collection along with the core LunarSand styles each season.

LM

I noticed that you also create towels and sarongs in the same fabrics as your swimwear. Do you always create an entire story?

RL

I don’t always create an entire look – but this is something that I would like to move towards. I love seeing a complete look and story brought to life! I have also found that clients love having the option of working in extra accessories that compliment their chosen swimsuit. I am in the process of designing a fabulous wide leg pant for next season’s collection.

Girl sitting cross legged in a modelling shoot wearing a black and white high waisted bikini with her arms up above her head. She is looking directly at the camera.

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

LM

How difficult do you believe it is to be successful in the Australian fashion industry?

RL

Interesting question! I believe that you have to work really hard to be successful in the Australian Fashion Industry. You have to take rejections on the chin, but also be willing to seek and take advice. Fashion is subjective; what one person loves another dislikes, but I also think that it’s important to have the backing of the industry and really encourage each other to create great things.

LM

Amen!

LM

If you could change anything about our current industry what would it be?

RL

I think that the current Australian fashion industry is in a state of change – the world as a whole is in a state of flux. I believe we may be about to witness some big changes.  It would be great for Australian designers to have the tools and means to secure more of the international market. And I am excited to see new innovation and a revitalized industry that gets behind its emerging designers and showcase them to the world.

LM

Have you felt supported by this industry, or to date, alone in your quest?

RL

LunarSand is still a relatively young label and these early years are the toughest to slog through. I have met some amazing people in this last year who have given me incredible opportunities and the support I need to keep going and creating. I think I still have a hard road ahead of me but am full of passion and drive. In order to grow and evolve as a label and designer you do need industry support and guidance and I would love to see more.

LM

Is consistent editorial coverage an important part of your development as a designer?

RL

Yes I do think that consistent and reliable editorial coverage is invaluable as part of a designer’s development. It allows you to build your label and present it to your clients, helping them to become familiar with the labels direction, aesthetic and vision.

Girl standing in a modelling shoot wearing a black and white one piece costume with her hands up holding her hair away from her face.

Photographer | Dan Gosse | MUA | Linda Thi | Model | Sarah Halloran | Jewellery | Tessarella House | Assistant Director | Emma Scott | Styling | Ruby Licciardi

LM

How has your textile background helped you with LunarSand?

RL

It has helped enormously. A background in textiles has meant that I have been able to develop the skills to create both the print and pattern for each style in all the LunarSand collections. The dual experience of studying and working within the textiles and design industry has helped prepare me for this adventure. I have made many mistakes along the way but this allows me to adapt and correct quickly.

LM

Where can one buy your collections?

RL

Our whole collection is available online at LunarSand.

We are also stocked at SMFA Gallery | Knox St, Double Bay, Sydney and The Design Residency | Oxford St, Darlinghurst, Sydney.

The LunarSand ‘Felix the Cat’ collection is also available through The First Thread.

LM

The world needs more of LunarSand! Can we hope to see you at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week next year?

RL

Thank you! Yes, I would absolutely love to show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia. I am working on next years collection as we speak! We have something very special up our sleeves and MBFWA would be the perfect place to reveal our secret! A collaboration would be incredible; I think 2017 is our year!

Girl standing in a modelling shoot wearing a black and white high waisted bikini with her arms up clasping her hands. She is looking sideways at the camera.

LM

Totally!

LM

When you are shooting a new collection, what do you look for in terms of location?

RL

Researching and choosing a location for a shoot is one of my favorite parts of the process. I look for a number of things. Firstly the location must compliment and elevate the creative vision and feel of the collection.  I look at the variety and angles that can be achieved – a really varied landscape that can be accessed and utilised without having to travel from one place to the other. I like to look at the big picture and think about capturing shots that take advantage of the stunning natural landscape and textures to create drama – cliffs, rock faces, breaking waves. I would love to push the boundaries further with future collections and start looking at interesting and quirky locations that tell fascinating stories. I have always loved the work of Patrick Russell and the scenes that he created in the 1970’s. He captured down to earth Australian women in casual locations, but added such an element of glamour. This juxtaposition of glamour and the casual Australian spirit creates excitement, intrigue and attitude.

LM

What Australian fashion designers and swimwear designers do you most admire? And, overseas?

RL

I admire so many! I would have to say Romance Was Born – I love what they do, such creativity and vision. Camilla, has such a stunning aesthetic. We Are Handsome. They have such a powerful and unique style and Valentino is to die for!

LM

What is your greatest dream?

RL

Oh my greatest dream – that is a hard one. I have lots of little dreams, which seem to be ever changing and evolving. But I guess my greatest dream is to be in a position where I can continue to create on a larger scale. I would also like to align this creative vision with making a small difference for better in the world. Travelling the world, meeting and working with inspiring people, growing as a designer and breathing in all that the universe has to offer.

Model lying on a towel smiling up at the photographer for a swimwear shoot. She is wearing a blue floral bikini with matching towel.

Photographer | Dan Gosse | MUA | Linda Thi | Model | Sarah Halloran | Jewellery | Tessarella House | Assistant Director | Emma Scott | Styling | Ruby Licciardi

LM

As a mother, and a wife, how difficult has it been to maintain the success of your label?

RL

It can be challenging at times to say the least; we definitely need more hours in the day but like everyone, we have had to find a groove that works for us. My children are still quite young; Atticus is six and Phoenix has just turned four months so I am working interesting hours. I have always been a night owl, however the last couple of months have given this a whole new meaning. I am lucky in that I have a very supportive husband and family. It’s good fun, our kids are a big part of what I do; our house is a circus: kids toys, half finished artwork, swimwear, plants and mannequins everywhere – organised chaos!

LM

Where would you like to see yourself in five years from now?

RL

LunarSand … well established and loved in the Australian market place and making a big splash on the international scene. I would like to think that we will be working with an exceptional team of dynamic people. I would love to branch out into mens and childrens swimwear and work on pushing creative boundaries.

LM

Do you believe in the power of fashion collaborations?

RL

Absolutely! Artistic magic is achieved when a group of people come together and pool their individual strengths to work towards a common vision. It also gives you the chance to work on interesting projects that may be a little left of field. I’ll never forget Vogue, March 2014. This particular shoot featured Mia Wasikowska and was a collaboration between Jillian Davison,  Australian artist Del Kathryn Barton, Emma Summerton and Alice Babidge; the outcome was spectacular, the images have a beautiful ethereal mood with a bold and dramatic undertone! It would be a dream to be involved in something like this.

Model standing in front of an ocean pool wearing a one piece blue swimsuit with Felix the Cat on the front. The swimsuit has lacing detail at the front.

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

LM

When do you see yourself breaking into the international swimwear market?

RL

As mentioned above, the LunarSand ‘Felix the Cat’ range was launched on the first of September and is available internationally in the USA, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, which is fantastic, really exciting and a wonderful opportunity. I would love to start exploring the possibilities of introducing the LunarSand label as a whole to an international market in the next one or two years.

LM

Summer is upon us! What style do you believe is trending this year?

RL

Yes!!! It is finally here, those warm evenings and days full of sunshine do wonders for the soul. There are clear trends each year, but what I love about swimwear is that each designer/label stamps their own signature twist on a trend. I definitely like to be aware of trend and predictions, but I make an effort to ensure that they don’t confine me as this can take over your creative process. However I do believe that side cut-outs are absolutely trending. Thin, strappy ties/details are a favorite this year and the high cut bottom with cheekier coverage will be big.

Until next time,

Jade xx

Featured Image

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

Shop LunarSand for Summer 2016!

LunarSand | The First Thread | The Design Residency | Style Me Fashion Agency | SMFA |

Contact LunaSand

Say Hello to Ruby! 

Follow LunarSand

LunarSand Instagram | LunarSand Facebook |

Support Ruby’s Charity

Purchase the LunarSand ‘Sporty Swag” drawstring bag perfect for the beach or the gym. 100% of the proceeds go to BeyondBlue.

Shop Sporty Swag

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, 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 |

 

LM

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

AB

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.

 

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…