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Australian Designer, Australian Fashion, Australian Fashion Industry, Events

The Innovators MBFWA 2018

May 16

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

Whose careers you might ask were birthed at FDS?

Well. Where should I start?

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

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

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

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

Make the applause loud for these legends.

Very, VERY LOUD XX

Zsófia Mátrai

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

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

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

Zsófia Mátrai

Dana Lock

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

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

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

Dana Lock

Gillian Garde

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

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

Gillian Garde

ODD by Anna Jacobsen

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

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

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

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

Gillian Garde

Shroud The Label

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

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

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

Gillian Garde

ZRD by Ruby Zhang

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

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

Ruby Zhang

Whitehart by Danielle Soole

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

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

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

Instagram

ZELLA MAY by Kamila May

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

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

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

Instagram

Until next time,

Jade xx

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

Camilla and Marc Day #1 MBFWA 2018

May 13

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

Until Day #2 …

Jade xx

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

The Innovators

May 17

For those who embrace rebellion and eccentricity every day.

Angela Lowe, EWOL

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

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

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

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

By oh! soooo many!

This is the story of “The Innovators”.

Graduates of Fashion Design Studio.

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

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

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

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

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

 

AMELIA AKLE

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

Meet Amelia Akle.

EWOL by ANGELA LOWE

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

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

Meet Angela Lowe. Ewol by Angela Lowe on Instagram.

ANN XIAO

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

Meet Ann Xiao. AnxDesigns on Instagram.

CASEA by CASEA HEWITT

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

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

Meet Cassie Hewitt. CASEA The Label on Instagram.

HANDSY SWIMWEAR

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

Meet Emma Standon. Handsy Swimwear on Instagram.

RICHARD GIANG

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

Meet Richard Giang. Richard Giang on Instagram.

JOHANNA SMITH

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

Meet Johanna Smith. Yohana on Instagram.

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

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

Until next time,

Jade xx

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

Australian Fashion Industry, Beauty, Interview, women

Alex Perrin, Sydney Makeup Artist

December 19
A photo of Alex Perrin with full makeup.

 

Picture of roses, luxury products and Tom Ford perfume.

 

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

Jade Cosgrove, Label Ministry

 

It’s the week before Christmas!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy xx

A photo of Alex Perrin with full makeup.

LM

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

AP

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

LM

What was your driving motivation to become a makeup artist?

AP

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

LM

What advice would you give to young women regarding makeup?

AP

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

LM

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

AP

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

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

LM

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

AP

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

LM

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

AB

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

LM

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

AP

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

LM

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

AP

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

Alex Perrin, Sydney makeup artist.

LM

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

AP

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

LM

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

AP

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

LM

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

AP

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

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

LM

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

AP

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

LM

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

AP

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

 

A photo of Alex Perrin with full makeup.

LM

Who are your favourite Australian fashion designers? International?

AP

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

LM

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

AP

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

LM

Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

AP

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

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

LM

What is your greatest dream?

AP

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

LM

Good Luck Alex!

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

Until next time,

Jade xx

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

 

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

Akira Isogawa

December 14

 

“A garment can transcend, giving it a soul.

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

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

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

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

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

Akira Isogawa

Akira Isogawa | Spring Summer 2017

Akira Isogawa | Spring Summer 2017

 

This week I was blessed. Truly blessed.

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

To me this man is a legend.

Continue Reading…

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Events, Fashion Designer

Raffles Graduate Runway 2016

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

Fashion is no longer just about ‘the garment’ …

Nick Comino

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

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

The charge in the air was tangible.

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

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

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

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

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

Thankfully …

Enjoy xx

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

Backstage | Raffles Graduate Runway 2016 | Photography Jessica Fekonia

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

Nick Comino

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Alyce Chen | Raffles College of Design Graduate Runway 2016

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

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

People are watching you. You are loved!

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

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

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

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

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

LOVE US on Facebook   &   FOLLOW US on Instagram

Until next time,

Jade xx

Thanks To |

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

Studio MOR+ | StudioMOR+ |

StudioMOR+ Facebook | Romualdo Nubla | StudioMOR+ | Instagram

Raffles College of Design |

Raffles College of Design

Designers Featured |

Ruth Read Instagram

Laura Davis | Laura Davis Instagram

Mary Quach Instagram 

Alexandra Uyen Nguyen Instagram

Hayley Kang Instagram

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

 

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, 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, 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”.

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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

 

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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.
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