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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

15978072_1929456800673847_3130442573824799901_n

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 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, Fashion Designer, Global Fashion Industry, Interview

Frederick Jenkyn

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please remember to share  the love.

Australian fashion is depending on you …

 

Meet Frederick Jenkyn.

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

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

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

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

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

Frederick Jenkyn

 

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

Here is Frederick Jenkyn’s story so far …

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

Frederick Jenkyn

 

Continue Reading…

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Events, MBFWA

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia 2016

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

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

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

I loved every single moment!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time,

Jade xx

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

Jason Hewitt – Next Generation

May 26
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 20: A model walks the runway in a design by Jason Hewitt at the St.George Project NextGen show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Resort 17 Collections at Carriageworks on May 20, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images)

Last week, I attended Mercedes Benz Fashion Week for the whole glorious week!

It is my most favourite week of the year.

Industry professionals line up eagerly each and every year to view the current landscape of Australian fashion and the ever increasing talent of the emerging designer market.

As always, I am there to champion, encourage, and cover editorially, the high stakes game of Australian fashion. The designers, established and emerging, and their often forgotten, phenomenal creative teams.

It was a great privilege to see these very talented individuals forging ahead in the Australian fashion scene and I can only hope that it continues with great vigour.

“Project NextGen is an initiative that is intended to provide a platform to discover and support emerging Australian fashion designers. By connecting these gifted individuals with an experienced panel of industry insiders, the program mentors Australian talent to help them hone a broad range of skills and elevate their profile through industry connections and ongoing business support”. 

The winners this year were Anna Quan, Holystone (Renee Sealey), Jason Hewitt, Kaliver (Roni Cross), Monster Alphabets (Sarah Ryoko Watanbe), and Third Form (Merryn Kelly).  Judged by the following panel, Edwina McCann (Editor-In-Chief Vogue Australia, Kellie Hush (Editor-In-Chief Harper’s Bazaar Australia), Justin O’Shea (Buying Director mytheresa.com), Emily Weight (Director Fashion IMG Australia), Eva Galambos (Director & Buyer Parlour X), Chris Buchanan (GM Ellery), Donna Player (Merchandise Director David Jones), and Kelly Francis (Fashion Director MADE), we now find ourselves watching the final product. Project NextGen 2016.

Jason Hewitt showed his Resort 17 Collection.

 

Get out of H&M and Topshop and Forever New, and all that crap. It’s bad for the environment and it’s bad for you. Ultimately it won’t satisfy. Start buying quality, and curate a wardrobe of things you cherish.

That. Is. Style.

Jason Hewitt

 

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 20: A model walks the runway in a design by Jason Hewitt at the St.George Project NextGen show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Resort 17 Collections at Carriageworks on May 20, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images)

Jason Hewitt Resort 17 Collection | Photographer | Stefan Gosatti | Getty Images

LM

What is the philosophy behind your label?

JH

It’s two fold.

Firstly, Every aspect of your business should be as sustainable and ethical as possible and should not define one as a designer.

Secondly, I enjoy creating pieces that I am proud of and which resonate with people.

LM

What is the inspiration behind your label?

JH

Depends really, it’s so varied. I’m inspired by life, but that sounds a bit new-age-hippy for me. I like contemporary art, culture, reading. I was looking at an interview with JW Anderson recently where he said he wants Loewe to come from a place of culture – I think I agree with that. I’m so fascinated by different cultures, and how they’re presented and old traditions are updated. I think that’s what drives a lot of the things I’m interested in.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 20: A model walks the runway in a design by Jason Hewitt at the St.George Project NextGen show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Resort 17 Collections at Carriageworks on May 20, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images)

Jason Hewitt Resort 17 Collection | Photographer | Stefan Gosatti | Getty Images

LM

What do you think of today’s street fashion?

JH

There’s not really much to think. People should wear what they feel good in. It’s not really my place to have an opinion on it (I dress like an absolute slob most of the time) but I do sometimes take inspiration from the way people put things together.

The street fashion thing feels a bit like an Oroborous these days. Trends are taken from the street and then fed back, like a closed loop. I don’t know if that’s going to generate anything new in terms of design so I do wonder if street fashion isn’t just becoming rather watered down … Normcore, a trend so boring it didn’t need to be named.

LM

Lol!  (Normcore is a unisex fashion trend characterized by unpretentious, average-looking clothing).
LM

What advice would you give to aspiring fashion designers?

JH

Learn how to make clothes, properly, before you start designing them. Take your inspiration from anywhere, but avoid looking at other designers unless it’s for a historical point of reference or a preferred silhouette. Look at other designers work from a construction point of view not design. Go to museums, read books, get off your phone, close your computer and take it all in. The internet is a great resource but it’s not the same as the real thing.

Continue Reading…

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Fashion Designer, Interview, Styling

Super Style Me – Bec Cole

May 15
Model standing on an airfield in a beautiful white flowing dress, completely lace up open boots and vintage beaded head gear with an old fashioned aircraft taking off the background behind her. Very hollywood setting and incredibly creative the a real feel of movement to the picture.

I first discovered the work of Bec Cole when I was at VAMFF earlier this year.  Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival is always a treat as it combines the week long excitement of the runway with a cultural taste of Melbourne itself, and it truly is a wonderful delicatessen of fashion experience.

On one of the last days, through the haze of my exhaustion I could feel my interest pique when I saw Bec’s work, and made a mental note to myself as I do to remember to contact her with a view to highlight the obvious dedication to her work when I returned home.

Bec is one of the highly talented, hard working stylists, and passionate devotees of the Australian fashion industry, who travels far and wide to bring us the wonderful smorgasbord of visual delight that only such a stylist can.

A kind of creative hero if you like. I feel we tend to forget the amazing creative minds and teams who sit behind the creation of the collections of fashion designers. Personally, I believe it is so important to remember to applaud the work of these dedicated professionals who work tirelessly behind the scenes.

Very loudly.

Enjoy xx

Girl sitting on a rock with the late grey and cloudy sky behind looking down dressed in a black dress and a very wide black leather belt.

Stylist |Bec Cole | Photographer | Benn Jay | Hair & Makeup | Blanka Dudas

LM

What do you believe is the role of “the stylist”?

BC

A stylist is a visual translator….helping a designer, art director or editor achieve a look, story and campaign brief. It’s helping create a visual reality….This can be anything from dressing talent, liaising with designers to designing sets and alternative worlds.

I have a background in set design, so I love seeing a whole vision come to life….this includes not only the wardrobe side of things, but the propping, set design….even the casting of the talent /  models. It’s helping everything come together visually to tell the whole story.

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Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Photography, Styling

Colouring In

April 6

 

If you put something together and it doesn’t look so good, the fashion police are not going to come take you away. And if they do, you might have some fun in jail.

Iris Apfel

 

The wonderful American Style Queen, Iris Apfel, commenting on how women combine the elements of good dressing …

well, after all, Iris should know …

 

Picture of the American fashion icon and style influencer, Iris Apfel.

 

 

Who better than Iris to show us all how to put the ultimate in fashion craziness together with some other garments which equals perfection?

Our current world is so homogenised in every way. And the way we dress has become a victim to it. Whatever happened to wearing crazy colours, either on their own, or together?  I have styled many people over the years who have been afraid to wear colour. Want to add colour to your wardrobe? Here’s how.

Remember that colour does not have to be always worn near the face.  It can be introduced into an outfit with colourful shoes or a handbag.

Wear colours that make you feel good and remember that as we age, hair colour and skin tone changes. Revise your colour choices often. Finding confidence in this ability is how we all secure a connection with our own confidence and creates our sense of wellbeing. Be prepared to take a “fresh look” at yourself and reassess how you can improve your image.  If you’re not comfortable wearing colourful garments introduce colours through nail varnish, lipstick or your hair!

 

Model with blue hair standing in colourful skirt and top with high heeled white shoes for a campaign shoot.

Photography & Styling | Karlstrom Creatives

 

Colour does not have to take the form of block colour. Sometimes we look better in plain colours or colours that are infused within a pattern.

If you prefer to wear plain, block colours because you feel they suit you better, try introducing patterns and interesting prints through cute shoes and handbags.  Another idea is the simple layering of colour underneath another block colour, such as white or black. I like to call it ‘colour referencing’.

Remember, all you are trying to achieve is a “joining of the dots” effect – a visual reference of design and colour, continuity and harmony.

Colourful tops, and even tops with a blend of more muted colours, can look great underneath plain understated jackets.

 

turquoise

 

An outfit of block colours works a treat with a gorgeous pair of leopard print ballet flats and a stylish Gucci handbag! Things do not necessarily have to match but there does need to be a marriage of harmonious elements and colour tone. Tonally they work together and there is enough visual space between the two items to make the combination work. The natural balance of the outfit then becomes effortless and an understated elegance of good quality and taste becomes the highlighted theme.

All beautifully constructed outfits and exceptional dressing comes down to the combination of colour and texture, and the ability to achieve the all-important balance of proportion.

It is always a good idea to be generally aware of what is trending, not because your individual style depends on this, but because it allows you to have a choice of product in every season to add different elements of value to your wardrobe.

 

Picture of a girls face with clear round plastic sunglasses in a 1950's style showing the reflection of the surrounds in the lenses with bright red lipstick.

Photography & Styling | Karlstrom Creatives

 

 

If you wear black or grey, wear colour that compliments your main palette. Try to move outside of the normal combination. For instance, lime green and acid yellow are exceptionally beautiful with black. Gerbra pink is divine with charcoal.

If you are teaming these items with jeans or casual trousers, bring the reference of colour from the top of your body (ie. lime green top), down to the feet with gorgeous flats in a tonally appropriate colour, or paint your toe nails in a tonally balanced shade in open-toed heels.

Introduce visual depth and weight and experiment with colour, tone and texture.

Adhering to these general rules will mean that you achieve a lovely balance in your wardrobe that you will be pleased to visit every day!

Until next time,

Jade xx

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Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Global Fashion Industry

NarcisSista Fashionista

April 1
Facial Shot of Kim Kardashian

“Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life

Bill Cunningham

I’ve always loved the word Fashionista, even though it is not young any more and has been totally overdone now.

How about Narcissista Fashionista? A little ugly I feel but in some cases, unfortunately does have a ring of honesty about it?

This article is not your conventional article about one’s love of fashion, although the author is most certainly a lover of not only fashion, but the industry itself. Perhaps I am one of the greatest lovers of fashion of all time. Every now and again I feel the need to express something that is really bothering me. Something I believe is affecting us all on some level.

As a woman who loves fashion, and wears it with pride and excitement I appreciate it as an art form. I revere the designers whose souls bleed passion and despair, and very often, blood, because they are so in love with their chosen trade. Business people they are often not, without the obvious trials and tribulations of learning, but without doubt, human fountains of talent and commitment to the industry they adore. That in itself captures my personal respect and dedication. And my desire to support them and become their complimentary PR company.

As a small child, I changed my outfits multiple times in a day. Why? Because I could.

I have no idea why I have always been so drawn to fashion. I was a little girl who loved colour, pattern, looking pretty and the very feel of a different fabric on my skin. Not to mention the obvious attention that I received from people around me when they noticed that I had created a gorgeously cute and colourful outfit which provided a visual spectacle. Remember of course, I was only five years old, so the scenario was a simple one.

As I became older, my love of fashion matured and grew with me. I realised that it was the key to one’s individuality and the express permission we give ourselves to authentically adorn the world with our chosen cloth.

Once upon a time, the concept of such was a given. The world of fashion and our chosen favourite fashion designers allowed us to explore the idea of individualism fully. We revelled in the idea of being happy with the way we looked and improving upon it. We did not feel the need to look twenty-five for our entire lives. We were not worried that if we had a line on our face that we might, and probably would be, put out to pasture. We knew that wisdom and life experience counted for something, and that when the journey of our lives started to show on our faces, it was something to be proud of. We did not spend money that we didn’t have on botox, injectibles, or augmentation of body parts that we did not need or could easily afford. I am not totally against these procedures, but I do believe that too much work can make us look like aliens to ourselves and others.  We did not always obsess about all the hidden parts of ourselves, that no one even really sees or even wants to see, years ago. Correct me if I am wrong, but it almost seems like we have become totally obsessed with the parts of ourselves which are quite private. It seems normal to me now that nearly every second person sports at least one tattoo, piercing or very often both.

The value system and the things that we placed importance upon did not demand the spring of eternal youth, as it does now. Colouring our hair, colouring in our skin like colouring books, and creating hairless bodies and landscaping private pieces of ourselves so that we may be more acceptable to others, has almost become a full time occupation outside of our working lives.

No. We concentrated more fully on being the best we could be by developing ourselves, not changing our appearance.

When our culture, our society and our lives were culturally healthier than they are today, we used fashion to provide us with the vehicle we needed to develop our self confidence and underpin our creative expression of self through the unique canvas that God graciously gifted us.

Our desire to dress and our enjoyment of such created important growth and sustainability of local and global fashion industries. This growth provided ongoing opportunity for our wonderful creative minds to freely design, as individuals, and dare I say, created thousands of jobs. It afforded an atmosphere where confident designers could be inspired, driven by their own passion and be encouraged to create without the tsunami of suffocation caused by the commercial pressure to succeed and the current unsatisfactory model of mass fashion consciousness.

We were not stuck in the gridlock of limited choice and the destructive habit of purchasing fast, furious collections of fashion that flood our shopping malls at all too regular intervals.

We are continuously fed these sub-quality lines of fashion by the likes of fashion giants and seem happy to justify or just ignore the damage to our local industry, because they are cheap and feed our constant need for newness and crude consumerism. But that is the problem. The greedily take up the most prominent spaces in our shopping malls and steal our annual fashion spend.

The question is why?

Why have we forgotten our own? Why don’t we support our own breed of wonderful, unique, individual designers who used to have the courage to open stores and bravely show their collections every season?

I have the answer for you. It was because they knew that we would support them.

Sadly that is not the case any more. We can’t be bothered. Our fashion economy has become homogenised, crippled, and quite frankly pretty uninteresting. I believe that part of the problem is that we are expected to be happy wearing some or much of this limited offering and therefore are also expected, by-and-large, to be happy looking like everybody else.

To finish this article on a high note however, I am very pleased to report however that my recent visit to Melbourne Fashion Festival inspired me. I saw many wonderful collections, and witnessed much wonderful emerging talent. Young designers will full hearts and great enthusiasm for the industry they love.

Looks like the rules might just be starting to change … Hallelujah!

Until next time,

Jade xx

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Australian Fashion Industry, Bloggers, Editorial, Events, Melbourne Fashion Festival

Tickets on Ourselves

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

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

Suzanne Carbone

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love to be invited to events and shows.

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

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

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

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

Until next time,

Jade xx

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