Browsing Tag

Men

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

Heavenly Scarves

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

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

Linda Valentina Avramides

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

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

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

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

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

LM

How was the Valentina Avramides label concept birthed?

VA

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

LM

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

VA

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

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

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

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

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

LM

Who is the Valentina Avramides woman?

VA

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

LM

How did you decide upon the chosen colour palette?

VA

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

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

LM

Where do you see your product in years to come?

VA

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

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

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

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

LM

What kind of retailers will stock your luxury scarf label?

VA

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

LM

What designers are your heroes?

VA

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

LM

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

VA

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

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

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

LM

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

VA

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

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

LM

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

VA

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

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

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

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

LM

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

VA

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

LM

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

VA

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

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

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

LM

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

VA

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

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

LM

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

VA

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

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

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

LM

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

VA

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

LM

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

VA

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

LM

When can we look forward to another collection?

VA

2018!

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

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

LM

What Australian designers inspire you?

VA

Zimmermann, Scanlan & Theodore, Constantina, Dion Lee

LM

And international?

VA

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

LM

How would you best describe the Australian aesthetic?

VA

Colourful, outdoorsy, wild, unfettered and free.

LM

Where do you see yourself in five years from now?

VA

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

Meet Valentina Avramides on Instagram

Shop Valentina Avramides … pre-order now!

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

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

 

Accreditations

Designer | Linda Valentina Avramides

Photography | Karlstrom Creatives

Hair & MUA | Chris Chisato Arai

Stylist | Jade Cosgrove | Label Ministry

Production | Cartel Public Relations

Model | Kyra Charalambu

 

Until next time,

Jade xx

 

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Photography, Styling

Karlstrom Creatives

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

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

 

 

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

Petter Karlstrom

 

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

Who are they? Karlstrom Creatives.

I absolutely love the work of Petter and Leigh Karlstrom.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue Reading…

Australian Fashion Industry, Interview, Melbourne Fashion Festival, Men, VAMFF

Amxander The Great

March 3
Model standing in front of a red wall dressed completely in black but wearing a donkey brown jacket with hoodie.

In my opinion, Amxander is headed for the big time. The world at large awaits their obvious talent and next week, Melbourne, is their fashion oyster!

 

It is ramping up to that time of year again.

Melbourne. VAMFF. The fashion festival that spreads as far and wide as the city of Melbourne itself.  The excitement is palpable and why wouldn’t it be?  With so many designers descending upon Melbourne to show their collections on the runway, and many of whom, call Melbourne home.

I am particularly excited this year as I have always been a fan of designers who tackle the menswear side of things. I feel that menswear is a part of the market, particularly in the emerging sector, which historically and currently is significantly under represented, at least by local designers.

This year however, I am thrilled to say I will be watching with great anticipation as Jason Pang’s label, Amxander shows off! And show off they will.

Talent like this, I haven’t seen for some time.  It’s wonderful to think that the dressing of the modern man is being catered for so beautifully, with the likes of ASSK, Article. by Courtney Holm, and of course the highlight of this article, Amxander. The main thing I love about this label is just simply it’s wearability. No fuss, manly, well tailored, nicely detailed, tasteful and well, I think pretty close to perfect.

It is a privilege for me to be able to write with such genuine enthusiasm about the talent of these young, upcoming, positive, talented, gracious, emerging designers. It is the red passion which fills my veins.

I just had to ask Mr Amxander himself, the questions that were burning a hole in my fashion week head before I wear myself out with my own excitement over the coming week in Melbourne …

 

Male model standing in front of a blue wall in white t but with colourful blue tones jacket and two fluorescent tubes being held by hands and arms on either side of him.

LM

I absolutely love your label. It has been a long time since I have seen such innovative, interesting, and most importantly wearable men’s fashion in Australia. Who is behind the AMXANDER label?

AMX

The label AMXANDER was formed from the ideas and experiences of a few close friends.

We all come from various design and design-related marketing backgrounds. Our business manager, Jake Chen, Art Director, Edmond Chua, and myself, Creative Director.

All of us joined together with the goal to bring a new light to the menswear market, which we found to be especially under-represented/under-developed in Australia.

LM

You describe your label as ‘print focused’ design? Would you regard this the same as sublimation garments?

AMX

The idea of print should not be constricted to only being sublimations or digital applications. By print we mean creating a motif – a symbol. It may be through different textile applications, for example knitting, embossing, or embroidery. There are various ways to ‘create print’. This is the core idea behind our label and we try to think of new ways to communicate our symbols in new and innovative ways each season.

LM

You have been described by NJAL (Not Just A Label) as ‘Black Sheep’ … ‘designers revolutionizing the industry and forging their own paths’. How do you see yourselves?

AMX

It truly is an honour for us as a young label to be given such credit. I see us as a small team of hardworking individuals who have a clear vision of what our take on a menswear brand should be. I am glad that we are still able to have that vision and keep our minds focused – relieving ourselves of the fads that revolves around this industry. We try to keep ourselves on the right track.

 

LM

How would you describe the AMXANDER man? Who specifically is your demographic?

AMX

The AMXANDER guy is someone who understands and appreciates fashion in an understated manner; someone who would like to stand out from the crowd and exert their individuality from time to time, but also be cautious of not going overboard.

LM

Do you intend to take your label overseas?

AMX

Taking the label overseas has always been an initial plan of ours. So far we have showcased in New York, London, Paris and also have a wider presence in Asia.

Model standing in front of a red wall dressed completely in black but wearing a donkey brown jacket with hoodie.

LM

I particularly love your collection ‘Forage’, but I love the others too! How do achieve making each collection look so distinct?

AMX

Our main idea revolves around the fact that the menswear market doesn’t shift around trends as much as womenswear – as such, our collections are based on a ‘theme’ rather than being a seasonal inclusion.

You’ll notice that our collections all feature classic menswear silhouettes (the tee-shirt, sweatshirt, etc.) and each collection uses prints, textiles and other techniques to bring forth the theme that the collection is named after.

Each theme that we explore revolves around existing masculinity ‘myths’ and symbolism. For example, our first collection, Shatter, revolved around the primal man, contrasted against the digital revolution, and our second collection, Hounds, revolved around the classic hounds tooth motif – traditionally a symbol of wealth in the late 1800s.

LM

Please define the term ‘Capsule Collection’

AMX

‘Capsule Collection’ to me is a sufficient sized range that a label puts together that represents a clear theme/concept.

It is also an appetizer for the core concept behind the brand and what it has to offer.

As you can see from our website, we’re currently offering our 5th collection’s capsule to communicate the core ideologies behind the collection via simple garments.

Model standing in front of a red wall dressed in a white t and facing the camera looking through clear perspex and a frame of white paint.

LM

Where do you find the themes/names for each collection?

AMX

As with all ideas, these themes come from curiosity. We throw these ideas around, and sometimes we hit an idea that just resonates well for each of us.

LM

I believe you worked for Mary Katrantzou in London. Wow! What did you love most about this experience?

AMX

She has always been an inspiration to me since my days in university. The best part was actually getting exposed to the fashion industry at an international level.

Hectic schedules, business meetings, fabrics you can only dream of creating, top models, London Fashion Week backstage – these are only a few a many things that I got to be a part of and I remember it all very fondly.

Model standing in front of a red wall kicking a virtual white ball above his knees.

LM

You say you wanted ‘to bring a breath of fresh air to the Australian menswear market’. I believe you have. How did you formulate your plan to bring this into being?

AMX

We have noticed that there has been a drastic shift in the once static high-end market that resulted in contemporary labels really making an impact on the fashion scene. What was especially interesting was that we found men wanted to escape the pencil pushing life, and express themselves as individuals. We wanted to create an avenue for this and thus created AMXANDER.

LM

Where and how do you look for inspiration?

AMX

I usually articulate ideas from what I experience every day. I am a very ‘visual’ person. Random things capture my attention in day to day life – whether it is a well dressed stranger or things that I see on the media. I am not one who is fixated about where I draw my inspirations from; it is something that is ever changing.

LM

How do you feel about the support levels within the Australian fashion industry?

AMX

It is gradually improving as more and more organizations realize the importance of their input in cultivating Australia’s next generation of fashion creatives.

Of course, it would be great to see large retailers take on emerging labels – it’s going to be a risk, but it could pay handsomely for the industry.

LM

Do you believe that there is more support for Australian emerging designers overseas? If so, why?

AMX

I must admit that there is a much bigger platform outside of Australia; the market for fashion is  just more responsive to interesting ideas. There is still a level of conservativeness here in Australia.

LM

Do you believe that the creation of a successful menswear label is more difficult than women’s wear?

AMX

Women generally spend more time and effort deciding and putting together what they wear. So my answer would be yes.

It almost takes double the effort selling clothing to men as apposed to women – that’s just how it is – for now.

Model standing in front of a grey wall in a grey jacket, patterned shirt and black pants.

LM

Do you believe that Australian men dress well?

AMX

I believe they actively care for their appearance but it can be quite monotonous – in a good way.

Most men seem to favor blue-collar dressing and/or what I call ‘slouch-chic’ (a combination of various loosely-cut garments, almost loungewear-like).

LM

If you could offer Australian men advice on how to dress better, what would that be?

AMX

I might be a bit biased on this one but I’d obviously hope to see more men willing to tackle a wider range of textiles and colours.

Most of my male friends tend to say that they feel comfortable in t-shirts and chinos/jeans.

This is where a subtle pop of color or small applied details could separate one from the crowd without going overboard.

LM

What is your opinion of the way Australians present themselves in general?

AMX

Australians are generally quite outspoken and can easily adapt to being in most foreign situations.

From experience, they definitely light up the room!

Model standing in front of a grey wall in a patterned jacket, black shorts and loafers.

LM

Your designs almost remind me of a media/visual arts graduate’s work. How have you taken your vision of patterns and transformed it to fabric?

AMX

We design as a team. Despite being in different areas of design, we all come from common arts backgrounds. (Sketching, Painting, Computer Aided Design etc.).  This is a form of language that we communicate with. Together we figure out ways of executing our work in 3D context.

LM

Where are your fabrics sourced?

AMX

It varies but most of the time it would be locally sourced in Australia or Asia.

LM

Where are your garments made?

AMX

Some garments are made in-house. Otherwise, we work closely with our pattern makers (who have over 40 years experience) in Hong Kong.

LM

Does the production of your garments require particular machinery?

AMX

It depends on the requirements of each season, but we do sometimes require particular machinery to create certain things outside of the basic industrial machinery.

Male model standing in front of a grey wall in black pants and a digital print long sleeved T.

LM

What are the ultimate dreams of your label?

AMX

For me, I hope that AMXANDER can be a pioneer in the Australian menswear fashion scene.

We hope to be able to showcase to the world that there is a lot of creative talent down under. That we deserve the spotlight once in a while.

LM

What is your view of the runway and do you believe it is an important vehicle for exposure?

AMX

I believe having put together a runway show is an important vehicle for exposure but it is not the ONLY way. Established labels invest a lot of time, money and effort into putting together runway presentations and this may not be a luxury that all upcoming designers can afford.

Today, even the biggest brands are testing non-conventional ways of presenting their line and most have been extremely successful.

LM

Do you believe that much of your exposure is achieved through social media?

AMX

Social media has definitely played an important for us growing as an independent label.

I believe it is the most direct and efficient way to interact with our customers and they seem to react to it well.

Male model standing in front of a grey wall in black shorts and a patterned T with short sleeves and a rust leaf motif on the front.

LM

How do you feel about the traditional roles of editorial?

AMX

Editorials have been an important segment for decades.

Traditional or non-traditional, the images we see on most blogs or fashion websites are in fact editorials. Whether it be a set of backstage photographs or snaps of a dolled-up model from someone’s iPhone, any images that have been stylised in one way or another is a form of editorial work – that’s how I see it.

LM

How do you select working with particular stylists and creative teams?

AMX

We surround ourselves with people whom we feel comfortable with and who respect us for being creative individuals.

LM

What are you most looking forward to in your involvement with VAMFF?

AMX

It is our first runway show with VAMFF and so far the pre-runway preparations have been very smooth.

We are definitely looking forward to meeting new people and get as much feedback as we can to further grow AMXANDER.

Until next time,

Jade xx

Label Ministry logo which is a picture of a stylised coathanger

 

 

 

Accreditations:

Model: Greg Han & Benjamin Charles |  Photography: Chen Chi  & Vikk Shayen | Stylist: Jake Chen |