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Australian Designer, Australian Fashion Industry, MBFWA, Uncategorized

BACKSTAGE #mbfwa2018

June 14
Backstage at Fashion Design Studio at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Sydney at Carriageworks 2018.

Backstage at Fashion Design Studio at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Sydney at Carriageworks 2018.

Fashion Week is always special. And strangely, always, each and every year, in a different way.

For me, arriving there one year since the last time felt strange.  So much has happened in one year, and quite literally months of my life had been devoted to a very important project, both for myself and for the Australian fashion industry.  Those of you who know me, and now there are many, you will know that that project was none other than the Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Runway, held in April of this year. I was thrilled to be able to work with, encourage, and develop the designers with whom I was so closely aligned on this project, as well as developing the concept in this country of working with international big guns who see benefit in fashion collaboration.  This has long been my vision and I hope to see much more of it in the future.

Continue Reading…

Australian Designer, Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Events, Global Fashion Industry

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Runway 2018

May 13

On 11 April 2018, Universal Brand Development executed a sensational Australian fashion industry coup. In collaboration with Jade Cosgrove of Label Ministry, the entertainment giant staged the first ever film-fashion runway event to take place in Australia.

It was a meeting of,

Well … dinosaurs really … life size ones at that; and the biggest movie studio in the world collaborating with seven incredible Australian designers.

Yeah. That’s all.

The story goes like this …

The glamorous invitation-only event was a night to remember, as “Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom” came alive on the runway at Australian Technology Park, showcasing seven of Australia’s most talented designers who unleashed their Jurassic inspired collections. Continue Reading…

Australian Designer, Australian Fashion, Australian Fashion Industry

We. Are. The. Standard.

January 29

Late in 2017, I had the pleasure of attending the Fashion Design Studio’s graduate show held at the very funky, inner city warehouse venue, The Commune.  Wildly patronised and positively buzzing, it was clear this was going to be a memorable night.  And it didn’t disappoint.  I happened to be sitting next to someone who commented … Australian designers really are up with the best, aren’t they? I thought about this for a moment and replied, yes. A deeply resonant, Yes. The very subject forms the main theme of many of my articles.  But then I refined my reply with greater detail and continued. Actually, I continued. We are the standard.

Australian designers. The global measuring stick of excellence. Creativity. Innovation. Talent. Surprise. Genius. The Future.  We knock out incredible imaginative bespoke pieces year after year. Without fail.  And you could be forgiven for thinking, seemingly, effortlessly.

Of course, this does not happen in a vacuum.  There are many dedicated, passionate, hard-working professionals who drive these codes of excellence over the finish line, but it all starts with a dream doesn’t it?

The dream of fashion. The glamour. The imagination. The inspiration. The runway. The fabric.

The blood. Sweat. And tears.

It’s as though their young souls dance to the vibration of their fashion passion pulling them forward into their fashion future. Of course, we do want them to have a future … and a brilliant one at that. 

May I remind everyone who is reading this article to please ensure that the future of these emerging designers is secured.  You might be thinking, what does that mean? It is not enough to patronise these events and be enthused for one night.  We need to be enthusiastic about their entire careers and support them for the long term. We need to constantly educate ourselves and fundamentally understand the importance of buying Australian labels not to mention supporting the institutions who create the creative playground and educational programs which underpin the success of Australian fashion globally.

All sixteen of the graduates who showed their collections should be applauded, loudly. My goodness. I have lost track of how many shows I have had the pleasure of attending. It struck me however that there was an aliveness that night, a tangible feeling of electricity in the air, mainly of talent undiscovered.

I was gently taken back in my mind to years past, of designers which have very permanent places in my own memory. Stuart Membery, Alannah Hill and Kit Willow came to the forefront of my mind as the various collections floated by. I loved the recurring themes of fine see through silks, elaborate detailing, bold ruching and my favourite, the flared pants. The clever use and innovative combinations of leather, wool, silk knits, feathers, faux fur, sequins, motifs, 3-D digital printing, vinyl, and corsetry … superb! … a wild and fantastical journey into the minds of true creatives and visionaries. I can’t possibly write more without mentioning the return of the all famous patent leather.  Dear Lord. How can anyone live without it?

Of course, who else should captain this ship, but the illustrious Nicholas Huxley and Sophie Drysdale who need no introduction and have led many an acclaimed designer right to the top.

Is it any wonder that Australia stands front and centre of the global fashion landscape. Are we not totally blessed to be able to enjoy the spectacle of world class fashion design in our own beautiful backyard.

We do not hold up a standard.

We are. The. Standard.

There is not a country in the world who would argue that Australian designers lead the way.

Collection by collection. Each and every season. Each and every year.

Photography | Romualdo Nubla | Studio MOR

Meet Gillian Garde

I totally loved this collection by Gillian Garde. Her Norwegian heritage, and her collection Bloodline, “seeks to create timeless, luxury ready-to-wear”. I found this collection wearable, romantic, dreamy and fun. It is always inspiring when a collection evokes the imagination of an audience for a momentary space in time. In her words, “a nostalgic journey into the past seen through the lens of modernity”. Gillian Garde Instagram

Photography | Romualdo Nubla | Studio MOR

Meet Maddison O’Connell

Then there were the unforgettable whispers of the earlier collections of Camilla Franks brought to life by Maddison O’Connell with her collection Lalude the Label, a luxury resort wear brand with a distinctive bohemian spirit embodying complex folk-like craftsmanship. Her full bodied collection of swim and resort wear boasted the use of lace, sequins, knitted silk and fringing in a colourful and happy colour way of turquoise, pinks and pastels with middle eastern motif. Lalude The Label Instagram

Photography | Romualdo Nubla | Studio MOR

Meet Alixa Holcombe. 

Alixa The Label is described as one of urban sensibility through the hand work and detail to her high end womenswear.

I loved Alixa Holcombe’s use of tie-dying and her hooded cream jacket with the tree scape motif was one of my standouts.  One of the very important aspects to any collection in my opinion is the intrinsic commercial value and I felt that this collection really answered the call. Inspired by the Australian bush, her collection “Lost” explores wandering in the wilderness, the imaginary character, who becomes disorientated from exposure to the elements”.  Alixa Holcombe Instagram 

Photography | Romualdo Nubla | Studio MOR

Meet Victoria Scott.

ORIA was also a collection I felt to be extremely commercially viable. Her twist on the denim and white shirt look was refreshing and incredibly wearable.  I loved her use of see-through fabric and the checked coat dress was very cool. Her one-shoulder look was nicely done and I loved the return of the flared pant.  Her collection was strong, contemporary, flowed, and felt complete. ORIA Instagram

Photography | Romualdo Nubla | Studio MOR

Meet Lauren Anderson

Lauren Anderson “focused on the social and cultural philosophies of historical and modern Japan. The ultra-feminine Harajuku style, which celebrates the youth’s non-conformity to a restrictive present day culture” was unforgettable in candy pink. It was fun, quirky and eclectic. Lauren Anderson Instagram

 

Photography | Romualdo Nubla | Studio MOR

Fashion Design Studio Graduate Collection 2017 Gallery

Photography | Romualdo Nubla | Studio MOR

Photography | Romualdo Nubla | Studio MOR

Photography | Romualdo Nubla | Studio MOR

Photography | Romualdo Nubla | Studio MOR

Photography | Romualdo Nubla | Studio MOR

Photography | Romualdo Nubla | Studio MOR

I apologise to any of the young graduates from Fashion Design Studio who are not included here.  Time permits me from mentioning everyone.

Until next year … keep on dreaming!

The tide of appreciation and dedication to your growth and success in the Australian and global fashion industries is turning.

Until next time.

Jade x

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, Fashion Designer, Interview, Swimwear

LunarSand

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

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

LunarSand is one of Australia’s rising swimwear labels.

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

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

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

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

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

Here is her story.

Enjoy xx

 

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

Model | Creative Director | Eva Czarnocka

 

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

Ruby Licciardi

 

LM

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

RL

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

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

LM

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

RL

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

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

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

LM

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

RL

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

LM

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

RL

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

LM

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

RL

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

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

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

LM

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

RL

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

LM

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

RL

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

LM

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

RL

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

LM

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

RL

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

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

Model | Creative Director | Eva Czarnocka

LM

Have you accessed the overseas market yet?

RL

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

LM

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

RL

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

LM

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

RL

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

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

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

LM

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

RL

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

LM

Amen!

LM

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

RL

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

LM

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

RL

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

LM

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

RL

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

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

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

LM

How has your textile background helped you with LunarSand?

RL

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

LM

Where can one buy your collections?

RL

Our whole collection is available online at LunarSand.

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

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

LM

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

RL

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

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

LM

Totally!

LM

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

RL

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

LM

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

RL

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

LM

What is your greatest dream?

RL

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

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

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

LM

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

RL

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

LM

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

RL

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

LM

Do you believe in the power of fashion collaborations?

RL

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

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

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

LM

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

RL

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

LM

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

RL

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

Until next time,

Jade xx

Featured Image

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

Shop LunarSand for Summer 2016!

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

Contact LunaSand

Say Hello to Ruby! 

Follow LunarSand

LunarSand Instagram | LunarSand Facebook |

Support Ruby’s Charity

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

Shop Sporty Swag

Until next time,

Jade xx

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

 

 

 

 

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Photography, Styling

Karlstrom Creatives

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

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

 

 

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

Petter Karlstrom

 

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

Who are they? Karlstrom Creatives.

I absolutely love the work of Petter and Leigh Karlstrom.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue Reading…

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

Frederick Jenkyn

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please remember to share  the love.

Australian fashion is depending on you …

 

Meet Frederick Jenkyn.

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

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

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

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

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

Frederick Jenkyn

 

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

Here is Frederick Jenkyn’s story so far …

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

Frederick Jenkyn

 

Continue Reading…

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Global Fashion Industry, Photography

Lights. Cameras. Heaven.

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

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

– Bill Cunningham

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

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

But this time was different.

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

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

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

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

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

And so this post is dedicated to Bill.

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

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

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

Contribution.
Continue Reading…