Browsing Tag

Runway

Aussie Fashion, Australian Designer, Australian Fashion

Charles Kennedy | Fashion Design Studio

November 24
Charles Kennedy from Fashion Design Studio and his 2020 collection for the graduate runway at the Factory Theatre in Marrickville

Charles Kennedy from Fashion Design Studio and his 2020 collection for the graduate runway at the Factory Theatre in Marrickville

In recent weeks, as I do every year, I have been liaising with the wonderful emerging designers from Fashion Design Studio as they move closer to what will be their greatest moment thus far, in their fashion careers. The FDS Graduate Runway. This is where their final collections are put on show celebrating the amazing detail of the many aspects which have made up their fashion design degrees.

The creation of their textile designs alone come into being from the most incredible sources … in one case, from the students own photography. Textiles, dyeing, devore, screen printing … are the basis of the incredible work which is consistently turned out, year in and year out at Fashion Design Studio.  The lecturers are full of heart, love and professionalism. Their enthusiasm and devotion to the industry they love and the people who choose to walk in their original footsteps is unending. To all of them, Alex Zehntner, Laura Washington, Julie, Mary and Narelle, I say “Thank You”. They are the unsung heroes in this story as they are the foundations of the success of the long list of Australian fashion icons that have stepped out of this institution many moons ago now. This year, we are entering a new paradigm for the Graduate Runway, in line with the release of my new project, The Ageless Runway, where I will be walking along with some other silver foxes 🙂 I think we are all aware now that fashion is for everyone, and we all want success for everyone in all sectors of the industry. This is our new future of Australian fashion, and it always starts with those who will literally form the future of our industry … the wonderful emerging talent. In the next little while on the Label Ministry platform I will be showcasing the FDS designers who have chosen to have the golden oldies walk for them.

Meet Charles Kennedy, and his Insta label CharlieBoyTheLabel, sadly, 🙁 …  the last of the graduate interviews 2020, answered some of my questions …

Enjoy!

What was the driving force for you to study fashion design?

In all honesty this is quite a hard one to answer, Fashion design has always been a deep passion of mine, ever since I can remember. I have a distinct memory of gathering scraps of material from around the classroom in Year 1  cutting them into shapes resembling clothes. It carried a bold caption stating, “when I grow up, I want to be a fashion designer, because all clothes are beautiful”.

What are your hopes and dreams for your chosen career as a fashion designer?

I’d love to work in a design house one day. At the moment my biggest dream is to do an internship overseas with a larger scale company, somewhere like LVMH.

I know it’s such a far fetched goal, but it would be wonderful to get that sort of experience. I am keen to pursue a range of directions in my career to build on my degree such as design, pattern making, textiles, business etc. In the short term I want to achieve my goal of interning to see where i really slot in, and explore where I can contribute the most to a business’ success. I think more than anything I thrive on the fast paced nature of the industry. Finding myself within the machinations of a fashion company, large or small would be wonderful.

There are so many points of aesthetic I find appealing and workable. I suppose the most direct points of my aesthetic can be seen in my diverse mix of tailored garments and bias drapes. I really love the idea of taking conventional shapes and garments and adapting them to create something new and unique.

I love the idea of layered looks, outfits that include three or more pieces. This allows a great deal of subtlety which can be added to a look. Fashion design to me is about exploring contrasts in garments, and the levels of nuance which can be created within a look.

Who do you see as your customer?

In a word?

Everyone!!!

I really love the idea of agelessness, shapelessness and limitless clothing. I want every single piece in my collection to feel as though there’s some connecting factor.

To create garments and looks, when broken down and deconstructed feel workable for anybody.

The main objective of my collection is to create clothes that encompass a complete sense of ones personality, garments that can be shared between brother and sister, cousin and friend, grandparent and grandchild, things that can legitimately work between all different shapes and sizes.

I love the classical style of traditional runway shows, theres always such a strong buzz and ambience connected to a live setting. However, i do sort of dislike the traditional connotations of exclusivity that can be paired with this. With this past year and Covid-19 i found that i really loved the beauty of digital runway platforms, and the vast level of creativity that can be explored through these settings. I definitely love the idea of creating a space that transports an audience into a separate world, the place of the designer, the brand, and the people who inhabit the clothes.

Until next time,

Jade xx

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Aussie Fashion, Australian Designer, Australian Fashion

Laura Addis | Fashion Design Studio

November 23
Laura Addis from Fashion Design Studio at Ultimo TAFE Graduate Collection 2020

Laura Addis from Fashion Design Studio at Ultimo TAFE Graduate Collection 2020

In recent weeks, as I do every year, I have been liaising with the wonderful emerging designers from Fashion Design Studio as they move closer to what will be their greatest moment thus far, in their fashion careers. The FDS Graduate Runway. This is where their final collections are put on show celebrating the amazing detail of the many aspects which have made up their fashion design degrees.

The creation of their textile designs alone come into being from the most incredible sources … in one case, from the students own photography. Textiles, dyeing, devore, screen printing … are the basis of the incredible work which is consistently turned out, year in and year out at Fashion Design Studio.  The lecturers are full of heart, love and professionalism. Their enthusiasm and devotion to the industry they love and the people who choose to walk in their original footsteps is unending. To all of them, Alex Zehntner, Laura Washington, Julie, Mary and Narelle, I say “Thank You”. They are the unsung heroes in this story as they are the foundations of the success of the long list of Australian fashion icons that have stepped out of this institution many moons ago now. This year, we are entering a new paradigm for the Graduate Runway, in line with the release of my new project, The Ageless Runway, where I will be walking along with some other silver foxes 🙂 I think we are all aware now that fashion is for everyone, and we all want success for everyone in all sectors of the industry. This is our new future of Australian fashion, and it always starts with those who will literally form the future of our industry … the wonderful emerging talent. In the next little while on the Label Ministry platform I will be showcasing the FDS designers who have chosen to have the golden oldies walk for them.

Stay tuned for the next interview.

In the meantime designer Laura Addis from Manners Please, answered some of my questions …

Enjoy!

Continue Reading…

Aussie Fashion, Australian Designer, Australian Fashion

Claire Marrazza | Fashion Design Studio

November 21
Claire Marrazza and her label Nokoff, graduating student from Fashion Design Studio, Ultimo TAFE 2020

In recent weeks, as I do every year, I have been liaising with the wonderful emerging designers from Fashion Design Studio as they move closer to what will be their greatest moment thus far, in their fashion careers. The FDS Graduate Runway. This is where their final collections are put on show celebrating the amazing detail of the many aspects which have made up their fashion design degrees.

Claire’s name was incredibly familiar to me and as I pondered, I realised that she had been one of the wonderful volunteers at the Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Runway developed and produced by yours truly in 2018 in collaboration with Universal Studios to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Jurassic Park franchise at Australian Technology Park. The first collaboration of its kind for Australian fashion.

I asked Claire how she enjoyed the experience … 

CM

The 2018 Jurassic World event held at Australian Technology Park was the first big fashion event I ever got to experience/work behind the scenes at. The quick changes and energetic atmosphere were super new and exciting to me as a baby fashion student and the event was a great introduction to the inner workings of a runway. It gave me great insight into the organisation and work that goes into a show. It was an invaluable experience.

Meet Claire Merrazza and her label, Nokoff.

Enjoy!

Claire Marrazza and her label Nokoff, graduating student from Fashion Design Studio, Ultimo TAFE 2020

 

What was the driving force for you to study fashion design?

I have always been interested in clothes, dressing up and having fun with fashion. I wanted to study fashion design. It is exciting and is a way for us to express ourselves and be whatever we want to be. The expression of it is limitless.

What are your hopes and dreams for your chosen career as a fashion designer?

I hope to work in and to explore many different facets of the fashion world, from photography, styling and costume to designing, creating and making. I want to collaborate with and meet other creative people, to see lots of new places and to learn as much as I can about my field and about myself.

How would you describe your particular aesthetic and where did the inspiration come from for this aesthetic?

My aesthetic can be described as playful, novel, humorous and colourful. It is simply what comes naturally to me and is generally inspired by how I dress and what I admire in clothes and styling. My designs are a hyperbolic version of how I dress myself. Experimentation with imagery, colour and texture, as well as the idea of “playing dress-ups” are all central parts of my aesthetic.

Who do you see as your customer?

Anyone who wants to have fun with the way they dress and to feel less inhibited. My ideal customer has no age, no gender, and no body type — and  fashion the ideal of fashion which includes everyone is something I hope to encourage.

How much importance do you place on the theatre of “the runway”?

I think the runway is an exciting atmosphere. There are other ways to showcase clothing that are also welcoming and accessible to people, especially those that are new to exploring fashion.

What do you feel is the difference between a successful fashion designer and an unsuccessful fashion designer?

I think a successful fashion designer looks to themselves for reassurance of what they are doing, not to others for trends or profits. To me, staying true to oneself as a designer is what true success means, and it deeply enriches a designer’s work when they do so.

How do you feel the fashion industry has supported you so far?

So far, I have felt most supported by my peers and fellow creatives within the industry. The understanding we have of one another — especially through tough times of self-doubt and unsureness — is one of great importance in an industry so tough.

Claire Marrazza and her label Nokoff, graduating student from Fashion Design Studio, Ultimo TAFE 2020

What changes and level of support would you like to see for the future of the Australian fashion industry?

Increased opportunities for emerging designers is something that I think everyone would like to see in the near future. Graduates have lesser opportunity and are forced into working countless internships before a chance in a design role. The Australian fashion landscape has a lot of growth to do in terms of jobs, variety and inclusiveness and I hope to see that shift sooner rather than later.

What is the hardest thing you have had to face in your journey of the fashion industry so far?

Undoubtably, staying true to what you want to design can be really difficult due to outside pressures and constant exposure to other creatives design work. Not following trends can be really tricky but it is so worth it to stick with your personal vision and what you truly want to create.

What does Australian fashion mean to you and how do you see it in terms of contrast with other countries and regions of the world?

I feel that Australian fashion is a little bit timid and hesitant to jump into the more eccentric and experimental fashion seen in other parts of the world. Australian designers and students have some crazy big talent and I hope they can assist in helping Australia have a bigger standing on the global fashion stage.

What does the word fashion mean to you and the people around you?

Fashion is a means to connect with others and is also a way of exploring and connecting to your own identity through self-expression.

People often describe fashion as vacuous and unnecessary. What would you say to people who hold this opinion?

Unfortunately the fashion world can be very exclusive and polarising, but things are definitely changing. I think we need to keep pushing for a fashion world that includes everyone. To those who say fashion is trivial, I believe that it’s a matter of engaging with the parts of fashion that connects with ones sense of self.

Do you feel excited about your fashion career or do you feel that it is peppered with anxiety about the future?

It changes every day!

Like most creative careers, there are times of anxiety, but the outcomes and exciting times outweigh the fears.

Claire Marrazza and her label Nokoff, graduating student from Fashion Design Studio, Ultimo TAFE 2020

How do you feel about stepping out in the big wide world of fashion after having been in study mode for three years?

It’s scary, but I’m really not  fussed as long as I’m constantly creating and having a good time. I’m looking forward to learning and growing and expanding my skills. So much has changed for me in the last three years since I started studying fashion, and at this rate I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me in the future.

What are you looking forward to the most for your graduate runway and your moment of glory?

To see the work come together as a cohesive collection will be so rewarding. It’s surreal to finally see the illustrations on the page and the ideas in my head become a walking reality.

How do you feel about having older models walk in your show, when this has not been done before.

I’m really excited about it and I think it’s something that will become a permanent change in the industry, which is so important and fantastic.

So often older people are largely excluded from being represented in fashion and are expected to conform to a certain way of dressing.

Fashion should be fun for everyone, and self-expression doesn’t become less important after a certain age.

Amen!

What would you like to see as the format of the runway in the future?

I would love to see a rise in fashion displayed in showcases or performance-art like artist Vanessa Beecroft’s style. I think it’s another way that the designer can create a stronger and more cohesive vision for their collections that enhance the power of the garments.

The creation of their textile designs alone come into being from the most incredible sources … in one case, from the students own photography. Textiles, dyeing, devore, screen printing … are the basis of the incredible work which is consistently turned out, year in and year out at Fashion Design Studio.  The lecturers are full of heart, love and professionalism. Their enthusiasm and devotion to the industry they love and the people who choose to walk in their original footsteps is unending. To all of them, Alex Zehntner, Laura Washington, Julie, Mary and Narelle, I say “Thank You”. They are the unsung heroes in this story as they are the foundations of the success of the long list of Australian fashion icons that have stepped out of this institution many moons ago now. This year, we are entering a new paradigm for the Graduate Runway, in line with the release of my new project, The Ageless Runway, where I will be walking along with some other silver foxes 🙂 I think we are all aware now that fashion is for everyone, and we all want success for everyone in all sectors of the industry. This is our new future of Australian fashion, and it always starts with those who will literally form the future of our industry … the wonderful emerging talent. In the next little while on the Label Ministry platform I will be showcasing the FDS designers who have chosen to have the golden oldies walk for them.

Stay tuned for the next interview …

Until next time,

Jade xx

Label Ministry Logo

Aussie Fashion, Australian Designer, Australian Fashion

Thomas Anderson | Fashion Design Studio

November 18
Thomas Anderson Graduate Collection 2020 Fashion Design Studio TAFE Ultimo Sydney

In recent weeks, as I do every year, I have been liaising with the wonderful emerging designers from Fashion Design Studio as they move closer to what will be their greatest moment thus far, in their fashion careers. The FDS Graduate Runway. This is where their final collections are put on show celebrating the amazing detail of the many aspects which have made up their fashion design degrees.

Enjoy! Continue Reading…

Aussie Fashion, Australian Designer, Australian Fashion

Kiki Ollila | Fashion Design Studio

November 18
Mirka (Kiki) Ollilo and her graduate collection from Fashion Design Studio 2020

In recent weeks, as I do every year, I have been liaising with the wonderful emerging designers from Fashion Design Studio as they move closer to what will be their greatest moment to date … the FDS Graduate Runway. This is where their final collections are put on show celebrating the amazing detail of the many aspects which have made up the entirety thus far, in their fashion design degrees. Continue Reading…

Aussie Fashion, Australian Fashion, Australian Fashion Industry

A Moments Silence

October 13
Jade Cosgrove for the launch of The Ageless Project May 2020

I salute you 2020. You’ve been a total Bitch but as we move to your conclusion, I see your gift.

A Moments Silence if you will Fashionistas … for in our hearts, in our minds, and in our lives, so many of us are mourning the state of what was the Australian fashion industry.

This is an article with a difference. A reflection if you will of 2020. The year where many say twenty-twenty vision represents the spiritual blending of our 3D lives and the deeper understanding of our own souls and purpose for being here.

No longer are we completely satisfied with the cursory glimpse into our fashion futures but I believe so many of us have become moving beacons of light driving forth the importance of our personal dreams and using this awareness to step solidly into our new paradigm. For those of us who see, it is the opportunity for us to step into the finer awareness and greater understanding of all things in our lives, not only our careers but everything that does not ring true or hold proper value.

It has been a time of great sadness to witness the demise of the fashion world, Fashion Week, the retail market; the general fashion vehicle as we know it. The ripple effects of the current destructive mechanisms worldwide have caused the irreparable havoc that is 2020. Paradoxically, it is also a time of pure excitement, incredible opportunity, where long needed changes to the fashion industry can now come into full effect for the benefit of us all.

For those of us who have made fashion industry work our lives, it is a demoralising period indeed. I know I speak for many when I say that many of us are wondering if we will ever work in fashion again.

I have been privy to many complex conversations over the last while. People who seem convinced that at some point everything fashion will return to normal and we will all breathe a huge sigh of relief.  Naturally because of the work I do, I have been asked repeatedly what I see as the ultimate fate of the industry.

It is a sobering moment, is it not, when one realises that the vaults of the vehicle they have supported for so long are completely empty. In this, I realise I am not alone. In a world where the term “equality” was used ad nauseam and so liberally, when there simply wasn’t any is disappointing indeed.

I have been witness to so many talented, creative, and hard working individuals who have never been recognised for their work over the period of many, many years.

At the same time, I have been witness to five minute wonders who have experienced almost celebrity status idolatry in their success and the ridiculous ease of upward movement.

Surely the initiations of talent, hard work and experience should count for everything.

The sad reality has been that it didn’t.

Change as we have seen this year has been incredibly difficult for many.

For the people I know and love in the industry, I have watched carefully their pain through redundancy and their change of choice around their fashion careers, mainly through having no choice at all.  Like so many, I too lost many booked jobs and opportunities due to the unexpected 2020 shenanigans.

I am here however, to bring good news on the fashion front and although you will not be breathing a total sigh of relief after reading this article, I do hope it will bring some level of hope to an industry that we all love.

I promise you, just as the sun greets us every day, we will rise again.

Will it ever be the same, you may ask? Will the industry recover and how might it be fixed?

Certainly not. I don’t believe for one moment, it will be “fixed” or return to what we knew as the norm. I do believe it will most certainly be re-written.

Why?

Because the good folk have been burned people. Badly.

Scorched, in a way that will never be forgotten. And good folk always win in the end. In the exciting rebuilding of the years to come, their work will not only be recognised but they will take their rightful place as the solid, quite achieving leaders they always were.

I hate to say, I told you so, but I have been writing and speaking about this demise for a very long time, not because I have super powers of knowing, but because for way too long I have been witnessing the unfair distribution of goodies within an industry that forgets and disregards far too easily the people who have underpinned the vehicle generously with their beautiful energy, undying commitment, creativity and hard work.

Since when was is it okay to ignore key people in any industry where the loosely used expressions of equality and creative talent swirled around backstage or auditoriums with gay abandon and with no real benefit to anyone? This reality was never a sustainable model and was only ever designed to support those at the top helping themselves to the cream. The Australian fashion industry will no longer just serve a chosen few, many of whom, were self appointed and not even chosen.

Fashion is for everyone, all people, from all places, of all origins, and all ages.  It is one of the reasons that my latest project, The Ageless Runway was developed in the first place.

In our new fashion paradigm all creatives will be involved and their work recognised. All designers will be represented and applauded. All models will be glorified and appreciated. All editors will be invited to sit in prominent positions from which they can report and write their articles. All fashion enthusiasts will be welcome. All budding fashionistas, designers, and groupies will find a place to enjoy one of the most beautiful art forms the world has to offer and nobody will be left out. Simple. I firmly believe that Australian fashion will be rebuilt in a manner of which we will all be proud and I for one cannot wait for the day.

This world needs beauty and lots of it. Beauty uplifts, brings hope and joy to the hearts of us all. Fashion belongs in our world, even more so when we enter periods of change and dystopia.  For those of us who have always resided in the fashion realm, it is inconceivable to think that fashion is on a slippery slope even though it is our current reality.

I predict that much of our fashion world, at least for the moment, will be about community and the people with whom we are already connected, until we have completed our personal Moments of Silence.

We are living through a time where each of us are being asked to stop, reassess, look at our lives and the people in them and decide on our continued pathways. To know who we truly are is the greatest gift on earth, and then, and only then, can we know how to visualise the way forward and the future which is designed for us and therefore, truly authentic.

If you would like to be a part of The Ageless Project please get in touch.  It is the kind of fashion project you have been waiting for. Inclusive, different, and all encompassing in its connection to other industries. If our Moment of Silence has taught me anything, it is that we are not alone. It may feel that way but the way of all of our conscious futures is to know that we are here to work together for the benefit of all.

Australian fashion has taken a hit, there is no doubt, but we will rise again like the Phoenix from the Ashes in a sustainable, productive, and respectful way. One which will pay homage to the real reasons that beauty exists in life and pays ultimate respect to those who are truly deserving.

Enormous thanks to …

Terri Anderson Photography for the love and her devotion to The Ageless Project.

Until next time,

Jade xx

 

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Aussie Fashion, Australian Fashion, Australian Fashion Industry

The Ageless Project 2020

May 14
Jade Cosgrove for the launch of The Ageless Project May 2020

Well it’s May already. May always means something to me, over and above the other months of the year. A few things come to mind. First of all, it is my birthday month. Second it is the time of Fashion Week, (albeit not this year). Thirdly it is the time of year when my heart breathes a sigh of relief, the leaves fall, and with it any lingering heavy energies slip away, ready to be transformed by the crisp and present coolness of winter. A time of reflection, nurturing and the potential creation of ideas ready to ignite and blossom in the Spring. One such project has been in the creative stages for quite some time now, and as all creative people know dreams are not and should not, be manifested too hastily. Continue Reading…

Aussie Fashion, Australian Fashion, Australian Fashion Industry

Unsocial Media

April 28
Jade Cosgrove for the launch of The Ageless Project May 2020

Well, here it is.

The article on social media I have been promising for years. You will notice that I have named it Unsocial Media, so at this junction you will glean an insight into my feelings on the subject. For those who know me professionally and personally you will know that this is a subject close to my heart and you will also be well versed in my opinion about social media and the destruction it causes in peoples lives, young and old. Those same people have been asking repeatedly when I was going to write this article which I have contemplated for a very long time.

For reasons unknown even to myself, apart from my own intuition, I have resisted until now.

It seems the time is now.

For the longest time, I have been watching, observing, discussing, and lamenting the some positives but largely negative impacts of the shiny, interactive platforms we call “social media”. It is a contentious subject at the very least, and one which creates very heated responses very quickly in any group you care to mention, but especially the fashion industry. For at least the last three years at Sydney Fashion Week, sadly cancelled this year, this discussion has been one that doesn’t get old. Most people I’ve spoken with have a love/hate relationship with it for a plethora of valid reasons.

In our current global situation, where social media is playing an even greater role in the lives of nearly everyone we know, it has become alarmingly apparent to me that platforms upon which the fashion world particularly focuses has reached the lowest ebb ever. You might ask which platforms I am referring to? Well, Instagram mostly and Facebook to a lesser degree as I think it is no longer patronised by the fashion world to the extent it once was.

I have seen a rapid decline in interesting content on Instagram and in my opinion it has just turned into a tart. A once interesting, varied, high quality content experience has now mutated into a highly inane and dissatisfying experience of scrolling, and subjection to copious amounts of people yelling at me through automated videos about subjects which hold no interest or connection to my account. Advertisements that I spend my life trying to lessen (when I can be bothered) answering Instagram’s questions about “why I don’t want to see this”. Followed by nauseating low level porn that I have grown so tired of seeing that my eyes glaze over at having to semi-accept the garbage being presented as “content”.

In the hope of not offending anyone, it is also rapidly turning into a vehicle of self promotion for many. Even in the current global circumstances, where most fashion people have literally gone from working jobs to not at all, I have witnessed quite a number of people continuing to self promote, instead of creating vehicles that collectively help the many in order to drive change and hope for all of our fashion futures.

I cannot be the only person who is so irritated by Instagram brands who have no real brick and mortar presence, and therefore no real “skin in the game’. Massive followings, important Instagram space, yes. Don’t we have to question the actual contribution to the industry? Is it not a question of ethics? We are now so vocal about the ethical responsibility of brands, the hows and the wheres of their production but yet we fail to discuss the ethical presence of those brands on social media and the impact they have on the real fashion and retail platforms.

Then of course, there is the subject of the “influencer” and the role they should be allowed to play within our fashion world. Both difficult subjects I know, and believe me,  I have been present in so many discussions around both these subjects. I know how contentious they are and have been in a few heated discussions of my own. I don’t say that there is no place for these things but I am a big fan of bringing elements to the fashion industry at large that serve the collective and not individuals. Our industry can no longer afford or sustain this selfish approach of self serving and self important behaviour.  Things are way too dire for that.  I believe our focus needs to be around contribution and what serves our collective interests and subsequent global recognition.

Rightly or wrongly, I have a very small Instagram following. I think the term for someone like me is a “micro-influencer” in the sense that my following genuinely follows my fashion work. Importantly, I don’t feel the need to have a large following, and as a dear friend and professional colleague of mine said, “keeping track of and controlling social media is a job in itself and if you are a solo business person it’s often hard to do this. You find yourself wasting time trying to work on your social media presence instead of working on your strengths within your business. I find that I have the potential to waste a lot of time trying to understand growing a business via social media, which can be frustrating when that is not your strength. It can also be hard to navigate the authenticity of accounts and products, as people tend to believe in products simply if they have a good account with lots of followers, which can be just smoke and mirrors”.

Perfectly described don’t you think? And no, she is not old like I am so it is not a generational difference.

To further this narrative, some years ago now, I well remember speaking to another in the fashion world; a beautiful, successful, young woman who described her feelings around social media like she was a cardboard cutout due to the isolation she felt due to the pressures put upon her by social media.  The expectations, the perfect lifestyle, and the constant perceived requirement to post content, several times each day, which would serve to impress or dare I say “trump”, her followers and friends. I am not suggesting that she fell into this trap, because, we all know it is a trap, right? I am only describing the sentiment of her words and the potential debilitating consequences and subsequent feelings of inadequacy and misery for those who do succumb to its powers. A very real problem in our current world wrapped up in our collective addiction to devices, low attention spans, and our unhealthy patterns of communicating through devices versus open communication.

She also commented that she struggled to come to terms with the level of comparison she felt in all aspects of her life because of her social media accounts. This ranged from her hair, body and beauty choices, her choice of boyfriend, her living quarters, her lifestyle, hobbies and diet. She explained that she felt this led to an inauthentic expression of herself and the resulting inability to live a life that was just her own. She felt the pressure to keep up with her friends and their illusory social media lives was at times, crushing, and perhaps even worse, that her most personal moments, those which she cherished alongside her greatest disappointments were exposed not only for everyone to see, but for all and sundry, many of whom were complete strangers, to comment on and gloat over. My heart melted when I heard her describe the effect social media had had on her young life. Simultaneously, I was extremely heartened to witness her realisation that her own common sense and innate sense of self prevailed as she declared she did not need social media to revel in her own authenticity and shine in her own beautiful essence.

I post to Instagram rarely now. Largely because I am genuinely busy and partly because I don’t want to bore people with content about nothing. I post when I feel I can motivate, inspire or uplift people who genuinely follow my work and whom I can help. In essence, I try only to share the love and the passion of the work I do in Australian Fashion.

My dear friend went on to say, “I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I don’t spend a lot of time on it because I recognise that it can put me in a negative state of mind. I enjoy it in small doses”. She went on to say, “on the other hand I don’t like the feeling that you may be missing out on some particular thing. Being able to look at so many different activities in one quick moment makes you feel you should be packing more into your day/life. It often confuses what your values are in relation to others.  For example, seeing a picture of a mother baking with their child all of a sudden makes you feel like you should be baking with your children, when this isn’t necessarily a passion of yours. 

It can create unnecessary anxiety in this way.

I don’t often feel jealous because I want people to have amazing lives and love people doing well and succeeding. This makes me feel happy, but social media sometimes makes me feel like I’m not doing/achieving what I should be”.

An older person I know, and a mother of three told me that all her kids are completely addicted to social media, particularly her teenage daughter. She said that she personally used social media as a tool, as she regarded it as beneficial and informative for shopping, trends, and news.

Hmmm. I don’t know what I think about that. Shopping? Well, maybe.

Trends? Does the world actually have trends anymore? I think we’ve moved past that.

News? Well, let’s not go there.

She did make the comment that in their (kids) head, social media was their link to the rest of the world and that it was an addiction. I liked her honesty.

My focus is really on whether social media is negative or positive and how it relates to the fashion world. So on we go.

There is something else that really worries me about the social media world and its particular relevance to the fashion world.

It is just me? … or are many young women and men starting to look like each other?

This insistent and consistent trend for the young ones to look the “same” is really disturbing.

Why and how have we created and consented to a world where individual differences are not celebrated? I am not talking about runways, only general audience here. Why have our levels of self esteem plummeted to the all-time-low of not being comfortable with ‘who we truly are’, and if this is truly the paradigm we are happy to accept, what depths of despair awaits us?

Is the older generation of fashionistas responsible for this and if so, did we not have a duty of care to mentor this younger generation of fashion followers? This tendency to over-do everything … fake tan, enhancing boobs, eyelashes, waistlines, and butts is not only ugly but completely unnatural not to mention the shellac! I don’t want to think for a nano second what the health implications might be down the track and don’t even start me on the eyebrows!!! You can hate me if you want, but I say, it is time to reclaim our natural beauty and encourage the young ones to do the same, in all our glory. We all possess beauty in one form or another, and the tendency to want to look like each other is an aspect which belongs to sheep not the human race.

My purpose in writing this article is not to bad mouth social media as part of me does recognise its benefits, although I do believe that many accounts are reducing to all time lows as every day passes. I do however see a lot of misery and sadness created by this illusory reality which takes us away from our blessed daily lives and the beautiful experience that living in every moment can provide. Whilst our heads are buried in our phones and our social media accounts, real opportunities and real life friendships are walking by. I encourage you to be led by your heart, and return to your true fashion souls. Be who you are and be proud of you. Be strong in your sense of self and by all means, beautify your magnificent self.  I don’t mean to put guidelines around what this might mean for you as individuals, for of course, that is not my place. I also love to beautify myself, and for all the people that love and know me … they will tell you … I am as vain as all Hell!

Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that!

In the heyday of my styling years, I used to tell the scores of women and men I styled, and occasionally even now when I fall back to that work, “look into that mirror and have the courage to see the beautiful soul that is looking back at you. Allow your tears to flow in the realisation of who you truly are, and adorn your magnificent self appropriately”.

It seems the pertinent moment in time to let all you beautiful fashion people know, that I have cried real tears for the state of the fashion world right now. I come however with a message of great hope and to let all of you know that all will be well.

Yes, our industry will change and perhaps the new fashion world will be unrecognisable to some. It is a change that has been coming for a very long time, and one that is timely and sadly, very necessary.

Our new fashion space will be refreshingly re-calibrated, and those people who were temporarily acting as place holders, but who never really cared, will fall away.

Those who remain will be the real deal ; The leaders ; Those who hold, and who always have, held the vision of what is to come and those who possess the ability to take it to new heights ; Those people will rebuild the amazingness of what has never been in question – the brilliance of Australian Fashion.

Be a vehicle of light everyone and hold your heads high. This too shall pass and when it does, the landscape of Australian Fashion will never look so bright …

Watch this space.

Until next time,

Jade xx

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Australian Designer, Australian Fashion, Australian Fashion Industry

Fashion Design Studio 2018

November 27
Models standing backstage at the Fashion Design Studio Graduate Runway 2018 at Ultimo TAFE

Tonight, I had the pleasure of attending the Fashion Design Studio’s 2018 annual graduate runway.

The eagerly awaited fashion spectacle which showcases the most celebrated of their students.  The outstanding and often times breathtaking talent is awe inspiring and one must always remember that we are, in that very moment, bearing witness to those who will be the future heroes of the Australian fashion industry.

May I open with this.

Fashion design is not for the faint hearted.

Models standing backstage with Jade Cosgrove, CEO Label Ministry at the Fashion Design Studio Graduate Runway 2018 at Ultimo TAFE

Photography | Romualdo Nubla Studio MOR+ | Fashion Design Studio Graduate Runway 2018

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Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Global Fashion Industry, New Zealand Fashion Week

Orange Is The New Black

October 15
A model walks the runway in a design by Ruscoe during the New Generation Emerging Couture show during New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 at Viaduct Events Centre on August 28, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

If you’ve been keeping up with our latest articles, you already know that Label Ministry ventured to lovely Auckland for New Zealand Fashion Week in August this year.

While most of Jade’s mission at NZFW revolved around the production of the unreal runway show for Heaven Swimwear I was lucky enough to have some time to kick back in the front-row of several other shows.

While I relished my time at every show, one label stood out among the rest. An… orange diamond in the (not-at-all) rough, if you will …

Enjoy xx

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