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Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Fashion Designer, Instagram

Trash Talk

December 6

Fashion was and still is, about beauty, dignity, poise, and reverence.

 

When did it become ok for celebrities, Hollywood and otherwise to stop wearing underwear to red carpet events in the name of fashion just because they were wearing a certain type of dress? I have been watching this rise in vulgarity for some time now and I can no longer be quiet about it.

On the one hand we are all screaming about feminism and crying like babies when men stare at our boobs but then happily cement our own sexism and elevate to new heights our vulnerability and dissatisfaction by wearing fashion pieces which once upon a time would have shamed us all for being sluts.

Our obsession with things so tight, we can’t move, fabrics so sheer we leave nothing to the imagination, and openings on dresses so vast, we abandon our underwear and leave only parts God himself has witnessed on show to the world.

I don’t know what you think, but as this is an opinion piece, and as I fully have to admit, a little prone to a rant at times, I have to tell you that we are overdue for a change.

Sorry…

We all know what’s under people’s clothes. Do we really have to be subjected to the most private parts of one’s body and then pretend to call it fashion? Quite aside from the sheer ugliness of those body parts, who wants to see them? The line between pornography and fashion is becoming a little too “blended” for me. And no. Just because something has been carefully perfumed, manicured, and waxed doesn’t make it a show piece either.

I for one am sick of shorts so short I can almost see what’s been had for breakfast, tops so plunging I can see the shadow of the nipple, and dresses so short and revealing that I am unwillingly introduced to your cellulite thighs and then hello! nooo … your Ruby-Tuesday!

Enough!  Yes, fashion is about creativity, imagination, diversity, and even cheekiness. But when did it become about nakedness and the soft crevices of well …

Quite aside from what we find acceptable to look at, and I acknowledge that my conservative view will not be shared by everyone, I do have to point out, how does this exposure and behaviour impact on our younger generations and social media platforms such as Instagram?

In making this behaviour the new “normal” are we not teaching the younger audience of the global fashion industry and horrifyingly our children who are without question, the most prolific users of Instagram, that a “following” is all important and that this is often achieved by very explicit content?

I believe we have an obligation to teach our younger generation about pride and dignity. To help them to understand that they are valuable and wonderful human beings who can enjoy and delight in fashion without the social constructs which promote the growing insistence and then consequential confusion of body shaming.

Naturally, I do not include the world of swimwear in my critique, as little clothing within our long accepted beach culture it totally acceptable. As a female, four small triangles otherwise known as the bikini wouldn’t offend anyone. As for the men, most of them wear boardies anyway don’t they, and if they don’t, we have been conditioned a long time ago to “not” look!

But on stage? The red carpet? Really. I ask you? Do we have to see people’s genitalia?  In God’s name, what will be next? Men walking around with their penises slung out of their trousers just because the trousers boast a designer’s name? Would that make it ok?

Nope.

I have had enough.

I am the greatest lover of fashion of all time, but please don’t tell me it includes having to look at people’s breasts on mass bulging out of their garments or horrific glimpses of a vag.

There is ample opportunity in this world to wear as little as pleases you, but can we please not make it the stage or iconic red carpet events? It really, and I mean really, brings down the tone of an industry which has always enjoyed the exalted heights of glamour, class and style. Reminds me of that old adage … “money don’t buy class”. True or not?

Money these days seems to buy more and more of the same thing, especially on the red carpet.  It usually equates to less and sadly, less, class.

If anyone was to ask my opinion? Be an example! Look beautiful. Be dignified. Be the voice to tell the world about the world’s amazing fashion designers, particularly the Australian ones, because everyone knows we are the best!

But don’t bring fashion down to the depths of the gutter.

That’s where the rats live.

Where the infectious diseases reside.

And life starts not to matter …

Let’s not take it there.

Synonymous with the word fashion has always been the virtues of beauty and dignity.

We have seriously lost our connection to the importance of strong moralistic human virtues and instead have become immersed in a debased cultural mindset of anything goes. This attitude helps nobody. It does not help humanity and it certainly doesn’t help our beloved fashion industry, Australian or otherwise.

Fashion was and still is, about beauty, dignity, poise, and reverence.

Let’s keep it that way.

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, 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…

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Events, MBFWA

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia 2016

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

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

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

I loved every single moment!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time,

Jade xx

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Fashion Designer, Interview, Swimwear

Aqua Blu … Chase The Sun

May 19

This week is Mercedes Benz Fashion Week … quite simply, one of the most highly anticipated and loved weeks of my year.  This year Carriageworks is the chosen venue for MBFWA once again, and it is literally filled to the brim with fashion talent.  Naturally, in a country like Australia where our summers are long, our days hot, and our landscape fringed with the gorgeous white sands of the most beautiful beaches in the world, swimwear and resort wear is a very important cornerstone of the Australian fashion industry.  Later today, I will be attending the show simply named “SWIM”. Here is the story of Aqua Blu … Love Us & follow us on social media to show your support of these wonderful emerging designers … See live streaming of the show here… Instagram  & FB

Enjoy xx

2016-Aqua-Blu-Floresta-BackLM

What is the philosophy behind your label?

AB

Our philosophy is confidence, we believe that people should look as good as they feel.

LM

What is the inspiration behind your label?

AB

We are inspired by effortless glamour; we believe that people should feel beautiful when they wear one of our pieces.

LM

What do you think of today’s street fashion?

AB

I believe today’s street fashion feels like a passing fad, I feel there is a lack of statement. Everyone wants to blend in rather than stand out.

LM

What advice would you give to aspiring fashion designers?

AB

It takes a lot of hard work, stick with it, don’t quit and always focus on your aesthetic vision.

2016-Aqua-Blu-Alphinia-Back1

Photography | Richard Freeman | Model | Michelle Alan

 

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

Super Style Me – Bec Cole

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

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

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

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

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

Very loudly.

Enjoy xx

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

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

LM

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

BC

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

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

Continue Reading…

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Photography, Styling

Colouring In

April 6

 

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

Iris Apfel

 

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

well, after all, Iris should know …

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

Photography & Styling | Karlstrom Creatives

 

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

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

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

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

 

turquoise

 

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

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

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

 

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

Photography & Styling | Karlstrom Creatives

 

 

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

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

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

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

Until next time,

Jade xx

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Australian Fashion Industry, Fashion Designer, Interview, Melbourne Fashion Festival

Lois Hazel

March 10

 

With a philosophy grounded in a desire to create timeless pieces of quality, texture and intricacy, Lois Hazel, aims to bring honest pieces with a unique touch to her customers.

 

Model standing on Sorrento Beach in blue wide leg pants with a white top with shoe string straps with bare feet with the headland behind her.

Model | Sarah Baxter | Photographer | Kim Mennen | HMUA | Emma Gillett

 

Lois Hazel graduated from RMIT’s Bachelor of Design in Fashion with first class honours in 2012. She then left Australia to work for the New York design house, Marchesa, and Iris van Herpen in Amsterdam. Lois returned to Australia, and her home town Melbourne in 2014. She launched her first capsule accessories range, and then her debut collection “Frayed” in 2015. She is passionate about ethical and sustainable practices, and hopes to bring positive change to the fashion industry by donating five percent of her profits to One Girl Australia.

LM

How would you describe your label?

LH

Timeless, textural pieces with unique detailing.

LM

I believe you find inspiration in “subversive art”. What does this mean for your garments and your collection as a whole.

LH

I think for me it helps me build my collections around a concept. Starting with a  point of interest such as pleating, a certain texture or maybe even just a point of inspiration taken from the world around me.  I feel I am able to really push my boundaries as a designer and come up with something unique and original.

Model wearing Lois Hazel. Long maxi skirt, cream skirt with frill hem detail over the long skirt, blue sleeveless top with frill peplum and navy three quarter length jacket with wide lapel.

Model | Sarah Baxter | Photographer | Kim Mennen | HMUA | Emma Gillett

LM

Do you believe that fashion and art belong together on the runway?

LH

Definitely, I feel the runway gives designers a platform where they get to create a world.  To show their pieces in complete fullness and how they were envisioned. It gives us a way to draw our audiences in and let them see into our world.

LM

I believed you have worked with Marchesa, Iris Van Herpen, Marianne Kemp and ByBorre. Was there a common thread of inspiration that developed your fashion ethos?

LH

I wouldn’t say there was a common thread, but rather through each of these experiences I discovered more and more about who I am as a designer. Every single one of these designers and artists let me see how they worked. I was able to discover so many different techniques and systems. I found ways to do things and also found ways to do things that in theory shouldn’t be done.  From everything I learnt I was able to create a practice that worked well in and that I was proud of.

LM

Describe your time and experience at the Paris American Academy.

LH

My time in Paris was truly magical. It is such an incredible city and to be able to study there was amazing. I was able to learn from people who had worked for one of my idols, Madame Gres, and learned to appreciate what couture has brought us in fashion.

Relating back to the question about art and fashion, I feel my time in Paris really let me appreciate the art that has gone into and still goes into fashion.

I do believe fashion is a form of art, especially when you truly take the time to appreciate the aspects of design, construction and even the mathematics involved.

Model wearing Lois Hazel in a beach setting with honeycomb caves behind her in a loose fitting v neck top with matching skirt.

Model | Sarah Baxter | Photographer | Kim Mennen | HMUA | Emma Gillett

LM

What do you love about the Australia fashion industry?

LH

One thing I really admire is the community we have here. I am very lucky to be surrounded by such a creative community  where so many are willing to help and share ideas with each other. Helping each other out is extremely important.  Being invited to show at this years Virgin Australia Fashion Festival as part of the Discovery Runway indicates the support Victoria has for young designers.

LM

What do you feel we could do better?

LH

By bringing more production and manufacturing back to Australia. I would love to be able to contact industrial weavers from Coburg, or work with local milling companies.

I remember when I was living in Amsterdam I caught a train to the Tilburg Textile museum. I received the opportunity to learn how to weave my own fabric, and how to use knitting mills and other incredible machinery. During my time in New York I was blessed to learn about pleating, beading, fabric dyeing, as well as enjoying the broad choice of available fabrics.

LM

Do you feel that the Australian consumer could better support emerging designers?

LH

It’s always hard with new labels, as people don’t really know much about them.

Obviously I would love everyone to support emerging designers and buy our stuff straight away.

But I do understand it is essential to build trust and a good rapport with consumers.

In saying that though we are lucky to have individuals like yourself.

LM

Thanks Lois! Glad you appreciate my work!!! Very sweet! 

For everyone who would like to support emerging designers, follow Label Ministry!

Other people who support the emerging market are, The Fashion Journey, Broadsheet, and other publications who are helping us get our names out there.

 

Model standing on Sorrento Beach in blue wide leg pants with a blue top with peplum flare design with bare feet with the headland behind her.

Model | Sarah Baxter | Photographer | Kim Mennen | HMUA | Emma Gillett

LM

What does Melbourne mean for you?

LH

My Home. I really love Melbourne, it is a beautiful city and has a lot to offer. I feel very lucky to live here and have it as my base.

LM

Your designs have a freshness and an innocence to them. Have you deliberately designed your collection in this way?

LH

I wouldn’t say I have. For me I let my designs just happen. It’s always very free at the beginning and then once I have a concept in mind I just go with it and see where it ends up. I don’t have a set direction that I want to take my collections in but rather just see where they take me. Maybe that sense of natural wondering brings this innocence and freshness about.

They slowly evolve out of a random thought, an image, a beautiful textile or a moment of clarity.

LM

Where do you source your fabrics?

LH

I mainly source my fabrics from a New Zealand company called Wall Fabrics who have an office in Melbourne.  I was also lucky to find an incredible fabric store in Bali last year. It was there that I found a lot of the silks seen in “LINEAR”.  I hope one day to go back and find some more of these beauties! One day I hope to be able to create my own textiles working alongside world renowned weavers.

 

Model wearing Lois Hazel in a beach setting with honeycomb caves behind her in a loose fitting v neck dress with frill hemline.

Model | Sarah Baxter | Photographer | Kim Mennen | HMUA | Emma Gillett

LM

What is your opinion on ethical and sustainable fashion?

LH

I think it is extremely important, and I am happy that it has become an important topic for discussion. As a designer I have a responsibility to look after all my contacts. Fashion is such a powerful and influential industry. If any of us were to disregard the impact it has on us environmentally and socially we would bring much harm to the world around us.

Ethical and sustainable fashion practices are a necessary discussion for both individuals within the industry and consumers.

LM

Where are you garments made?

LH

I am proud to say that all Lois Hazel garments are made here in Melbourne. I am lucky to work with a variety of different companies as well as have the time to produce a number of styles in house here in Fitzroy.

LM

Who is the Lois Hazel women?

LH

I like to see her as fun, and wanting to invest in her wardrobe. She is aware of the world around her, and takes interest in the effect her choices have.

Model at Sorrento beach standing barefoot on the sand wearing a Lois Hazel cream skirt and cream top with shoe string straps.

Model | Sarah Baxter | Photographer | Kim Mennen | HMUA | Emma Gillett

LM

What defines the Lois Hazel label?

LH

I would say a desire to create timeless pieces with unique detailing that were developed and produced in a sustainable and ethical manner.

LM

Do you believe that Australian women dress well?

LH

I do, and I love how here in Melbourne you see so many different styles.

LM

If you could bring about any particular changes within the Australian fashion industry, what would they be?

LH

Bring more production back to Australia. Not only in manufacturing but also in fabric production, dyeing, and weaving.

We have so much potential, talent and live in such a unique land.

The back view of model standing on Sorrento Beach in blue wide leg pants with a white top with shoe string straps with bare feet with the headland behind her.

Model | Sarah Baxter | Photographer | Kim Mennen | HMUA | Emma Gillett

LM

What is your view of fashion collaborations?

LH

I think they are great! There are so many people out there with different views and talent! Being able to work together really allows for things to mature and evolve.

LM

What do you see as the future of the Australia fashion industry?

LH

I see consumers becoming proud to wear Australian made goods!

I also hope to see the recognition of more of our talent around the world.

We are lucky to have individuals like Ellery, Zimmerman and Maticevski paving the way.

LM

Who are your favourite international designers and why?

LH

I wouldn’t say I have a solid favourite, but I admire the works of a number of different designers. I love the couture collections from fashion houses such as Dior, Chanel and Valentino. Their work is inspirational.

LM

Do you see yourself as expanding to overseas markets?

LH

I do, and I hope that this year I’ll be able to start the journey.

Studio shot of the back view of model Dijok Mai standing in a black Lois Hazel jacket.

Photographer | Anthony Tosello | Stylist | Julia Sarteschi | HMUA | Brooke Pearson | Creative Direction | Violette Snow

LM

Do you think raising the awareness of the Australian consumer would help to ease the difficulties of being an emerging designer?

LH

Definitely. Consumers are what really run this industry. Their support of emerging designers would go a long way to helping us achieve more faster and easing the pressure we feel in the early years.

LM

If you could suggest ways to support emerging designers as a whole, what would they be?

LH

I think making the time to go to events like the Discovery Runway or keeping an eye out in the Fashion Journal for us, and any blogs that focus on introducing emerging designers to the public.

LM

Yes! Yes! and Yes!  Bring it on!

LM

What is your view of social media. Do you see it as mostly positive?

LH

I think it is great! Especially Instagram which has already brought me so many great opportunities and linked me up with a variety of different people.

As a emerging designer my budget is limited for marketing, so having a platform like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook is wonderful.

 

Studio shot of model Dijok Mai sitting on a white stool modelling Lois Hazel, wearing blue wide pant and white top with shoe string straps, flat white sandals with black elastic detail.

Photographer | Anthony Tosello | Stylist | Julia Sarteschi | HMUA | Brooke Pearson | Creative Direction | Violette Snow

LM

What is your opinion of people who describe the fashion industry as fake?

LH

I love the fashion industry, but unfortunately it does have its ‘fake’ moments. Only a small percentage of those involved really get the credit they deserve. I really want to make sure that in my practice people get the credit they deserve. I want to show my consumers not only where everything is made, but also that they can see it is a team effort.

LM

How do you feel about fast fashion, and the impact it has on a label such as yours?

LH

My hope for fast fashion is to see it become more sustainable and ethical.

Obviously it does make it harder for me when something can be offered at a more affordable price, but I feel as an emerging designer I have the opportunity to do things differently and create a uniquely diversified product.

LM

So my lovelies, the next time you’re thinking of buying something, check out Lois Hazel.

Accreditations:

Photographers | Anthony Tosello | Kim Mennen | Kristy Milliken

Stylist | Julia Sarteschi

HMUA | Brooke Pearson | Emma Gillett

Creative Direction | Violette Snow

Models | Dijok H. Mai | Sarah Baxter | Georgia Asapwell | Madeleine Rose Tudor

Other:

Hessian Magazine

Folk Collective

One Girl Australia

Iris Van Herpen

ByBorre

Broadsheet

Until next time,

Jade xx

website_logo3.5@2x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

ASSK

February 26
Autumn/Winter 2015. Asian model sitting in front a red vinyl sheet in a blue bomber jacket with writing across the back of the jacket. The model is being photographed in white mirrored sunglasses.

 

The fashion industry has changed dramatically over the past five years. Having an international presence is very important. Adhering to a strong brand vision.

Sarah Schofield

 

Autumn/Winter 2015 - Male model dressed in ASSK - black and white bomber jacket with matching pants standing in front of a red vinyl sheet. Street wear at it's best.

Photographer | Elliott Lauren
MUA/Hair | Holly Rose Butler
Models | Chadwicks

I am in the process of gearing myself up for Melbourne Fashion Week. During my usual reconnaissance of scouring interesting fashion food in the lead up, I was fascinated by the street label simply know as ASSK, and quite simply blown away by the photography surrounding their Autumn/Winter 2015 and Spring/Summer 2016 campaigns.

Of course my first question was how the name was birthed.

ASSK is an anagram of the designers initials. Sarah Schofield and Agatha Kowalewski. The girls have been living in Paris working in the fashion industry for a few years. Sarah was working at Louis Vuitton, and Agatha was working as a stylist when they started ASSK in 2013. Their business and studio are based there and they have press offices in Paris and in NY.

Both girls are originally from Australia, and Melbourne especially has remained really important to ASSK.

They sell through Distal Phalanx in Melbourne, and have a really strong base there.

They are really excited to be back home and showing in the Discovery Runway at VAMFF.

Their label has been heavily influenced by technology and internet culture.

The internet has always played a big part in the ASSK brand. Agatha and Sarah first connected on the internet and worked with Melbourne artist Oliver van der Lugt over the internet for two years before they met.

Their first four collections were sold via the internet over look books to people they didn’t know. In places they had never visited.

This interconnectivity through technology has been very important to them.

On the topic of inspiration, they are always interested in current pop culture and movements about the future. They are never interested in looking back at the past.

They are inspired by sub-cultures, and their new ability to form online. Once the emergence of sub-cultures was quite localised. Like the Punk movement in London. They now celebrate disparate individuals across the world meeting and connecting over shared interests and beliefs.

Interestingly, their garments are made in Poland close to Wroclaw. This is where Agatha’s family comes from.

They also make some sublimation garments in China. Although expensive, it serves a good purpose as it allows us to have access to top quality machinery. For their customer, this means “super detailed effects”.

I simply cannot wait to see what this label comes up with on the Runway at VAMFF. Any wonder these two girls are enjoying the sweet smell of success.

Enjoy xx

Jade

Autumn/Winter 2015 Campaign. Asian girl sitting in an ASSK sweater with black and white textured wall behind.

Photographer | Elliott Lauren
MUA/Hair | Holly Rose Butler
Models | Chadwicks

LM

Do you feel that art & fashion belong together on the Runway?

ASSK

Yes. I definitely believe that there are strong links between fashion and art on and off the runway.

I think that the more recent trend for designers to show in presentations rather than traditional runway gives a chance for people to be free and creative. To lean closer to an immersive experience or performance art.

LM

Do you believe that editorial or social media gives your label the most beneficial exposure?

ASSK

Editorial and social media are two very different things.

Editorial exposure can be quite hard to get. Often clothing goes out on a lot of shoots, but that doesn’t mean it will make it onto the model. Or that the image will be visible in a magazine. Hopefully, the stylist will let you know about the photo, but often it is represented in poor taste (like a caucasian model with cornrows) and you can’t publicise it.

But when it does come together and a beautiful image is featured in a great magazine, it’s awesome!

Traditional editorial press is still important to become known by top stylists, photographers and editors.

Social media is great for gaining new fans and having a direct line to them.

It allows the opportunity to strengthen the brands image and reach people all over the world with ease. It provides a way of knowing who buys the clothes and how they style them. Our fans are really creative and create a lot of great content for us – they tag us in everything!

LM

What is your view of the way young women dress today? Do you feel that some of them tend to dress the same?

ASSK

I think the way young people dress today is great, and while there is often local or global trends, I wouldn’t say that people dress the same.

Today there is more freedom than ever before for young people to be whoever they identify as and dress how they like.

I think that the internet has allowed more freedom as well. Connecting to different communities online makes us open to ideas and have access to different clothing.

We devoured issues of ‘The Face’ which were often months out of date by the time they reached Australia. now you have much more There is much greater access to visuals and clothing now.

LM

Would you describe your label as street style?

ASSK

Yes. We would identify as ‘street style’.  As the brand has developed it has become more ready-to-wear rather than just simple t-shirts and hoodies.

Autumn/Winter 2015 Male model standing in front of a black and white wall in a black bomber jacket and street wear pants.

Photographer | Elliott Lauren
MUA/Hair | Holly Rose Butler
Models | Chadwicks

LM

Do you think it is difficult for emerging designers to receive sponsorship opportunities?

ASSK

I don’t think so. I think there is a lot of opportunities for designers to look for sponsorship.  Many companies are excited by the ‘glamourous’ idea of being linked with young fashion brands.

Nothing is ever going to come easy as a young designer, but it is all about being creative and aligning yourself with companies which have similar goals.

LM

Do you believe that it is easier for emerging designers to achieve faster and greater success outside of Australia?

ASSK

No not at all. I think that it is definitely easier in some countries, such as England, with the support offered.

Australia also has its advantages. People see it as interesting and innovative. Australians are inventive problem solvers. It is a very easy and efficient place to start a small business.

Today with new ways of disseminating brand image and innovative ways of selling to international buyers, there is no reason why Australian brands can’t be as successful as designers based overseas.

Autumn/Winter 2015. Asian model sitting in front a red vinyl sheet in a blue bomber jacket with writing across the back of the jacket. The model is being photographed in white mirrored sunglasses.

Photographer | Elliott Lauren
MUA/Hair | Holly Rose Butler
Models | Chadwicks

LM

Why do you think it is so hard for emerging designers to get off the ground in Australia?

ASSK

I think that it is for two reasons.

Firstly, most of the emerging designers in Australia launch their brand on graduating university.

I think to increase your likely hood of success you first need to gain a good level of industry experience, strong industry connections and have a solid amount of money saved.

Secondly, I think that many people are following the same pattern that other older Australian designers have followed and failed with.

They graduate, launch a brand with little experience, have the overheads of a studio before selling anything, and they focus on the local market for years believing they need to make it here before trying overseas.

The fashion industry has changed dramatically over the past five years. Having an international presence is very important. Adhering to a strong brand vision.

Trying to flood a small commercial pool means the reliance on the strength of one market or one currency.

LM

Do you believe that the Runway is an essential tool to show a fashion collection?

ASSK

I believe that within the first two years a designer needs public presentation of their work. It doesn’t have to take the form of runway, but it is important for press and buyers. It is a way to solidify a vision through all the aspects … invitation to music to casting.

It often becomes a springboard for new ideas to continue with in the future.

Male Model standing in front of black doors in July 2016 in Paris.

Photography | Christelle de Castro
Models | Chadwicks

LM

What are your thoughts regarding ethical and sustainable practices?

ASSK

I think that brands should absolutely try and work within the highest ethical and sustainable practices, both in their production and in their everyday studio life.

LM

Where would you like to see your label in five years?

ASSK

We don’t know! We have had a great time and great success, but being a small brand is very hard. Especially because we never set out to have a brand, it was a creative project which snowballed in popularity and grew too quickly.

We are currently working on a plan to have better balance in the company. We need more time to be creative and less time wading through emails. Ideally the brand would become a more manageable collaborative project again, working with artists and creatives. We would release small capsule collections outside of the fashion calendar.

LM

Do you believe that the difficult times in Australian fashion can be solved by collaborative efforts to help one another?

ASSK

I believe that people working collaboratively is very important, not only for projects but in the sharing of information. It can be really hard to start out and nobody wants to be seen as struggling in a small competitive fashion industry.

Sometimes the most generous thing you can give is the truth.

LM

Do you think fashion industries outside of Australia enjoy more connectivity and a more cohesive culture?

ASSK

Not necessarily. I think that each industry and each country/city has its pros and cons.

London is great because of the support offered to young designers, but it’s living costs have become insane.

Paris has amazing fashion houses and history, but it is a very hard place to assimilate into and run a small business.

New York has an amazing young scene with artists and energy, but the work pace is intense and the city is still dominated by big commercial business.

Everywhere has its good and bad side. Australia has great advantages. People shouldn’t get bogged down by feeling that we are missing out.

Male model standing in an ASSK shirt from the 2016 campaign shoot in front of a red door.

Photography | Christelle de Castro
Models | Chadwicks

LM

Who are your favourite Australian and international fashion designers?

ASSK

In Australia I love Maticevski. He creates beautiful clothing and I admire his success.

Internationally, I love Raf Simons for Dior, especially the couture – I love almost all Haute Couture!

Agatha and I both love Vetements. We are friends with many of their collaborators and their energy has changed Paris. I feel ver hopeful for what Demna Gvasalia will now do at Balenciaga.

I also love Hood By Air. I would not buy any of their clothes however, I think what they have achieved is incredible. They started from nothing and have actually changed fashion and created a certain culture – not many designers can say that.

Their brand identity is so strong and individual. Their presentations are some of the best I have ever seen.

LM

What is your view of social media as a platform for the exposure of fashion?

ASSK

I think social media is great, it has definitely influenced the way that we communicate with people. Through Instagram we have a direct line with our fans and customers all over the world. We have made friends, met collaborators and connected with people, which would otherwise have been impossible with the old media.

LM

What do you believe is the impact of “fast fashion” on a label such as yours?

ASSK

I don’t know if fast fashion has an impact on our brand. We learnt early on that our customer likes individual pieces and the crazier the better!

We don’t need to worry about relying on selling basics, and our designs often have complicated prints and small details that you don’t find in mass-market clothing.

I think it’s really bad when mass-market blatantly rips off young designers. Their accelerated supply chain allows for quicker in-store product placement,  but I think customers are becoming more aware. The internet has made it possible to call-out ‘the copiers’.

We have had a few copies and there is counterfeit ASSK out there, but it’s not at the point where it affects our bottom line or brand image. We laugh it off and keep going.

Male model standing in front of black doors on blue vinyl sheeting in street wear t-shirt, shorts and timberland style boots.

Photography | Christelle de Castro
Models | Chadwicks

LM

What would you regard as the ultimate success for your label?

ASSK

The dream would be for ASSK to release several small capsule collections each year in collaboration with different artists and designers. To stay true to our ideals and creativity.

Our personal dreams are to have the time to return to our individual careers. Mine as a creative consultant for emerging brands, and working as a designer inside a luxury fashion house in Paris again. Agatha’s … working in the nutrition and fitness industry.

Love ASSK here.

ASSK clothing can be purchased in Australia at Distal Phalanx in Melbourne.

Can’t wait to see what these guys come up with at VAMFF 2016.

See you on Instagram!

Until next time,

Jade xx

Label Ministry logo which is a picture of a stylised coathanger

 

 

 

Accreditations:

Autumn/Winter 2015

Photography: Elliott Lauren

MUA/Hair: Holly Rose Butler

Models : Chadwicks (Prince, Karina and Andy)

Spring/Sumer 2016

Photography: Christelle de Castro

Models: Chadwicks (Malick and Dourane)