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

The Fashion Advocate

February 28
Girl sitting on a chair slouched back in a modelling shoot with black top, black leather pants and high black stilettos.


Tatyana Designs

Tatyana Designs

Runways are crucial to the development of fashion. They illustrate a moment in time, a shift in trends, a certain look, they reflect the current culture and they represent who we are. It’s not just a string of clothes on a catwalk – it’s a story. Runways are stories, and they’re special.

Claire Goldsworthy, The Fashion Advocate.

It’s that time of year again. VAMFF is here. The Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival  is fast approaching and the city of Melbourne and fashion devotees from far and wide make their way to the eighteen day long festival. As tribute to this years festival the star of this article is Claire Goldsworthy. A girl after my own heart.

She is the passionate fashionista and founder of the print and digital magazine, The Fashion Advocate and the creator of the collaborative brainchild, The Dress Collective. A collective of emerging Australian designers who manufacture their product in Australia.

This year Claire is at the helm. The Fashion Advocate Runway is a hand-picked collection of emerging Australian designers from around the country. As a vocal and passionate advocate of Australian fashion myself, this runway is one not to be missed by virtue of the fact that its focal point is Australian designers who manufacture in Australia.

Contrary to popular belief there are many emerging and established designers who still manufacture in Australia. In my opinion we should all be following them with great interest, applauding their ethics and moral values, and then setting aside our fashion budget to committing to buying their product, thus supporting their work, and most importantly keeping them in business.

Claire Goldsworthy describes “fast fashion” as “The dirty F-word”! I couldn’t agree more!

Why do we buy fast, dirty, cheap, badly made, unethically produced, highly pollutive fast fashion? Designs that are all too often ripped off from the world’s top designers?? If you have the answer, please let me know, because I am totally miffed as to why these fast fashion giants have such an enormous share of our fashion market. I have written many an article about supporting local Australian fashion and all of you who follow me (God love you all!), well know my opinion on this important subject. Some of you may have already read my article on the Zara Phenomenon

Have we become such lazy and disinterested sheep that we are incapable of thinking for ourselves? Are we so disinterested in our own local fashion market, and our own economy that we have just given up fighting for what is right? Please. Pretty Please. Buy Australian Made Fashion. Support Australian Designers. Vote with your fashion dollar to create much needed change.

Girl sitting on a chair slouched back in a modelling shoot with black top, black leather pants and high black stilettos.

Mhoo Mhoo

Anyhow, back to The Fashion Advocate.

Isn’t it just soooo refreshing to find someone who champions the importance of showcasing, supporting, and bringing to the spotlight, Australian designers, who produce sustainable, ethical product and manufacture in Australia.

Meet Claire Goldsworthy. She is. The Fashion Advocate.

Melbourne Entrepreneur. Fashionista. Editor. Founder of The Dress Collective. Runway Curator. Lover of Australian fashion. Gem.

If you would like to attend the The Fashion Advocate Runway on March 11 get in quick because tix are selling fast!

Here is her story.

Until next time,

Jade xx


VAMFF … Book your tix! March 01 – March 19 2017


Fast fashion has no meaning, no purpose, and no value …

Claire Goldsworthy, The Fashion Advocate.


What is the work of The Fashion Advocate?


The Fashion Advocate is a print and digital magazine dedicated to Australian made fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands, with a focus on ethical and sustainable content.


What has been the major inspiration for your work?


I wanted to see change. It drives me mad to see the plethora of fast fashion in shopping centres selling for five dollars a piece. How on earth can a garment be made, transported and retailed for five dollars?

It can’t – unless it’s been created under unsustainable and unethical standards. I was sick of seeing fast fashion crap. Sick of the facts and figures that get released every year about the negative environmental impacts of the fashion industry, and sick and tired of seeing the same style top in ten different stores.

It’s robotic.

Fast fashion has no meaning, no purpose, no value.

The inspiration for The Fashion Advocate was my desire for change; I wanted to promote fashion that matters. I wanted to inspire other people to start thinking about the impact of their shopping habits. I launched The Fashion Advocate to support Australian brands who have morals, values and ethics. To introduce consumers to a range of options that they might not otherwise have known about.

Pale girl with red hair and red lipstick standing in front of a beige wall and flowers being photographed in a modelling shoot in a pale pink satin dress. Designer Teagan Jacobs.

‘Blushed’ By Teagan Jacobs


You are a fashion designer yourself. How does that assist you in understanding the difficulties other designers face?


I launched my own fashion label straight out of high school and worked everything out the hard way from the bottom up. I have a first-hand understanding of the blood, sweat and tears that go into a locally made fashion label because I’ve been there and done that. I’ve since put that label to rest as my aesthetic has changed, but having the first hand experience exposed me to the ups and downs of fashion.

I understand what brands go through. It helps me connect with designers and it’s not a foreign topic; fashion is simultaneously heart-breakingly hard. It conjures up so many different emotions. My experience helps me write about fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands in a personal way because I get it.

Line up of models waiting to walk the runway at a fashion event. Designs by Habadakas.



How much has your own label, Harriette Hill, influenced your own work?


Although I don’t run the brand anymore, it all started with Harriette Hill… My love of vintage fabrics, traditional sewing techniques and my ethical values all stem from my first brand. When I inherited my great grandmother’s 1950’s and 1960’s fabric collection, I was forced to find ways to make it last and so my journey into sustainability began.


How important do you believe is the unveiling of collections on the runway?


Runways are crucial to the development of fashion.

They illustrate a moment in time, a shift in trends, a certain look.

They reflect the current culture and represent who we are. It’s not just a string of clothes on a catwalk – it’s a story.

Runways are stories, and they’re special.

Model standing in front of a pale blue wall in an emerald green slinky dress by Dida.



Yes. Yes. Yes!


How was The Dress Collective birthed?


Much the same as The Fashion Advocate – I wanted to see change. I had always been interested in fashion and over the years, I worked nationally and internationally in retail, brand management, PR and marketing, runway management, creative direction for various brands large and small, and always in fashion.

I was never truly content with working for other brands as their values and ethics didn’t quite align with mine. I launched The Dress Collective in 2015 to make a positive change for the fashion industry. I just couldn’t sit back and watch the damage anymore.


Please describe the role of The Dress Collective?


The Dress Collective is an online store that sells only 100 per cent Australian made fashion. It’s also 100 per cent transparent and each designers story is attached to every single item we sell, along with the garment’s design and manufacturing origins. The Dress Collective is more than just an online shop for Australian designers though; it’s a support network and creative foundation, built on a vision of positive and sustainable growth for the future of the Australian fashion industry. It doesn’t focus solely on ‘trends’ or seasonal collections, because that can sometimes create the ideal of ‘past season’ or ‘out of fashion’. Instead, The Dress Collective helps consumers make long term decisions about their wardrobe by introducing them to high quality, trans-seasonal and unique labels.


How difficult is it for Australian labels to produce their collections in Australia?


Contrary to popular belief, quite easy.

The cost is sometimes higher, but we do have a host of high quality manufacturers in Australia. The question though is about values and profit.

Is it difficult to manufacture in Australia? No.

Is it difficult to compete with fast fashion when you manufacture in Australia? Yes.

Local manufacturing can be costly, which drives up the cost of the final garment, but the value is in the ethical benefits of local manufacturing, so it depends on what you value and which part of the production cycle you consider to be more important.

Model standing in an urban street scene wearing a cropped black t with netting and loose black and white pants.

Cameron & James


What do you believe is the greatest challenge facing Australian designers in our current market?


Fast fashion. The dirty F-word!

People are hungry for unique clothing; the challenge isn’t demand as there’s plenty of that.

It’s the cheap fast fashion that causes a problem, and it starts to desensitise people to the bigger problem. You don’t think much about a twenty dollar top because you’d pay the same for pizza, therefore you’re more likely to throw it away, not care for it, and replace it with another twenty dollar top.

It’s a vicious cycle and it’s a hard one to break. The constant struggle is educating people about the importance of supporting local brands and the play-off between fast and slow fashion is an enormous challenge.


What is your opinion of fast fashion? What do you believe is its future?


Fast fashion has ruined our industry, globally.

It’s raping and pillaging the earth, killing garment workers and devaluing something that deserves so much more credit and thought. I do believe that people are slowly waking up to the impact of fast fashion and slowly making better choices, but it’s going to take a long time to see a total shift.

I won’t stop fighting for slow fashion though, no matter long it takes.

Model lying on steps with tussled blonde hair and sunglasses for a swimwear shoot wearing a black bikini and draped cardigan.

Sets of Seven


What do you most love about Australian fashion?


The diversity of it. I know labels that make entire garments out of pompoms, and some that make entire garments out of repurposed jeans. There are so many unique and diverse labels locally. I love it! Australian designers tend to be very self-driven and not focus on global trends too much because of the differences in season and locality compared with the rest of the world.


What are your favourite Australian labels?


All of the labels I stock online at The Dress Collective!

I hand pick them and they’re all so unique, yet very wearable and practical. Black Mob is incredible – it’s unisex and very vocal about the issues it stands for, I love it. DEVOI is another of my favourites; I absolutely love bright colour and prints, and this label delivers both.

Model in a studio with hair bunched up in pigtails wearing a see-through cropped net top with scalloped pink collar with large peddle-pusher wide pink pants with white sneakers and bright pink laces.

Rayan Ardati


Please share your views on the importance of ethical and sustainable fashion production?


It’s not even a question for me – you either engage ethical and sustainable practices, or you shouldn’t be running a business. If you are going to offer a product to the world, it is your responsibility to do so in an ethical manner; the harm of people or the environment shouldn’t be something that is gambled in the process. It is so very simple to ensure ethical and sustainable production and something you choose. Every step of the process is a choice for brands. We live in an incredible country and we are so very fortunate; we take it for granted. No-one in Australia would accept the garment factory working conditions or pay that are ‘the norm’ in third world countries. No-one would show up to work in Australia for those conditions. If you wouldn’t accept it for yourself, you shouldn’t accept it for any other person involved in the cycle of your business.


How does VAMFF differ to the other events across the Australian fashion calendar?


I love VAMFF!

It is such an inclusive, diverse festival that appeals to so many different people from all walks of life. The main fashion week is of course very targeted to your fashion-nuts, but the wider calendar includes beauty events, styling workshops, business seminars, shopping activations, film, photography … there’s something for everyone and I’m all about inclusion and diversity.


I believe you are curating your own show this year at VAMFF – The Fashion Advocate Runway. Please tell us more …


I am SO excited to be curating this event! I’ve handpicked twelve labels from around the country to showcase the diversity and talent of the Australian fashion industry, and all labels are entirely Australian made.

There tends to be a stigma around Australian made fashion and I’m working endlessly to ensure that the wider public understands the industry. People don’t realise that everything you need in your wardrobe – whether it be corporate attire, lingerie, formal wear, swimwear, sleepwear, whatever – can be bought from designers who manufacture locally. The details have been meticulously planned, from the local cocktails on offer to the gifts in the VIP bags – it’s all about Australian made. I’ve partnered with Luna Park too; I’m honoured to be hosting an event at such an iconic and historic venue, it all ties in with the message of valuing local, our roots and delving deeper into everything we buy, wear and engage with.

It’s going to be a very special event!


And indeed it will be! The designers are …

HabadakasTatyana DesignVincent LiDiidap’junk by Kate HannahOroceo CastroLorenza The LabelRayan ArdatiCameron & JamesMhoo MhooBlushed by Teagan Jacobs, and Fool.

Two girls holding hands on a lush green lawn wearing pretty dresses.

Lorenza The Label


If you could speak openly, what would you say to Australian consumers?


Buy less, choose well, shop local. Start thinking about the impact of your choices and start creating the kind of world that you want for future generations; the world’s resources are not infinite. Support your local designers and design your own image around the message you want to promote; use fashion as a method of positive impact and change.


How can we best support emerging designers in Australia?


By shopping online at The Dress Collective!

Shameless plug!


Love a shameless plug!

Come on peeps … Shop. Shop. Shop!

Asian model half lying down looking backwards and to the side wearing designs by Vincent Li.

Vincent Li

The Fashion Advocate Runway Designer Line-Up

Follow them on Instagram and show your support!

Habadakas Instagram, Tatyana Design Instagram, Vincent Li Instagram, Diida Instagram, p’junk by Kate Hannah, Oreceo Castro, Lorenza The Label, Rayan Ardati, Cameron & James, Mhoo Mhoo, ‘Blushed’ by Teagan Jacobs, and Fool.

SHOP The Dress Collective!

Annabelle and EveAwaken The HausAzulant AkoraBlack Mob The LabelCameron & JamesDevoiDon’t Do PrettyEspire ClothingHarriette HillJudeLetitia GreenMarcela’s AccessoriesMici JayOroceo CastroRbcca KstrSets of SevenTatyana DesignThe Spotted Quoll StudioVincent LiVousWhy Mary

Model sitting in a photographic studio with dark hair, black and white top and bright red skirt. Designer, Oroceo Castro.

Orocéo Castro

Remember …

“Buy less, choose well, shop local. Start thinking about the impact of your choices and start creating the kind of world that you want for future generations; the world’s resources are not infinite. Support your local designers and design your own image around the message you want to promote; use fashion as a method of positive impact and change”.

Claire Goldsworthy, The Fashion Advocate.


Picture of Luna Park in Melbourne, Victoria. One of the runway venues for this years Virgin Australia's Melbourne Fashion Festival.

The Fashion Advocate Runway Venue

See you at VAMFF 2017! …

Until next time,

Jade xx

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



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

Akira Isogawa

December 14


“A garment can transcend, giving it a soul.

I translate fabrics into soft and romantic silhouettes, using natural fabrics like silks and cottons, which are kind to the skin.

Distressing fabrics and alchemically treating them, gives the feeling of already ‘being loved’, thus evoking emotion. Even one-off fabrics found in flea markets can be given new life.

Richly embellished fabrics echo Eastern influences, and I have great respect for their traditions. Inspiration can be found from the past – re-using vintage textiles and sometimes creating replicas of them, incorporated with specific craftsmanship.

The number of hours someone has spent on manual work like this makes it priceless.

I see craftsmanship as an implement with which to realise one’s vision. Past, present and future; that slogan continues in almost everything around which my work evolves. Timeless beauty and femininity in my design is profound, in a way for the wearer to express their inner soul.”

Akira Isogawa

Akira Isogawa | Spring Summer 2017

Akira Isogawa | Spring Summer 2017


This week I was blessed. Truly blessed.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Akira Isogawa, one of Australia’s most loved and iconic fashion designers. I can’t tell you how exciting this was for me. As a younger woman, some moons ago, ok, many moons ago, I used to ooooh and aaaah over the most exquisite fabrics reminiscent of liquid silk, colours that adorned only my imagination, and garments so beautiful I was sometimes left breathless. For the many moons which have passed since, Akira has continued as the master that he is, creating one collection after another, with the same, if not a greater level of beauty and craftsmanship.

To me this man is a legend.

Continue Reading…

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Photography, Styling

Karlstrom Creatives

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

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



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

Petter Karlstrom


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

Who are they? Karlstrom Creatives.

I absolutely love the work of Petter and Leigh Karlstrom.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue Reading…

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

Frederick Jenkyn

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please remember to share  the love.

Australian fashion is depending on you …


Meet Frederick Jenkyn.

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

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

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

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

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

Frederick Jenkyn


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

Here is Frederick Jenkyn’s story so far …

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

Frederick Jenkyn


Continue Reading…

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Events, MBFWA

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia 2016

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

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

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

I loved every single moment!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time,

Jade xx

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


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





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

Jason Hewitt – Next Generation

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

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

It is my most favourite week of the year.

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

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

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

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

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

Jason Hewitt showed his Resort 17 Collection.


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

That. Is. Style.

Jason Hewitt


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

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


What is the philosophy behind your label?


It’s two fold.

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

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


What is the inspiration behind your label?


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

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

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


What do you think of today’s street fashion?


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

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


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

What advice would you give to aspiring fashion designers?


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

Continue Reading…

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

Super Style Me – Bec Cole

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

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

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

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

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

Very loudly.

Enjoy xx

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

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


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


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, Bloggers, Editorial, Events, Melbourne Fashion Festival

Tickets on Ourselves

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

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

Suzanne Carbone


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love to be invited to events and shows.

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

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

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

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

Until next time,

Jade xx




Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Melbourne Fashion Festival, VAMFF

VAMFF Melbourne 2016

March 16
Models promoting the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival 2016.

Well. Here I am in Melbourne. March 2016. VAMFF. Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival. It’s been a hell of a week for a few different reasons. Travelling interstate for a week of fashion frenzy is, for any seasoned fashionista, and I guess I could call myself that, a hard slog. The “four seasons in one day” Melbourne weather took us from an unprecedented heat wave at the beginning of the week to full on rain a few days later. A pleasant but unexpected development. But! I have to say … well done Melbourne! What a great week. I moved gallantly through the week, albeit with moments of exhaustion, with equal doses of sheer determination and pure adrenalin. I have attended eight events, with some more to come, the last of which was Discovery Runway. I love the established designers, and I truly feel that nobody could love designer clothing and our amazing home grown designers more than I do. (I mean, really, who writes about this subject more than I do!) However, anyone that knows me well will know that the support and nurturing of emerging designers and their creative teams is where my true passion lies.

Anyway, back to VAMFF. Tonights Discovery Runway was a selection of eight Melbourne emerging designers who were invited to showcase their collections in the foyer of the Melbourne Museum, the new home of VAMFF. Four of tonight’s emerging designers have recently been showcased by Label Ministry as a vehicle of support and an offering of virtual love!

ASSK, Article. by Courtney Holm, Amxander & Lois Hazel stood out for me tonight, of course, as I have been pouring over their interviews and collections for weeks now.  Not only that, I have developed a rapport with these designers and have read with interest and affection their perspective on the world we live in, and their representation of it through the creation of their fashion labels. It is always an honour for me to interview these designers, as for the most part, they are grateful, respectful, and genuinely humble in their quest for support. They speak with honesty and transparency about the struggles of being an emerging fashion designer, where larger egos, and unsympathetic ears are often the mainstay of their business interactions. They share their hopes and dreams, the stories of their educational journeys, and how they aspire to design in the same vein and success as their industry icons.

I hope my voice, both in the literal sense of the word and in the form of my editorials brings them the kind of support which is so desperately needed for their guaranteed success. It is extremely heartening to me to hear of their gratitude, and be on the receiving end of their heartfelt thanks.

The love of their trade, their genuine concern for the future of our planet, and their continued efforts to shape a world in which we can all co-exist touches something deep inside me. Draping ourselves in beautiful fabrics, and accessorising ourselves in ethical and sustainable product because of the efforts these young people is something I feel immensely proud to be part of.

I hope that my work becomes their very own public relations voice.

One that is loud. One that is heard. One that makes the difference.

To everyone who participated in the Discovery Runway tonight.

All Hail …

I had the pleasure of interviewing some of them …



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


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.

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.

Label Ministry recently interviewed ASSK.




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

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.

She loves the fashion industry, but unfortunately feels that it does have its ‘fake’ moments. She says “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”.

Label Ministry recently interviewed Lois Hazel.




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

Amxander. Spring/Summer 2015


I have always been a fan of designers who tackle the menswear side of things. I feel that menswear is a part of the market, particularly in the emerging sector, which has been, and still is, under represented, at least by local designers. Talent like this, I haven’t seen for some time.  It’s wonderful to think that the dressing of the modern man is being catered for so beautifully. The main thing I love about this label is just simply it’s wearability. No fuss, manly, well tailored, nicely detailed, tasteful and well, I think pretty close to perfect.

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

I just had to ask Mr Amxander himself, the questions that were burning a hole in my fashion week head.

Meet Amxander by Label Ministry.



Model standing in a area of earth moving soil in casual sports luxe attire.

Courtney graduated with First Class Honours from the University of Technology Sydney and her debut at L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival in 2013 led her to re-locate to Melbourne. It’s not hard to see why I loved interviewing Courtney, a young, dynamic, talented designer, who seems to have boundless energy.  Not only is she putting a collection on the runway at VAMFF in a couple of days, she also got married a couple of weeks ago. And I thought I was busy!

She is described by NJAL (Not Just A Label) as “the designer and director of sports-luxe Australian menswear label”, and that her “label is distinct for its assimilation of pop-culture street styling, elemental sportswear and tailoring details”, which is “designed and hand produced in Melbourne, injecting a fresh equilibrium of functional, high-end fashion into a niche menswear market”. And, “her use of varied materials, such as polyurethane plastics, luxury knits, sportswear and hard-wearing materials with quality cottons, silks and wool give each piece inner softness with an overriding masculine exterior. The amalgamation of high fashion detailing with sportswear and street style makes a bold statement while the prevalence of functionality, style and fit ensure a wearable outcome for a discerning customer”. 

Article. by Courtney Holm. The interview by Label Ministry.

Until next time,

Jade xx





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.


How would you describe your label?


Timeless, textural pieces with unique detailing.


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


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


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


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.


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?


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.


Describe your time and experience at the Paris American Academy.


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


What do you love about the Australia fashion industry?


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.


What do you feel we could do better?


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.


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


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.


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


What does Melbourne mean for you?


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.


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


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.


Where do you source your fabrics?


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


What is your opinion on ethical and sustainable fashion?


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.


Where are you garments made?


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.


Who is the Lois Hazel women?


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


What defines the Lois Hazel label?


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


Do you believe that Australian women dress well?


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


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


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


What is your view of fashion collaborations?


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.


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


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.


Who are your favourite international designers and why?


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.


Do you see yourself as expanding to overseas markets?


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


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


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.


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


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.


Yes! Yes! and Yes!  Bring it on!


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


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


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


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.


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


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.


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


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


Hessian Magazine

Folk Collective

One Girl Australia

Iris Van Herpen



Until next time,

Jade xx