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Australian Designer, Australian Fashion Industry, MBFWA, Uncategorized

BACKSTAGE #mbfwa2018

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

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

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

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

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Australian Fashion Industry, Beauty, Interview, women

Alex Perrin, Sydney Makeup Artist

December 19
A photo of Alex Perrin with full makeup.

 

Picture of roses, luxury products and Tom Ford perfume.

 

We spend valuable time and money making sure our hair is done, skin glowing, tan in place, new dress ready, and makeup perfect for Christmas Day and the following holiday season.

Jade Cosgrove, Label Ministry

 

It’s the week before Christmas!

First of all I would like to wish all my wonderful Label Ministry followers a very Merry Christmas and the most wonderful New Year! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your wonderful support and interest in Australasian fashion. Thank you also to the never-ending supply of exceptional talent the Australian fashion industry dishes up each and every year by way of brilliant designers and creative teams. Writing about you, but essentially for you, is my passion and the reason the Label Ministry platform exists.

I thought I would finish up on the note of what can only be described as the ‘epic’ 2016 with an article about Alex Perrin, a Sydney makeup artist.

At this time of year we all like to go that extra mile with ourselves don’t we?

Making sure our hair is done, skin glowing, tan in place, new dress ready, and makeup perfect for Christmas Day and the following holiday season.

I hope you enjoy every moment of this festive season and Label Ministry will be back in your blog feed in January 2017!

I hope you enjoy reading about Alex and her valuable beauty tips!

Enjoy xx

A photo of Alex Perrin with full makeup.

LM

I LOVE your work! Where does your inspiration come from?

AP

Being a creative mind, I’m constantly inspired by so many different things in my day to day life. A lot of the time I will constantly have ideas popping up in my head and I just roll with that! When I am working with my clients, I will always create a vision with them based on the occasion, what they are wearing and how they want to feel. Once I have a clear vision, thats where the magic happens!

LM

What was your driving motivation to become a makeup artist?

AP

It honestly was one of those moments where the penny dropped. It really took me quite some time to work out what I wanted to pursue with my life and career, not to please anyone else but myself at the same time. I was hungry to find my passion and that alone took 3 years after school. It came down to a single moment that one of my closest friends had reminded me; on a leadership camp at school we had an inspirational speaker come and share his success story on how he got to where he was. There was a single moment in that 2 hour seminar that really resonated with me, and what he had said was “Start your day doing something that you love.” It didn’t take much for me to work that one out; for me, that’s doing my makeup.

LM

What advice would you give to young women regarding makeup?

AP

The best advice I could give to you which I wish I had been told from a younger age, is to take care of your skin. Get into good habits now. The better condition and health that your skin is in, the less makeup you need to wear.

LM

Do you think young women wear too much makeup? Do we all wear too much makeup?

AP

I think there is definitely a time and place for everything. I see so many young women ‘packing’ on so much product onto their skin, and that comes down to trends or lack of product knowledge or just simply using the wrong products all together! I personally am not one to criticise people on wearing too much makeup, I’ll have days where I will wear full glam just to go grocery shopping, because I feel like it..because it makes me feel good. It’s definitely a form of self expression and being who you want to be on that particular day.

A model with dark brown hair. Makeup done by Alex Perrin with red eyeshadow and full makeup.

LM

How important do you believe is the routine of skin care?

AP

Briefly touching on it previously says it all of how important it is. Especially for those who wear makeup on a day to day basis. I feel as though women are becoming more and more educated on skin care only now, there has been an emphasis on it in the past 5-10 years because ageing has become such a concern to everyone. In a nutshell, if you aren’t removing your makeup at the end of the day, you’re not allowing your skin to breathe! Using the right skin care for you is so important as well, no one has the same skin.

LM

There are those who insist, that whether we look after our skin or not that we still age the same? What is your view on this?

AB

This one is a bit of a hit and miss. Genetics definitely do play a big part in how one will age, but technology and science behind skin care is so advanced now, that you can definitely prevent and slow down the process. I would rather be safe than sorry! I personally use a lot of active skincare, and I have noticed a vast improvement in my complexion in comparison to when I wasn’t using a consistent skincare regime.

LM

What do you attribute to the reason that women age differently?

AP

I think the biggest factor to ageing is your lifestyle. Your body is designed to work in a certain way so if you give it the right tools to function properly, it will look after you. Generally people who smoke, drink alcohol frequently, have a poor diet or don’t exercise, will lack that youthful glow in their skin and will age quicker than someone who does the opposite and really looks after themselves.

LM

What would you suggest are good “makeup options” for middle aged women?

AP

Less is more! I would definitely say that enhancing the skin to make it appear more radiant and youthful is the way to go, starting with an illuminating primer to apply under foundation. Next to that would be a light weight foundation, that is designed to smooth out the skin and generally skin care based ingredients so you maintain hydration levels and still get your active ingredients working on your skin even during the day (By Terry is the complexion queen, her foundations are flawless on middle age/mature women). Clean, fresh eyes and a bit of colour on lips and cheeks to subtly enhance and bring life to the face is perfect for everyday wear.

Alex Perrin, Sydney makeup artist.

LM

Do you think women tend to wear more makeup as they get older? Why do you think that is?

AP

This one is also a mixed bag. I will most of the time get clients asking me to use light foundations because they don’t like the heavy feeling of makeup on their skin, but they still want the coverage to even out skin tone. I think with ageing, the skin loses that glow and generally unevenness is present (sun spots, redness/discolouration), but we are so blessed with whats available on the market now. Lightweight foundations with full coverage do exist!

LM

For people on a budget, and I guess that includes nearly everyone, what are the top three things you can’t live without in a skin care range.

AP

This question would be like asking me to pick a favourite child!! If I had to pick three key products that I couldn’t live without, it would come down to a good oil based cleanser, eye cream and a serum.

LM

For those of us not in the beauty industry, what does “cosmeceuticals” mean?

AP

Basically this comes down to the brand/products philosophy, having a scientific origin, rather than natural or organic.

A model with long dark hair and full makeup done by makeup artist Alex Perrin.

LM

Do you believe that with such amazing brands now available, that the traditional role of the beautician has become redundant?

AP

From a personal perspective, I would say yes. The last time I went to have a facial was about seven years ago, only because my daily skincare regime now delivers everything that my skin needs to be at optimum health. I think visiting a beautician is more of a luxury … a way for both men and women to pamper themselves.

LM

What is your personal view of botox and other injectables promoting youth preserving methods. Do you think this is a good thing?

AP

This all comes down to each individual, no one can tell you whats right or wrong or what you should or shouldn’t do. I am very neutral with this subject, I just say “as you like!” with this one. I would advise to do your research before you take the plunge with anything along these lines. People will always agree to disagree with injectables. I think if it sits well with you and its something that you want to do for yourself, then by all means go for it.

 

A photo of Alex Perrin with full makeup.

LM

Who are your favourite Australian fashion designers? International?

AP

Bec & Bridge, Camilla and Marc, Ellery and Scanlan and Theodore just to name a handful of my favourite Australian designers. My top International Designers would have to be Yves Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Chanel and Valentino .. I die!

LM

Who are your favourite makeup brands and makeup artists in Australia? International?

AP

My top brands would have to be Nars, Hourglass, By Terry, Anastasia Beverly Hills and Too Faced. As for Australian makeup artists, I would definitely say Max May, Mia Connor, Jenny Do and Ania Milczarcyk would be my picks. International artists that inspire me would be Patrickta, Mario Dedivanovic, Huda Kattan and Desi Perkins.

LM

Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

AP

In 5 years time, I would hope that I kicked a bunch of my goals that I have set! YouTube is the next step for me, so I think being successful going down that avenue would be a start and also running masterclasses/education is another venture on the to do list. I would love to have done some travelling with my work, Milan Fashion week is right up there along with photoshoots around the world. One thing at a time!

Picture of lots of different professional makeup products used by makeup artist Alex Perrin.

LM

What is your greatest dream?

AP

I think the end goal for me would be to have my own salon/studio in Sydney CBD with a team that I have trained up myself, teamed up with leading hair stylists and to bring my vision to life! Having my own makeup brand would be phenomenal, can’t even begin to tell you how excited that makes me even thinking about it!

LM

Good Luck Alex!

Makeup by Alex Perrin Facebook | Alex Perrin Instagram | Alex Perrin Twitter | Alex Perrin Contact 

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.

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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”.

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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

 

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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, Fashion Designer, Interview, MBFWA

Monster Alphabets

June 8
Sarah Watanabe, designer of Monster Alphabets from Perth, Western Australia showing her collection for the first time in Sydney at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2016 at Carriageworks.

Every year at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, which this year has just come to a close, I do a series of interviews about Australia’s emerging fashion designers.

An important part of my week, and perhaps my greatest passion, is to review. to meet, and to bolster, the amazing collections of these designers who are newly graduated or who are nursing their young, wonderful labels through the tender years of their fashion infancy.

This year was no different. A broad array of talented and passionate individuals  whose collections graced the Carriageworks runways at MBFWA 2016.

The life of an emerging designer is a tenuous one, fraught with complex decision making, all weighing on the scales of balance combining creativity and commercialism.  In a world of fast fashion, and the universal hub of fashion manufacturing China, it is no wonder that these designers feel unloved by us all at times, trying to carve out their niche in the small consumer base of Australian fashion lovers down under.

I do my absolute best to make people aware of how dire our industry will become if we continue to ignore the importance of supporting our own.  My thoughts are not revolutionary, but I am completely devoted to my local designers and their hopes and dreams. My wish is that you are too.

So, may I leave you with this thought?

The next time you walk into Zara, TopShop or H&M think about the young Australian designers, who have studied for years, working second jobs just to support their chosen careers.

They need us. All of Us.  Me. And. You. To buy their product.

Their emerging labels need to find a permanent lodging in our heads, as the “Go To” for our next potential fashion fix. That is. If we still value the Australian fashion industry, which I am sure you do!

Meet Sarah Watanabe, the name behind Monster Alphabets, yet another of Perth’s fashion  talents …

For an independent label like Monster Alphabets, we try put an emphasis on slow fashion and an ethical way of producing.  This means that we do not produce big quantities or a large number of styles.  We want our customers to value our clothes and treat them as investment pieces.  Social media speeds up the process and everyone wants new images of new products on a daily basis.  This is not sustainable and works against small labels.

 

Sarah Watanabe, designer of Monster Alphabets from Perth, Western Australia showing her collection for the first time in Sydney at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2016 at Carriageworks.

Model | Alana | IMG |Photography | Shuwen Yu | Sydney MBFWA 2016

LM

I believe that you and your sister started “Monster Alphabets”. How did this eventuate?

MA

I was in between jobs in the latter half of 2011 and I saw a gap in the market for black clothes that expressed a unique twist with modern design.

As the label grew I dragged my sister Kacey into the business. She assists on the business side of the label.  She does the bookkeeping and basically makes sure I don’t do anything stupid.

LM

I love the name. Where did the inspiration for the name come from?

MA

Kacey briefly studied art at St Martins College in London. One of the projects she produced was called Monster Alphabets.

It was the study of implementing different characteristics and personality to each letter of the alphabet.  I liked the curious concept of the name and decided to steal it.

LM

What is the philosophy behind your label?

MA

Jenga. Design is like playing a game of Jenga.  How many elements can you eliminate before it crumbles. Less IS sometimes more.

LM

You talk about the “Japanese Design Pysche”. Could you please explain this further?

MA

It’s the subtleness in the detail. The alternate expression of beauty while not exposing too much skin.

LM

What is the inspiration behind your label? As an architecture student, does this influence your garments and collections strongly?

MA

I actually graduated from my architecture degree and worked full time before switching to fashion.

The design principles that I learned during my architecture days are the same minimalistic approaches and ethos that I now apply to my designs.

Sarah Watanabe, designer of Monster Alphabets from Perth, Western Australia showing her collection for the first time in Sydney at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2016 at Carriageworks.

Model | Anna | Photography | United Images | Sydney MBFWA 2016

LM

As an emerging label, how difficult has it been for you to secure a position within other markets, such as the US?

MA

I’ve only been active in Australia so I am not an international label yet but hopefully one day!

LM

Who are the people from whom you take inspiration and most admire within your industry?

MA

Diana Vreeland … her eccentric philosophy on fashion and life in general is so inspiring.

I am still looking for the Diana Vreeland of this generation.

LM

Lol! Aren’t we all?

LM

What do you love about the fashion industry in Perth?

MA

The fashion industry in Perth is so small that we all know each other and are extremely supportive towards each other.  There is nothing better than seeing a Perth face at events like MBFWA.

LM

Do you see yourself living and/or working in the eastern states?

MA

It is definitely something that I am asked about all the time.

With the digital proximity that is available to us now, I don’t think the geographical location is as crucial as it was before.  I am bit of a cavewoman so even if I lived in New York, I would probably still stay at home 20 hours a day sewing up a storm in the basement … #getalife

LM

What do you think of today’s street fashion?

MA

I personally feel that social media has made such an impact on street fashion.  My personal view is that girls want to stand out from the crowd – thus their focus is on creating an image that will outshine everyone else’s on Instagram and other social media outlets.  The priority now is to stand out even if it means compromising on style.

LM

What advice would you give to aspiring fashion designers?

MA

To accept the unpredictability of fashion.  Sometimes things just doesn’t make sense in fashion.  Just accept it and move on…

Sarah Watanabe, designer of Monster Alphabets from Perth, Western Australia showing her collection for the first time in Sydney at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2016 at Carriageworks.

Model | Subah | IMG | Photography | United Images | Sydney MBFWA 2016

LM

What is your advice to young women and the way they dress?

MA

Be true to yourself.  Wear something that makes you comfortable physically and mentally.

LM

What influence do you think social media has had on our current fashion industry and do you think it is a positive or negative influence?

MA

I think it has changed EVERYTHING from marketing strategy to the retail environment.

I think bringing any interest to fashion is always a good thing for the industry.  However I think providing the social media influencers with too much power when it is not justified will eventually become a questionable reality.

LM

Agreed!

For an independent label like Monster Alphabets, we try put an emphasis on slow fashion and an ethical way of producing.  This means that we do not produce big quantities or a large number of styles.  We want our customers to value our clothes and treat them as investment pieces.  Social media speeds up the process and everyone wants new images of new products on a daily basis.  This is not sustainable and works against small labels.

LM

Agreed a million times over!

LM

What is your favourite social media platform?

MA

Instagram. As a fashion designer, visual images is our currency.

LM

What age bracket do you design for?

MA

It’s not so much the age bracket, but I do tend to design for professional ladies who have a strong interest in the arts.

Sarah Watanabe, designer of Monster Alphabets from Perth, Western Australia showing her collection for the first time in Sydney at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2016 at Carriageworks.

Model | Juliette | IMG |Photography | Shuwen Yu | Sydney MBFWA 2016

LM

What do you think of the phenomenon of fast fashion and how has it affected you as a local designer?

MA

It has crippled my label but it has also motivated us to create designs that cannot be recreated by the fast fashion business model.

LM

Wonderful!  When you refuse to  join them … 

LM

Do you think fashion in Australia differs greatly to other countries?

MA

Yes. I think ultimately we design clothes to suit the climate we live in.  I also think that the climate dictates a lot of the cultural aspects too.  In Australia, we have beautiful sunny weather and gorgeous beaches. It is inevitable that we design garments that celebrate and accentuate this gift from Mother Nature.

LM

When your designs are photographed how do you like to see them represented and on whom?

MA

I think once the garment is handed over to the wearer, I enjoy seeing how they style them.

LM

Do you rely on fashion bloggers to spread the word about your label and how serious an effect do you think they have had on our industry?

MA

My label belongs to a very small niche.  Not a lot of bloggers endorse my dark aesthetics.

I think bloggers have been a major catalyst in this social media phenomenon.

Sometimes I feel like there is no censorship and at times I am wary about the opinions that are broadcasted on the web.

Blogging is not a protected profession so when they upload misleading information or weak content which can defame people, I find it very upsetting.

 

Sarah Watanabe, designer of Monster Alphabets from Perth, Western Australia showing her collection for the first time in Sydney at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2016 at Carriageworks.

Model | Anna Orsman | IMG | Photography | United Images | MBFWA 2016

LM

Why do you think fashion bloggers often look the same at events?

MA

Wow I thought it was just me that noticed! Ahhahaha!!!

LM

Nope!

MA

I think this could be due to the necessity to attract more and more people?  I ‘m really not sure.  It’s really unfamiliar territory for me.  I have never been the popular kid at school.  I was always the weird one who avoided the spotlight.  This desire to be so loved and get as many “likes” as possible is a very foreign concept to me.  Perhaps that is the reason why I have such modest number of followers haha!!!

LM

Well. I could argue that one’s contribution to the industry is more important than one’s following …

LM

Do you feel the industry needs to have a set of slightly older fashion bloggers to create a wider and broader space for a diverse representation of labels?

MA

ABSOUTELY.

Every human needs to wear clothes to protect themselves from the weather.  It is a primary necessity to wear clothes for human survival.  Style is what makes this process fun.  I strongly agree that there is a desperate need for more diversity in fashion.  My mother has a blog because she felt like there was a gap in the blogger world for older people.

Her idol is Iris Apfel.

LM

Mine too!

LM

Do you think our obsession with youth and only directing fashion to the very young has created a restricted playground for designers at large?

MA

No, not for my aesthetics.

Perhaps it would if I was running a label that solely relied on social media to measure success. If the interested in a label is largely generated by the power of the Instagram shock factor, then this would apply as only girls of a certain age can pull off the “half naked”, “sheer- sequinned” bodysuit … top … dress …nipple cover …

LM

How hard have you found it to show your collections and make connections overseas?

MA

I do get invited to take part in overseas events but as an independent fashion label, it would be irresponsible of me to do so when I am not ready to fund a bigger production line in keeping with greater demand.

Sarah Watanabe, designer of Monster Alphabets from Perth, Western Australia showing her collection for the first time in Sydney at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2016 at Carriageworks.

Model | Bianca IMG | Photography | Getty Images | Sydney MBFWA 2016

LM

Do you feel that the industry as a whole helps you to succeed?

MA

The panelists of Project Nextgen were all very important members of the fashion industry.  The fact that they saw something in a small label like mine with such a small social media following restored my faith in the industry.

LM

How could you be better supported?

MA

I think by educating people on the importance of shopping local would help alleviate the pressure that is experienced in the industry.

I think at the end of the day, if our business flourishes in Australia, we are one step closer towards international success.

Don’t we all want to see more Australian labels gracing the catwalks of Paris, New York and Milan?

LM

Yes. Yes. And Yes. We certainly do!!!

LM

What designers do you love in Australia? Overseas?

MA

I am a big fan of TOME.  Their minimalistic approach to design is breathtaking.  Yohji Yamamoto is my idol. He studied at Bunka as well so our teachers would often use his garments to demonstrate pattern making skills.

LM

Who do you think dresses the best, men or women?

MA

Men.  There is less to choose from so less chances of getting it wrong.

Sarah Watanabe, designer of Monster Alphabets from Perth, Western Australia showing her collection for the first time in Sydney at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2016 at Carriageworks.

Model | Alannah | IMG |
Photography | Getty Images | Sydney MBFWA 2016

LM

If you could change anything about what’s trending right now, what would that be?

MA

Narcissism ..

LM

Me too! Have you read my recent article NarcisSista Fashionista???

LM

What do you think about the prevalence of tattooes? Piercings?

MA

I don’t mind them at all.

LM

Do you think they had their day?

MA

Tattoos and piercings?  I think the phenomenon that was attached to it, ie. the taboo side of it, is gone.  As my friend Jono once said, having “NO tattoo is the NEW tattoo”.

LM

If we were speaking about fashion today, do you think we are becoming more modest or less so in our self expression?

MA

I think modesty is very rare when we talk about the fashion of today.  I think the danger is when the clothes end up wearing you, rather than you wearing the clothes.

LM

Why do you think some designers have gone broke in recent times?

MA

I think it is a combination of the difficult retail environment as well as the impact that social media has had.  The speed at which we are expected to develop new collections is ridiculous and just not financially viable.

LM

What advice would you give someone moving into fashion design?

MA

Develop a very thick skin. Get used to hearing “no” all the time.

LM

When you hear an emerging designer, with a full heart, and exceptional talent, describing the pursuit of their passion in this way, something needs to change. And. Fast.

A picture of Sarah Watanabe, designer of Monster Alphabets from Perth, standing at the foot of the runway, dressed in a black dress and black boots, after her show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Sydney 2016 in Sydney.

Monster Alphabets | Designer | Sarah Watanabe | St George NextGen | MBFWA 2016

LM

How do you cope with the commercial aspects of your design trade?

MA

The most challenging thing is finding the balance between design that is still commercial enough that it will sell and bring an income while maintaining the Monster Alphabets aesthetics.  I don’t want to produce watered-down designs just so I can make a sale.  This is not the reason I started the label.  Kacey and I sit down every week to balance the books and see where we are and strategise.  This part of the business is just as important, if not more important than the other, more fun aspects.

LM

Who are your favourite bloggers?

MA

I am really bad at this kind of stuff. I am not really familiar with many of them.  I do like whiteandcapsule.com however. I think her style is very unique and so refreshing!

LM

How important is the role of a stylist to a fashion designer?

MA

I enjoy how the stylists can challenge the way we see clothes. At times I see my garments styled with items that I never thought would match, but when put together it works!

LM

How important is runway exposure when offering a new collection?

MA

It helps to draw attention. In a setting like MBFWA a lot of the heavy weight industry members are present, together with key national buyers. It is the perfect opportunity to present a range.

LM

What do you feel the fashion industry needs to offer in Australia which it is not?

MA

Diversity.

LM

What are you most looking forward to this year, showing at MBFWA 2016?

MA

Being selected to show at MBFWA was a huge step for my label.

Until next time,

Jade xx

Meet Monster Alphabets | Monster Alphabets Facebook | Monster Alphabets Instagram |

Accreditations |

Photography | Stefan Gosatti | Getty Images | Joe Corcoran | United Images |

Assistant | Model | Bailey Jones | Bailey Jones Instagram

Mother and Father PR

Thanks To |

TheFashionSpotOfficial | Zara Wong | Perth Fashion Festival |

Fremantle Fashion Collective | Mother and Father PR | Getty Images | United Images

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

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, Events, 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.

 

LOVE US on Facebook FOLLOW US on Instagram

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

 

 

 

 

Australian Fashion Industry, Editorial, 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 mytheresa.com), 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

LM

What is the philosophy behind your label?

JH

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.

LM

What is the inspiration behind your label?

JH

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

LM

What do you think of today’s street fashion?

JH

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.

LM

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

What advice would you give to aspiring fashion designers?

JH

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.

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