Aussie Fashion, Australian Designer, Australian Fashion

Charles Kennedy | Fashion Design Studio

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who do you see as your customer?

In a word?


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

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

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

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

Until next time,

Jade xx

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