1. I have always been interested in anything creative, especially clothing. When I was little at restaurants I would take an ink pen and scribble glamorous women all over the butcher’s paper. My grandfather made me a wooden sewing box and I’d hand-stitch ribbons together to make outfits for the cat or teddy bears. When I was 15 I asked for a sewing machine for my birthday and started making dresses out of old sheets or scarves from the op-shop for friends to go to parties in. I never really thought of fashion design as a potential career until I was 17. The year above held a fashion parade showing off their VCE work; I had never been to a parade before and was intoxicated with the energy in that room. It made me nervously excited to feel such a burning desire to create, so instead of telling my parents I forged my dad’s signature and swapped subjects; Maths Methods for Fashion, it was an awesome choice. I ended up winning ‘Top Designs’ for Victoria and got a perfect score in Fashion, so my parents weren’t too upset.
2. My current collection is a capsule collection for the Melbourne boutique; Alice Euphemia. It consists of feminine, conservative, minimalist silhouettes of womenswear simular aesthetically to designers such as Celine or Dries Van Noten. I have been heavily influenced by prints this season, from painterly stripes in lapis lazuli to geometric symbols in black and white. I am inspired by a need to create, at the moment specifically the lack of interesting clothing available to the 50+ age group, with good quality fabrics and an understanding of different body shapes. I hope to align my brand with the new Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image, which relates to fashion designers (among other industries) providing realistic advertising images, a variety of races and ages models, and a larger range of sizes in garments.
3. My favourite designers this season include Preen- especially with the incredible pleating detail on the flowing dresses. Miu Miu and Prada (both designed by the same woman) are incredible, they always seem to present collections that are spot on the money although not trend orientated at all. Phoebe Philo for Celine this season is unrivalled for the most sophisticated sleek lines and beautiful mix of textures. Also all-time favourites include Damir Doma (for the drapery), Dries Van Noten (for the prints and strength in feminine silhouettes), Ohne Titel (originality) and Yves Saint Laurent.
4. I’m currently in my final year at RMIT university studying fashion, and Gorilla Guerilla was an event I organised to showcase some student designers work. It was held at a friend’s bar; 1000 pound bend, and ended up attracting around 600 people. The viral nature in which creative news spreads around Melbourne is so fascinating, the event was so simple to organise, with the models, DJ’s, ushers, dressers, bar staff and designers all friends who wanted to get involved.
5. New York happened quite organically. I arrived in the big smoke alone and after wandering around hopelessly for a few days decided to make something of the 3 months in which the American government had allowed me. After settling down into a warehouse apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (the hippest place in New York) and meeting a few fashion ‘movers and shakers’ at parties I decided to email my favourite menswear designer Thom Browne to enquire about jobs. Luckily I had arrived at the perfect time and the experience was incredible; from meeting my absolute fashion icons including fashion writers Tim Blanks & Suzy Menkes, to dining with Thom and the buyers from Bergdorf Goodmans, to sewing thousands of racoon tails onto capes for New York fashion week. The actual fashion week was probably the most insane week I’ve had in my life, working 20 hour days, hand stitching while chowing down on Donut King and drinking bottles of Moet with the other designers. The design team was reasonably small, with Thom (the head designer) then 2 assistant designers and myself as the junior assistant. I was luckily in charge of fitting male models during fashion week as well, groping at the likes of Lars Burmeister and Cole Mohr (who became a good friend).
6. The Chanel story is a funny one; I received an email from an old collegue from Scanlan and Theodore saying that Chanel were interested in hiring for their Collins Street store, so I applied. Unfortunately the HR department called soon after me slightly off guard and asked me for an interview with a very thick French accent, and subsequently I wrote down the wrong address and found myself lost in the CBD, dressed to the nines without an umbrella in the rain. The HR woman called me after 10 minutes and explained where to go, and by the time I got to the interview I was so embarrassed I had no nerves, and got the job straight away! The office ended up being the most beautiful place, with white marble and women teeting around decked out in Karl Lagerfields finest, with strings of pearls and red lipstick everywhere! Actually, they gave me Chanel lipstick too!
This year is my final year, so after graduation I’m going to chill out for a month or so, helping my family renovate a house, and then either head off to Belgium to try to work for Dries Van Noten, or back to New York (Thom Browne offered me a permanent position and sponsorship) or I would also love to work for some Melbourne labels to gain an understanding of the industry here; ‘Feathers’ is at the top of my list, but we will see! The future is looming but it’s sort of sparkling too!