Once upon a time, drapery stores were an essential part of the shopping landscape, but these days this is no longer the case. How have your customers’ fabric shopping habits changed in the thirty years that you’ve been running Alla Moda?
With the advent of instant fashion our business has now evolved into a niche market. Customers shop for specific needs now, either special occasions or classic basics in superior quality, which we are renowned for. Once you have a piece of clothing made to your specific measurements it spoils you for life!
What do your customers’ fabric choices tell you about Queensland style? Do people mostly gravitate towards brighter colours, patterns, and natural fibres?
Our climate has a great bearing on our choice of clothing. Anyone who has experienced Queensland’s humidity in the midst of summer will always gravitate towards natural fibres such as linen and cotton. Silks are perfect autumn/winter, while our extra fine wools can be worn for 9 months of the year. Colour is intrinsic to Queensland fashion; it reflects our abundance of sunshine, light, and natural beauty.
Tell us how you came to be interested in fashion…
We think it was innate. We were both bought up in households where the sewing machine, cloth, and threads were everyday fixtures. This was the culture of our country upbringing. Jan’s mother and grandmother were both exquisite seamstresses, giving her an early sense of fashion, quality, and occasion. Whereas I suppose through the process of osmosis my interest in fashion was a natural transition.
Where do you look for inspiration on matters of style?
Inspiration for us is found in everything from people and travel to art and editorial. We are constantly influenced by the ever changing details of fashion and fabric, from the heritage of the handcrafted, to the technological advances that laser cutting and fabric composition deliver us.
What is your most treasured dress-related object or memory?
Kerri: My most treasured dress is a Hurel textile in apple green taffeta bordered with a laser cut floral in ice blue.
Jan: My most treasured items are a Swiss silk chiffon with laser cut embroidery skirt with a French beaded lace jacket in mandarin orange.
Give us three words, people or places you associate with Queensland fashion…
Kerri: Linen , Alfresco & 4005 (New Farm’s postcode)
Jan: Colour , Cut & Occasion
Is there such a thing as a distinct Queensland style?
Absolutely, the cocktail mix of colour, pattern, and light in nature influences how we dress, design, and live our lives. The Queensland style has an abundance of pattern and colour, as well as personality.
Published in Issue 11, on March 25, 2014.