You were among the first group to graduate from QUT fashion (the first degree of its kind in Queensland), and were quickly labeled ‘one to watch’. Based on your experience, do you feel Queensland is a nurturing environment for emerging fashion designers?
I was one of the first students to go through QUT fashion so we had no precedence to influence perception and direction. I think as a result going through this course as one of a few inaugural students meant you had to make the best of the situation and be the driver of your own destiny and projected outcome. I think being in my home city amongst family and friends, it naturally offered that support and nurturing to help achieve some of my goals.
You’ve spent time living and working on your Gail Sorronda label in Europe, and have successfully developed an international profile. What made you decide to re-establish yourself in Queensland, and has this return to a subtropical environment had any influence on your current work?
Being super sensitive I can’t help but be influenced by my immediate environment so it was only natural that the first collection back was titled ‘Lighthouse’. It was an ode to nautical, coco cabana, goth mermaids, so I guess being back has resurrected my subtropical awareness. The idea of coming back home is a romantic notion too and I wanted to open up a shop in my home city first so it made sense.
Tell us how you came to be interested in fashion…
Body adornment as creative expression has always been symbiotic with me. My mum always dressed my sister and I well for church and we used to go op-shopping resourcefully having fun reinventing the ideas from the past.
Where do you look for inspiration on matters of style?
Style and inspiration can come from anywhere, film, photography, history, the natural environment, a feeling. I find myself attracted to the same aesthetic across different disciplines as a general rule, however, I do love being surprised by a new thought pattern and seeing something in a new innovative way. Aesthetics are like overlapping circles. That’s the nature of style for me;I guess it’s about identifying with an aesthetic as an impulsive emotive act, whilst still being surprised by something new.
What is your most treasured dress-related object or memory?
My vintage Christian Dior black taffeta ruffled cape that my husband bought me in the Porte de Clignancourt market in Paris, because I love a bit of drama!
Give us three words, people or places you associate with Queensland fashion…
Tropical, goth, caftan
Is there such a thing as a distinct Queensland style?
Published in Issue 1, on August 27, 2013.