Queensland style is not usually associated with elaborate detail, old-world techniques and heritage textiles, but your designs include all of these elements. How has your location in Brisbane impacted your designs, and have you found it to be a place that supports your approach to fashion?
Every major world city has its own identity. Brisbane has a new world atmosphere filled with growth and experimentation which is really inspiring. The journey of the city finding its identity has encouraged me to experiment and create collisions between a new world view and old world techniques, which reflects my background of growing up between different cultures. The local fashion scene has supportive consumers who have showed a very strong interest in our label’s high-end couture dresses because of their unique aesthetics. My design work involves technical construction combined with fabric, lace, and trims imported from European heritage mills to create pieces of art.
Where did you learn your craft, and how do you balance classicism and innovation in your designs?
I learnt my craft skills at Queensland University of Technology and Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE, where innovation and research are certainly very strong philosophies being taught. Since graduation, I have not stopped my research work on craft & skills development, and I know this is a way to show others my fashion philosophy. How to find a balance between classicism and innovation is something I can’t put in words, it’s a pure visual process that needs to reflect who you are as an artist.
Tell us how you came to be interested in fashion…
My interest has its origins in an ongoing curiosity about how to turn 2D into 3D. That is what led me into an obsession with textiles; the more I knew, the more I discovered about the unknown. This process of research and discovery is a very rewarding path, along with meeting some amazing creative people who inspire me to think about why I chose this industry to start with.
Where do you look for inspiration on matters of style?
My inspiration is a collaboration between my personal obsession and current craft skill research. This is what defines my collection story. The current couture collection is based on my research of biblical history and development of sheer lace work, the inspiration is based on the “Garden of Eden” where people wear foliage.
What is your most treasured dress-related object or memory?
I don’t have a particular favourite moment, every new discovery becomes my most treasured object/memory until the next one!
Give us three words, people or places you associate with Queensland fashion…
Fresh, relaxed, and exquisite.
Is there such a thing as a distinct Queensland style?
Queensland styles definitely have an effortless and holiday look about them, we do have an amazing landscape for getaways, after all!
Published in Issue 9, on February 25, 2014.