PRECIOUS FASHION ASSETS #2

For the second and final part of their series on our independant fashion community, guest Voxfrockers Estelle Michaelides (also designer of indie fashion brand Mickey In The Van) and photographer Kayla Piccolo meet four more designers behind VAMFF‘s arts programme and offsite runways.

 

DESIGNER: NEVADA DUFFY  LABEL: NEVADA DUFFY

Nevada Duffy. Photo: Kayla Piccolo

Nevada Duffy. Photo: Kayla Piccolo

Tell us about your label: “From my studio in Fitzroy, I create handmade, limited runs of my designs
with a strong focus on unique styles, good shapes, great quality new and vintage fabrics.”

How should fashion be approached? “It should be approached in any way that feels right for you , its about having fun and being comfortable with your own style. I love the transformative power of clothing, its a creative expression and can change the way you feel I hate fashion ‘Rules!’”

What’s your view on Australian fashion? “Fashion is international – I don’t see Australian fashion any differently that I do looking at designers from New York or China.”

What do you want people to know about you (re your work)? “My clothes are the antithesis of fast fashion!”

Can you describe the people who buy your clothes and how do you hope they might wear them? “People of all ages, I have a lot of dedicated customers who have been buying my clothes for years and what makes me happiest is when I see them wearing pieces they’ve had for ever and they still love wearing them.”

DESIGNER: LOIS MCGRUER-FRASER   LABEL: LOIS HAZEL

Lois McGruer-Fraser. Photo: Kayla Piccolo

Lois McGruer-Fraser. Photo: Kayla Piccolo

 

Tell us about your label: “I have a womenswear label based here in Melbourne. I launched in 2014 and will be releasing my 5th collection with Autumn Winter. The Label has a strong focus around local production with a transparent framework allowing all our customers to find out where each element of our pieces were sourced. Inspired by a concept each season I aim to produce pieces that are not only timeless but hold strong design elements mixed with beautiful textural fabrics.”

How should fashion be approached?  “With an open mind but considered mind. Fashion is such a great way of expressing who you are and also your values. Have fun, feel great and be yourself.”

What’s your view on Australian fashion? “Fresh, innovative and up and coming. It’s super exciting to see so many local labels embrace local production and help create such a strong name for Australian fashion. We are such a incredible country; so much inspiration, so many different cultures, we have a lot to offer and I am really excited to see us become more and more recognised as a fashion capital (Melbourne!) as we all grow.”

What do you want people to know about you (re your work)? “I aim to produce things locally, in small runs and as ethically as possible, and as I grow I hope this will become even stronger. I am a small business, working hard to grow, making majority of pieces in house and love every minute of it (most of the time). I like to create things that I know my wonderful customer will be able to treasure for years to come, feel great in and know that they have supported not only me but also an incredible network of other local small businesses.”

Can you describe the people who buy your clothes and how do you hope they might wear them? “The Lois Hazel women walks in many different paths of life. We have the artist, the office worker, the traveller and many many more. She likes to invest in special items she knows she will keep for a while. I love love love bumping into my incredible customers and seeing how they have styled my items. One beautiful lady bought one of my AW16 singlet dresses and ended up wearing it inside out because she loved the binding detail so much she didn’t want to hide it!”

DESIGNER: SARA BAILES   LABEL:SARA BAILES

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Tell us about your label: “It was launched in 2015 on the back of my 10 year career as a senior designer for labels such as Karen Walker and Gorman. Manufactured in Bali by a small dedicated team, it combines classic shapes with a contemporary aesthetic and features locally sourced fabrics, in-house prints and natural fibres.”

How should fashion be approached? “Fashion should be an expression of yourself! I believe it should be comfortable, and tailored to your personality. Too many people get caught up in trends that don’t necessarily suit their body type or aesthetic. My advice – be real and own it!”

What’s your view on Australian fashion? “There are so many amazing Australian designers that I admire and who have managed to sustain ethical business manufacturing both locally and overseas. I feel like Australian fashion as a rule has a particular aesthetic that can be recognized anywhere in the world; even recognizable between cities (Melbourne and Sydney for example). For me, it is important that the industry continues to nurture the smaller designers and doesn’t allow the big international chains to dominate in the future.”

What do you want people to know about you (re your work)? “I strive to create an honest and ethical brand, and by doing so, I am involved in every step of the journey. From sourcing fabrics, designing, fittings and visiting my makers, I also run the marketing, social media and creative side of the business! I take a lot of pride in maintaining close relationships with everyone I work with to produce my collections.”

Can you describe the people who buy your clothes and how do you hope they might wear them? “They seem to be quite like-minded to myself. The clothes are designed to combine comfort and style and that can be both dressed-up and dressed-down. Every collection I design, I keep in mind that everyone has a different body shape and that clothes need to fit and fall to suit each individual. I hope that people wear my clothes with confidence and feel like they are expressing themselves.”

DESIGNER: ALICE EDGELEY  LABEL: EDGELEY  (MAIN PHOTO, TOP)

Tell us about your label: “Challenging conventional aesthetics, Ms Edgeley creates her own version of bold glamour by following her instincts rather than the orthodoxy of current fashion.”

How should fashion be approached? “Fashion can be a really pleasurable form of self expression. It says a lot to people about who you are, where you come from, how much of a sense of humour you have etc. The best part is that you have an opportunity every morning to be creative through your clothes and accessories, to play with colour, texture, shape and personality. I think that’s a lot more fun than labels, designer status symbols and posing.”

What’s your view on Australian fashion? “I love it! There are heaps of amazing Australian designers I was really inspired to move back to Australia and become involved in the fashion industry when I saw people like Romance was born creating truly fabulous, truly Australian designs and getting recognition for it.”

What do you want people to know about you (re your work)? “I want people to feel happy about themselves, to feel excited about wearing a new outfit. To be comfortable and free to move and dance and jump fences and look absolutely drop dead gorgeous at the same time.”

Can you describe the people who buy your clothes and how do you hope they might wear them? “The people who buy my clothes are people of all ages, shapes and sizes. The common thread between them is that they are not afraid to express themselves. They have a sense of playful confidence in their bodies and their own style, and none of them are slaves to ‘labels’. Fashion is fun for them.”