What drew you to become a fashion designer?
A passion for fabric, its abilities, qualities, influence and power. An early introduction to amateur and semi-professional theatre and costume. A background in Visual Art. Observation and learning from women in my family who employed/employ principles of couture. Introduction to pattern-making in my schooling.
Why was it important to you to offer a sustainable, responsible, Eco fashion line and how do you incorporate ideals such a Zero Waste into your work?
My early education and tight budgets determined a thrift and economic approach to cutting and production of garments. A “waste not want not” mantra was a fundamental part of my background. I incorporate remnants / off-cuts where feasible, be it in additional garments, or embellishments. I work with predominantly natural fabrics. I also re-purpose existing garments to continue the life of the fabric and also enjoy the challenge of re contextualizing
Where do you find inspiration for new work?
Historical dress, certain periods in particular. Notable artisans of haute couture. Artworks and artists. Flora and its evolution.
What materials do you work with – organic, reclaimed, etc.?
I work with predominantly silks, linen, cotton and wool. I utilize reclaimed and gifted fabrics, trims and notions.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a sustainable designer?
Educating the audience and or consumer of the significance, quality, value and practice of slow fashion. Sourcing reputable suppliers of ethically produced fabrics and associated resources.
How do you help customers understand the higher cost of sustainable garments when they are so inundated with sweat shop-produced cheap merchandise?
Conversation with clients and audience. Education through regular and persistent exposure of my practices and garments, utilizing social media as a platform. Collaborations with like-minded artisans.
What can we look forward to seeing on the runway at Eco Fashion Week Australia 2018?
An eclectic mix of bridal gowns influenced by specific historical periods including Elizabethan, Renaissance, Pre-Raphaelite and Regency/Edwardian. Features particular to the historical dress and or structure will be evident in the cut, fall, drape, gather or pleat. Surface decoration in the form of embellishment such as embroidery, attachment of manipulated remnants, inclusion of gifted trims and hand painting. My garments are essentially bespoke, starting with measurements, pattern making, fitting of the Toile before cutting and fitting. My practice is not generic. Fashion is a form of theatre. Fashion speaks volumes.
How do you incorporate sustainable living in other areas of your life?
I am an avid gardener and plant both ornamental and productive seeds. All green waste is given to my poultry which in turn provides eggs, and fertilizes our soils. I pick fruits in season and preserve them. I barter preserves and or share produce with others. I frequent opportunity stores to add to my wardrobe and or purchase fabrics to make garments.
Anything else you would like readers to know?
I reside in a small regional community in New South Wales, Australia. I am eager to collaborate with like-minded artisans and willing to learn from others knowledge and experience.
I believe I can contribute to educating aspiring designers and makers in a range of skills around couture, given my early exposure and substantial experience in drafting patterns, dressmaking, costuming, teaching of Visual Arts and Textiles Technology. I would love the opportunity to share my knowledge in a teaching and learning environment as a vehicle for developing awareness of the many and varied benefits of slow fashion.
I am passionate about design and construction and will relish any future opportunities that present.