crazy sales figures), this is what makes the label so great. ‘It’s one of the most successful fashion houses in the country, and I think a lot of that is to do with having this really lovely fashion environment where everyone is nurtured.’ Leave Prada to the devil, I want what she’s having.
Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking.
Cameo produces a new line every month. That’s about thirty-five to forty pieces every twenty-eight days. Given I struggle to think of new and exciting topics for conversation when speaking to my neighbours approximately twice a year (I still maintain ‘I see you’ve put your bin out a day early, what excellent foresight’ is compelling and insightful every time), just contemplating this level of creativity makes me feel like a having a quick lie-down in a dark room. ‘When I first started working here, I thought [creative drain] would be a problem, and everyone else who starts seems to say the same thing,’ says Kathryn, ‘but it’s funny, certainly if you’re looking
around globally in terms of inspiration every month, you get dry spells when all of the international catwalks are finished and you feel like you’re moving too quickly, but if anything, it keeps you on your toes and forces you to really sit down and come up with designs that are unique.’ But surely, six months in, you’re going to end up hitting an inspiration drought, possibly involving a decision to wrap all the models in butchers’ paper and old pot noodle containers and telling the retailers that ‘it’s deep fucking art, YOU DON’T OWN ME!’ Apparently not. ‘Creativity is probably one of those things you can’t use up – the more you exercise it, the more there is. So you sit down to make a thirty-five piece range and you end up having seventy pieces and need to cull them back,’ Kathryn promises me. I know. I’m as devastated as you are that the day we can drape ourselves in old CHEAP AS CHIPS catalogues and call it couture will probably never dawn. Their loss.
By all means, move at a glacial pace. You know how that thrills me.
When I came to Australian Fashion Labels to do the interview, Kathryn gave me the complete tour, including a look at The Wardrobe. That’s right, we’re talking wall-towall racks bulging with every piece of clothing that your giddy imagination can come up with. So for obvious reasons, I assumed the best part of being Head Designer would be regular intervals spent laying on a pile of outfits roughly the size of a double bed and cackling deliriously. Sadly the truth is considerably more professional. ‘The day after we’ve done our photo-shoot is my favourite part of the job, where you can just have a breather and open that look book and see the imagery. You can appreciate all the work you put in and be really proud of it.’ Being swift like a panther is thus an integral part of Kathryn’s job. ‘You get the samples the day they arrive, you get them pressed, you shoot them the day after, you do
INSIDE: What the 2014 Federal Budget means for students.