f. issue one
creative intel ligence by FashionMasters
Brendan Smith The Boy From Oz
Kings & Queens of Cool Creative Refuge The White Shirt Project Graduate Runway
At Country Road people are the key to our success We seek only the best candidates who are passionate brand ambassadors and determined to contribute to our teamâ€™s performance. We are always on the look-out for dedicated, fashion forward and like-minded individuals! Visit countryroad.com.au/careers to register your interest today. Country Road is a proud industry partner of Fashion Masters.
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New Kids On The Block
Inside The Master Minds
The White Shirt Project
Brendan Smith - The Boy From Oz
Kings & Queens Of Cool
FashionMasters On Film
In Bed With...
Grant Cowan - Illustrations
Graduate Runway 14/15
Editor-in-Chief & Creative Director Robert De Giovanni Managing Editor Roswitha Schleicher Creative Consultant Grant Cowan Contributing Photographers Jason McCormack Nancy Trieu Photography Interns Julia Pavel Duey Lam
Graphic Design Jarmaine Stojanovic for Something Creative Co Graphic Design Interns Sally Stainton Daria Verlokova Styling Intern Valentina Brandoni
Special Thanks Brendan Smith, Felipe Padua, Victoria Wimsett, Jermaine Watkins, Alejandra Cardenas, Erika Hvass, Franchesca Appolis, Paola D’Alto, Tuong ‘Alex’ Vo, all the students at FashionMasters Sydney & Melbourne campuses and to the management at Holmes Institute Australia Cover Page Credits Couture Design by Brendan Smith, Arts of Fashion Foundation 2014, Les Arts Decoratifs, Photography by Nicolas Fleure, IMG Models Paris Maya Panrurin
FashionMasters acknowledges the generous support of our internship program by our industry friends Country Road Group Bianca Spender Carla Zampatti KitX by Kit Willow LeatherOn by Tommy Ge NAT Studios Andy Henson Catalogue Magazine Chic-Petite Events Warren Pasi Cissy Zhang The Iconic Collette Dinnigan Westfield Christian Dior Boutique, Sydney Giovanna Morales & James Earl O’Brien Melbourne Spring Fashion Week David Jones Myer The Australian Ballet Melbourne French Theatre WGSN Cotton On Universal Magazines Alibionline Hugo Boss Henry Bucks Jeanswest UGG Australia Kmart Mariana Hardwick Marilyn Bracks Consltancy Maximum Agencies Trumpet Events
FashionMasters Melbourne Campus Level 3, 185 Spring Street 03 9945 9515 Marketing Coordinator Casey Barras Academic Coordinator Rachel Matthews email@example.com
FashionMasters Sydney Campus Level 3, 91 York Street 02 9299 1400 RDeGiovanni@fashionmasters.com.au Academic Coordinator Robert De Giovanni www.fashionmasters.com.au
New Kids On The Block
I am writing this editor’s letter while the ink is still drying, the computers are still going to sleep, the presses are still heaving and the students at our Melbourne campus are still madly putting the finishing flourishes on their graduate runway collections. Like many of our own very entrepreneurial students in both Sydney and Melbourne, this is our debut into the brand new world of magazine: for FashionMasters, for Fashion and for First. It’s the launch of a title which toasts simultaneously the 24 year heritage of the Melbourne School of Fashion as well as the 1st birthday of the new kid on the block in fashion education in Sydney: FashionMasters glam campus in York Street and the triumphal progression of our first cohort of students into 2nd year of the Bachelor’s degree.
Paper project designs by first year design foundation students But all life journeys begin with a single wish, a heartbeat, an in-breath, an intersecting of inspiration and brain-wiring which we call creative intelligence. Creative intelligence - which is the tag for our publishing endeavor - is not necessarily about learning something new, but often making a commitment to the ‘un-learning’ of old habits, prejudices, biases and received knowledge which hold us back from being truly innovative in business. It is in this spirit that we have created a very human and very printed rather than digital, large-format magazine which has heft and texture, and values the expressive and visceral form of the visual over the written, which has always been the ghostly dreamscape of the fashion mind [The White Shirt Project, page 8]. Our students in all three years of the Bachelor of Fashion & Business (BFB) program, their lecturers, and young interns have rallied around the crackling bonfire of self- expression and image-making [In Bed With…, page 18], revelling in concocting
new ways to represent the myriad practices beyond fashion design as “art” and appreciating it also as a craft which is “a business” [Brendan Smith - Boy from Oz, page 10]. For at FashionMasters we value the quadrinity of creation/production/ communication/consumption which is often understudied and therefore ‘under-felt’ in more traditional fashion design courses [Kings & Queens of Cool, page 18]. In this way, the issue pays homage to the many industry friends who have joined us valiantly in our efforts to mentor the emerging creative and market-savvy minds of the indigo and e-generations. Our tastemakers and cultural intermediaries’ presence in framing their own in-house internship programs, aligns the breadth and depth of the BFB’s goals with those of established icons like Country Road which in turn sit side by side the more rambunctious younger industry intelligentsia like Tommy Ge, Andy Henson and Bianca Spender. All of our industry partnerships are involved in bringing their expertise to FashionMasters via guest lectures, field trips, internships and vocational shadowing.
As the stories within these pages attest, Australia is now a mecca for designers, artists and innovators from all over the world, many of whom are taking creative refuge in our own home-grown and very unique fashion industry which has the economic buoyancy to cultivate the talented scenographistes, modelistes and stylistes that have had to flee many of the design capitals of a Europe still grappling with the economics of austerity [Creative Refuge, page 24]. It is my honour as the new kid on the block at FashionMasters and as Editor-in-Chief of to incite a discourse on how we can begin to un-learn all of what has gone before in fashion alongside all the inspiring people that contribute to this magazine: from our students, to photographers, graphic artists, stylists, teachers and interns. With all the fizz in a flute of the best French, welcome to the fantabulous world of . Robert De Giovanni, Editor-in-Chief
Recovered and Reconstructed Shirts by First Year Design Foundation Students Photography Duey Lam Styling Robert De Giovanni | Grant Cowan
felipe souza padua jermaine watkins victoria wimsett franchesca appolis
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Brendan Smith “ The Boy From Oz”
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Finessing his French: Brendan (m.) was selected to present his graudate collection featuring opulent French lace at the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week 2014
When Brendan Smith, 32, graduated from FashionMasters Melbourne in 2013, his talent did not remain unnoticed for long. In the same year he won the internationally recognised Arts of Fashion Foundation competition, which enabled the Western Australian-born designer to embark on a journey to conquer couture in the French fashion capital.
Living and working in one of the most renowned international fashion cities in the world is the dream of many who aspire to a future career in the fashion industry. With hundreds of years of cultural history, cities like Milan, London and Paris have not only become meccas of infinite inspiration but have also been home to the greatest minds fashion history has ever known. However, in the end the dense field of competitors only allows few of those trying to turn this dream into reality. Following his success at the Arts of Fashion (AOF) Foundation competition for international fashion students in San Francisco, Brendan Smith was one of the privileged few to move to Paris and encounter the French couture scene from a front row seat. It is in Paris, where Coco Chanel changed the face of jersey forever and the world feted another Aussie prodigy in the form of Melbourne-born Martin Grant, that the boy from Oz followed in the footsteps of these grand masters and mistresses de la mode. Into The Unknown It was four years ago that the Melbournian-at-heart decided to leave his career in advertising behind to seek fulfilment in another field. After a decade of trying to find creative relief as a graphic designer, on-screen creations didn’t seem to be enough anymore. “I felt like I needed something different,” the young designer says. The urge to create something more physically tangible with his hands and the love for unusual clothing soon inspired the then 28-year-old to try himself on a domestic sewing machine; his first attempts remained of rather poor quality. “There were things like one sleeve being dramatically longer than the other and the constant fear of sitting down in public in case the seams would pop open,” he recalls. “I thought I’d better do this properly.”
Having the creative gene running in his bloodline, it was natural for the Smith clan to encourage the family youngster to follow his dreams. “My great grandfather was an architect, my nanna was a seamstress while also making doll clothes and illustrating comic books,” he remembers. “My dad specialised in metalwork as a boiler and my mum was known to have a talent for arts and sewing. As a result, my childhood memories are full of sculptures he made from old car parts, scattered throughout the yard and those amazing costumes she sewed for my brother and me.”
“In Paris my mentors pushed me to step outside my comfort zone and I ended up seeing another side of me” Domino Effect After completing an Advanced Diploma in Applied Fashion Design & Technology, Smith’s Victorian-inspired graduate collection, featuring clusters of tulles, opulent French lace and quirky little embellishments aroused curiosity amongst members of the local fashion community. Legend has it that this is how the young designer was selected to showcase his work at the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week 2014. Brendan Smith’s love for extravagant and exaggerated sculptural couture and meticulous attention to detail also
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convinced the high-ranking jury of the international AOF foundation to send him to Paris to attend their exclusive MasterClass and have the final results photographed at the Louvre. Only shortly after, he was scouted by the French couture label Coppelia Pique, who gave him a real taste of what it’s like to work in the heart of the European - and indeed international - fashion industry. “I was very lucky. Coppelia Pique showed great faith in me and my technical abilities.” This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity allowed the talented Antipodean not only to sharpen his technique but most importantly, to grow as a designer. “I ended up exploring new ways and seeing another side of me. By the end of it, I knew that I wanted to be in her shoes.” That was the moment he started moulding a concept for his own label, a vision that Brendan has been working on ever since. With a little hope and dedication, he says, it will be launching this year. In awe he remembers the challenges of balancing daily life with study while it only feels like yesterday that Brendan first set foot onto the hallowed hallways of FashionMasters’ Melbourne campus. “I had to give up so much but with the support of family and friends three years went by so quickly – and I have exceeded my own expectations.” Not only professionally, but also mentally and geographically; Brendan Smith truly has come a long way along the yellow brick road from Oz since trying to master his first domestic sewing machine. R. Schleicher
Courtney Eaton was born in Bunbury, Western Australia. She is a model and actress, known for Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) and Gods of Egypt (2016).Vivienâ€™s Model Management are proud industry partners of FashionMasters, collaborating on special events and graduate runway shows.
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Kings & Queens of Cool
STYLING & TEXT ROBERT DE GIOVANNI PHOTOGRAPHY TRIEU McCORMACK CREATIVES PLEATED SCARF LEATHERON CO-STYLING & ILLUSTRATION GRANT COWAN
In an industry based on the idea of reinvention, takes a squiz behind-the-scenes at some of the cool, calm and collected business-minds who are mentoring a whole new generation of design thinkers and intelligent creatives
The Model-Maker. Tineke Dickson is a tastemaker par excellence in a fashion industry where often the role of the ‘cultural intermediary’ behind-the-scenes goes unnoticed. Freshly retired as a model manager from iconic agency Vivien’s where she worked for 35 years, the reign of Queen T has been long yet lucid; like a Fellini movie or a dream full of colourful stories and vivid memories.
Gemma Ward, Courtney Eaton and many others, developing them to world-class status as international ‘supers’.
In the 80s she worked as a model, then became a model-booker but over the years the role changed. “I became a model manager which consisted of bookings for international models, and handling the travel to various branches of Vivien’s agencies in all states in Australia and internationally.” It was a journey of a thousand miles and a million more faces: both the good and the great. The maven of model-managers is responsible for having discovered ‘girls’ (to use booker-slang) like Kristie Hinze,
Just like becoming a celebrated model, the career pathway for those wishing to become agents, bookers and model managers can also be nebulous. What is clear from Tineke’s legendary staying power in a fickle business is her ability to communicate both with models and clients, as well as an almost clairvoyant knowledge of the latest fashion trends. These qualities, coupled with an awareness of what the industry is looking for, are paramount for young people wanting to get into the fashion business. But it’s the ubiquitous ‘x-factor’ which the timeless Tineke considers as the quality which completes the holy trinity of good looks/right height and good work ethic for a model. “It’s hard to define,” she muses, “But just like fabulous taste, you know when someone’s got it.”
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the designer. Bianca Spender
BS has a background in business, studying commerce at uni as well as exposed to her world-famous mother Carla Zampatti’s fashion ateliers where she began designing at age 12. In 2000 she left Australia to work as a junior designer in Paris for iconic label Martine Sitbon. But it’s in Australia that Bianca Spender has carved her own name in the fashion business, launching her own label in 2007. Her zen-like drape, combined with an almost quantum-like appoach to fashion design makes this former child prodigy a queen of calm in her own right.
the entrepreneur. Tommy Ge With a cult-like client following that ranges from Sydney soul artist Mike Champion to LA-based singer Tiaan through to Top 8 Australian Top Model Lucy Play, Tommy Ge’s soft-as-butter leather jackets, dresses, jeans and scarves that he creates for his label Leatheron are a testament to his business nouse, as much as to his design prescience. Having designed his first jacket in his dad’s clothing factory at age 12, the current collections with names like ‘11 Kingdoms’ elicit a childhood love of “modern-day armour for today’s warriors and heroines,” he says.
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the bloggers. Warren A. Pasi Cissy Zhang Photo by Duey Lam
Warren A. Pasi (left) and Cissy Zhang (right) are the Peter Pan and Wendy of true creative intelligence in Australia. Warren’s blog Boy In The Black Bow Tie and Cissy’s I Dream of Bunnies both point the way to a new kind of style ambassador-cum-fashion blogger who see fashion brands as a holistic exercise where the writer is both model and brand manager all wrapped up in one big designer bundle. Warren and Cissy both wear FashionMasters graduate and Victorian Student of the Year Christopher Avery’s monochromatic menswear tailoring.
the jewellers. Henson
Ring kings Andy Henson (right) and Brent Gold (left) created their first line of re-smelted, hand-carved and beaten silver jewellery in 2009 and ‘Henson’ was born. Recently they have added a range of handmade leather bags and accessories made in Australia from local leathers including kangaroo. The boys love the imperfections that they find in the hides they use because it’s “what makes a hide unique,” they say. To view their perfectly imperfect accessories or jewellery collections rock into South West Trader, 36 Oxford St Paddington. Tel: (02) 9332 2311 or visit Andy Henson at www.thisishenson.com.
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LEATHERON IS A PROUD INDUSTRY PARTNER OF FASHION MASTERS. WE PROVIDE INTERNSHIPS IN DESIGN, PR, MARKETING AND RETAILING. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT US ON TOMMYGE@LEATHERON.COM.AU
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FashionMasters A Perfect 14 explores the fascinating world of plussize models fighting to reshape the fashion industry and the beauty standards of society. The timely docudrama, highlights the way gender and identity issues are transmitted culturally through society by the fashion system. The film highlights the importance of fashion education at tertiary level in shaping the way emerging fashion designers and product developers are trained to think of varying markets from first year onwards.
“Most educational providers teach students the elements and principles of design at a very broad level and therefore issues like plus-sizing are often glossed over or ignored,” says FashionMasters Academic Co-ordinator Robert De Giovanni who is featured in the documentary. “At FashionMasters, however, because we provide a more comprehensive view of the fashion system itself, not only at the design level, but from a business and marketing framework, we are able to prepare creatives to think very critically and innovatively about markets or social groups that remain understudied and often undervalued. In this way, our Bachelor degree in Fashion & Business presents a very contemporary and ethical alternative to a standard ‘fashion design’ degree.” In fact, FashionMasters and A Perfect 14 are the perfect fit. The film by the young and independent Canadian film makers is a visual essay in the importance of revising educational norms and standards in the fashion business; thinking critically about the part that gender plays in how fashion is designed and marketed and the questioning of received knowledge. It follows the journeys of plus-size models Elly Mayday, Kerosene Deluxe and Laura Wells as they struggle against the distorted perception of body
Artwork for ‘A Perfect 14’
Action on set: Canadian indie film makers Giovanna Morales (r.) & James Earl O’Brien (l.)
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image that is being perpetuated in people’s minds. These women share their personal experiences of challenges and successes to help empower themselves and others to eradicate the currently held standards of beauty. In addition to being successful models they are also driven to make a positive impact in the world. As highlighted by the film, FashionMasters’ three year degree in Fashion & Business is a way-shower and prototype for the direction in which the industry is moving at the pedagogic level. “Subjects like Ethical Fashion Business, Future Fashion Business and Global Business are key in helping students to un-learn the received notions they have about what is ‘beautiful’ or not, and this is crucial in helping to dispel the kinds of stereotypes that so many fashion courses have engendered historically,” says Robert De Giovanni. A Perfect 14 shows the desperate need for diversity and a true reflection of today’s society in the fashion industry, our media and role models. Just like the faculty at FashionMasters, the subjects of the film are determined to eliminate the established perception in society that one size fits all.
In Bed With... Styling Robert De Giovanni | Roswitha Schleicher
Text Roswitha Schleicher Photography Julia Pavel
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FashionMasters’ young elite invites us to their private chambers to open up about their dreams, aspirations & most unfashionable moments
Felipe, 28 What’s your current favourite item of clothing? That’s my oversized Wrangler shirt. It’s denim with a bold print - love it!
Victoria, 26 What’s your current favourite item of clothing? I can never go past my black silk Zimmerman maxi gown. I can honestly say it was the best purchase I’ve ever made as I have made such good use of it.
How has your style changed over the years? When I was living in Sao Paolo it felt a lot more ‘preppy’. Coming here put me in touch with a more casual, yet stylish vibe. For example, I like wearing my button-ups open with another shirt underneath, a lot of shorts and boots. Who’s your style icon and why? David Beckham. The versatility of his style always inspires me.
How has your style changed over the years? I used to be all about bold bright colours and designs. Now I prefer simple, elegant and more classic silhouettes as I find they work well with my figure and personality. More so, I like to play with accessories and makeup to complete my look. Who’s your style icon and why? I adore a strong feminine style such as Christine Centenera but I also like being inspired by fashion bloggers like Chiara Farragni (The Blond Salad) or Jessica Stein (Tuula Vintage).
What was your most embarrassing fashion disaster? My sister and I went to the movies one day and I was wearing this knitted shirt – which was horrible on its own already – and cargo shorts with high socks and boat shoes. I must have been 13. It was such a disaster, I will never forget.
What was your most embarrassing fashion disaster? When I was in primary school I was climbing a tree and fell. Luckily my shirt caught on a branch and basically saved me from face-planting the dirt; however, my shirt ripped all the way up to my arm pits and turned it into a Superman cape.
What do you love most about studying fashion & business?
What do you love most about studying fashion and business?
It opens your eyes to how much work and dedication it takes to just
I love the versatility that the course offers and that the school is
put a collection on the runway. If you want to run a fashion business
proactively organising internships and keeps me up to date on all current
nowadays you have to understand every aspect of it. I love learning how the whole machinery works. What’s the coolest fashion job you can think of? Being a stylist is a really cool profession. It’s great to give people advice and put outfits together for them for different occasions. I would love to do that but with a focus on menswear.
events. I absolutely love where this experience has taken me so far, both personally and in terms of career development. What’s the coolest fashion job you can think of? It would be somewhat similar to the career of a popular fashion blogger, but instead of photographing garments I would love to present them in a more cinematic way. Combining the two, fashion and film, would probably be my dream career.
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Creatives Uncovered is a link-up event platform for emerging creatives , small business owners, entrepreneurs and sole traders to meet the creative industries that are vital in getting a business off the ground.
Itâ€™s all about collaborations & connections between industry leaders and nurturing go getters, We have built up a fantastic reputation organising events such as fashion shows, magazine launchparties, live photoshoots, art exhibitions, hair & make-up demos, networking events and live music gigs.
Creatives Uncovered are proud sponsors of Fashionmasters. For more info on how to get involved with our event Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sharon Garrard Director Chic Petite Events Creatives Uncovered http://www.creativesuncovered.com.au http://www.chicpetiteevents.com.au
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Erika, 22 What’s your current favourite item of clothing? It’s a blue vintage jumpsuit. I found it while browsing a vintage shop in Redfern. It was love at first sight! How has your style changed over the years? My personal style has pretty much remained the same. It might have become more mature, which means I no longer buy items to follow a trend but because I really like them. I guess I’m also not quite as girly as I used to be, although skirts and dresses are still a crucial part of my wardrobe. Who’s your style icon? When I was younger I was very intrigued by Gossip Girl, especially by the style of Blair Waldorf. Nowadays I admire Olivia Palermo for her confidence and taste. But a style icon needn’t be a celebrity. As long as their style is somehow ‘one of a kind’, you can come across inspiring people in everyday life, too. What was your most embarrassing fashion disaster? In high school I used to dress up and wear high heels all the time. So one day, when a friend came by for a surprise visit, I hurried down the stairs but all the excitement caused me to lose balance and fall. My legs hurt so much that I had to walk around barefoot for the rest of the day. What do you love most about studying fashion and business? I love expanding my skills and knowledge about the industry. The business of fashion is a constantly evolving matter and we should evolve with it. What’s the coolest fashion job you can think of? My dream is to run my own boutique with a focus on vintage, upcycle and fair trade items from all over the world and use it to help less fortunate people.
Alejandra, 20 What’s your current favourite item of clothing? A pair of used-look skinny denim jeans. I love how easy it is to dress them up or down depending on how you match them with other clothes and accessories. How has your style changed over the years? I used to love the ‘Rock Chick’ style, so my wardrobe was dominated by a lot of black but I do admire the Italian sense for fashion, especially designs by Miuccia Prada. Who is your style icon and why? To be honest, I don’t really follow anyone in particular but I do admire the Italian sense for fashion, especially designs by Miuccia Prada. What was your most embarrassing fashion disaster? My most embarrassing fashion moment was when I decided to go to a school party wearing red Converse, yoga pants and a red sweater. I definitely got the dress code wrong that evening. What do you love most about studying fashion and business? I love that it gives me the opportunity to create things and with that, let my imagination run free. Designing garments not only allows me to express my emotions but it is also a way of communicating with people. At the same time we learn all the technicalities involved when starting your own business in fashion. What’s the coolest fashion job you can think of? My biggest dream is to become a designer and be the head of my own fashion label.
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Grant Cowan is a Sydney-born visual and
contributing his signature wistful style to
Dreaming of Chanel fashion memoir series
graphic artist who specialises in fashion
memorable advertising campaigns for the
penned by author Charlotte Smith. Grant
illustration. His lush images convey a
likes of Harpers Bazaar, Vogue, Red and
is currently a lecturer at FashionMasters,
glamour not seen since the heyday of the
Elle magazine, he turned his talents to the
Sydney campus, where he mentors budding
great illustrators of the 1940s and 50s, such
world of publishing. In 2009 and 2010, Grant
fashion visionaries in the creative arts
as Rene Gruau. After working in London for
collaborated with Harper Collins to create
of fashion illustration, styling and visual
several years, where he worked prolifically,
the hugely successful Dreaming of Dior and
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Creative Refuge PHOTOGRAPHY DUEY LAM TEXT ROSWITHA SCHLEICHER
At first sight Franchesca from South Africa, Julia from Germany, Paola from Italy and Tuong (or Alex as he prefers to call himself) from Vietnam don’t seem to have much in common. They all have different backgrounds, belong to different age groups, have different interests and for the most part, live very different lives. Franchesca is a young mother who recently went back to full-time study, Julia is a photographer, Paola is a stage and costume designer and Alex is just about to start his undergraduate degree in fashion design. What the four of them didn’t know until they came together to be interviewed for this feature is that they do share something extraordinary: a dream, a desire to be part of Australia’s flourishing fashion and creative industries. Although they all came to the lucky country with varying motives, the one thing that connects them is a passion and love for the crafts they have been practicing. But when all is said and done, why Sydney one may wonder? For some the reasons might be obvious: golden sands, the sapphire seas and of course an economy that has been on steady increase for over 21 years now. Yes, they call us ‘lucky’ for a reason. Historically, however, Australia has battled the so-called cultural cringe, particularly when it comes to the more hierarchical notions of style, fashion, aesthetics and fine
art. This is a former British colony with convict origins and a suspicion for authority after all, overlaid with strong ancestral and constitutional ties to England, military-cultural ones to America, and economic ones to the Asia-Pacific. So the challenges when it comes to accepting the dictates of foreign style-autocrats are palpable down under. Let’s face it, we like to wear things, eat things and do things ‘our way, mate!’
Alex, who grew up in Asia argues a different point of view. “The Vietnamese for example are very traditional people. There, I would have never had the chance to do what I love.” It was only when his family decided to move to Australia that he dared for his dream to become a successful fashion designer to come true, just like his idol Akira Isogawa. “Here I feel like I can be myself,” he muses.
Paola believes the inherent clash of different cultures in Australia might have hindered the country to develop its own cultural identity until now. But what she finds appealing is its great, untapped potential. “Like America was believed to be a new starting point for great European artists in the early 1900s because they felt oppressed and creatively restricted by the political and cultural circumstances back home, Australia could very well be the setting for the beginning of a new, revolutionary creative era,” the Italian costume and set designer remarks. She’s convinced that with a little more effort and dedication, the country could emerge to become a global fashion force. “At the moment, though, it appears as if its development is still blocked by the Asian market. Asia still has the upper hand due to the incredibly low production costs they can offer,” she adds. Nevertheless, Made in Australia has become a sought-after trademark.
Taking On History Julia’s story reads slightly different. Not too long ago she completed an undergraduate degree in photography back in Germany and liked the idea of establishing herself in a scene she wasn’t familiar with in order to allow her work and herself to grow. In Sydney, she first touched base with the fashion industry when she made contact with a local hat designer. “Sydney hasn’t been flawed with a ‘style stamp’ yet, like other fashion capitals. That makes it a great place for young people to come here and be part of the initial development and contribute to the whole picture,” the 25-year-old says.
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While we count 246 registered countries today worldwide, to the fashion industry there’s really only ever been four. Long has the power been divided between the elegant French, the sensual Italians and the traditional Britons. The US proved in
From left: Franchesca Appolis, Julia Pavel, Tuong ‘Alex’ Vo & Paola D’Alto are part of a new generation of young internationals on a quest to transform the Australian fashion industry
the mid-twentieth century that a strong economy is a relevant factor in becoming a big player in fashion, which then instantly added New York to the map. In past years the tilt has again shifted notably to pull lesser known fashion hubs like Berlin, Barcelona, Tokyo and even Melbourne and Sydney into focus. Social media, advanced technology and 24/7 connectivity has enabled nearly everyone to acknowledge the power of fashion and the arts instantly and all over the world.
But it’s not only fashion creatives who’ve seen the potential and benefits of the recently prized international attention. Global retail trendsetters like Zara already decided years ago they wanted a slice of the meat pie that is the Australian economy. They were soon followed by the likes of Mango, H&M and most recently Sephora. Urban Outfitters is rumoured to be next on the list. Richard Jenkins, commercial property director at Knight Frank finds one reason for the global interest in Australia to be the struggling European economy and the already overcrowded markets themselves. “If you’re looking for growth as an international, it’s really going to be outside Europe,” he mentioned to ABC News in September last year.
The primary fashion week sponsors like Mercedes-Benz scented the change early on and moved in to declare these two Australian cities their fashion terrain. Although opinions about MBFW’s involvement in the Australian industry still remain split amongst local professionals, the international exposure and publicity Australian designers have enjoyed since then is undeniable. “There’s no doubt that they can compete internationally but at the moment there’s not a lot of them. Local fashion talents need to be pushed further and more supported by the industry,” Franchesca says. “Australia offers great conditions for people who dream of working in the creative industry. You rarely get the same opportunities anywhere else.”
Evidently, the Australian fashion market has been growing in every way and will continue to do so in the coming years with international collaborations increasing and multi-cultural exchange deepening. “You can feel it happening already. We are so well connected thanks to the way we travel. This connection will become stronger in time and distances between countries and cultures will become shorter,” Julia predicts. It may only be a matter of time until the rest of the fashion world realises that Australia can be so much more than just beaches, blue oceans and bloody good salaries.
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CATALOGUE IS A PROUD INDUSTRY PARTNER OF FASHION MASTERS
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Graduate Runway 2014/15
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B I A N C A S P E N D E R I S A P R O U D I N D U ST RY PA R T N E R O F FA S H I O N M A ST E R S . W E P R OV I D E I N T E R N S H I P S I N D E S I G N , P R , O N L I N E , M A R K E T I N G , P R O D U C T I O N A N D R E TA I L M A N AG E M E N T. F O R M O R E D E TA I L S E M A I L R E C E P T I O N @ C A R L A Z A M PAT T I .C O M . A U
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Published on Mar 5, 2015
f. is a bi-annual fashion magazine providing a creative platform for tomorrow's fashion professionals and today's artistic master minds