THEFASHIONADVOCATE ISSUE 02
v i n c e n t l i . c o m . a u
hello FLORA: The plants of a particular region, habitat, or geological period. Issue 02 of The Fashion Advocate is all about ethical and sustainable fashion. We head back to basics and dig up the dirt on fashion, uncovering the stories of the individuals who are changing the industry for the better. Once upon a time, we lived in timber shacks, milled our own wheat and cooked our own bread, grew our own cotton and sewed our own clothes – but not any more. We live in a world that produces over 67 million tonnes of clothing each and every year, and it’s a world that finds it easier to throw away and buy new, than to make a sustainable decision in the first place. When you dig deep the fashion industry is not pretty. It is responsible for an alarming amount of pollution and waste, but I don’t want to bog you down with the depressing details. Instead, this issue of The Fashion Advocate aims to encourage you, to inspire you and to help you understand the power of your fashion choices so that you can be the change. Our interview with Edda Hamar of Undress Runways on Page 8 is a testament to the power of people who care; each and every year as Edda ships her travelling runway around the country, she gets closer and closer to a world where sustainable fashion is the norm. On Page 22, Colour Technician Craig Hislop shares the ins and outs of De Lorenzo, revealing the company’s surprising and incredible commitment to sustainability and 4
ethical business practices. Lois Hazel shares her story on Page 34, opening up about the struggles and strengths of being a ‘transparent label’ in an industry that is famously misleading, and on Page 42 I share Emma Gaffy’s story, who may possibly be the world’s first ever one-armed female DJ. But the most inspiring story of this issue, is about Melbourne-based label Cameron & James on Page 48. Designer Cameron Dixon explains his love/hate relationship with the fashion industry and how from an organic self-taught beginning he has struggled, triumphed and achieved with his ethical and sustainable menswear label. This entire issue looks beyond the detrimental environmental impacts that the fashion industry is responsible for and instead promotes the individuals who advocate for positive change. Although we may take small steps when we stand alone, as a collective we can make a difference. Start small, shop local, choose sustainably and think ethically. If you personally wouldn’t work for an unfair wage in unsafe conditions, don’t wear the clothes that have been made in that reality. Sustainable and ethical fashion choices are easy; take the time to understand the process, to research where, how and by who your clothes have been made, and acknowledge that you are just as responsible as every other person on the planet to make a difference. Claire Goldsworthy.
8 14 22 28 34 42 48 52
Director, Undress Runways
Fashion Designer, Nine Lives Bazaar
Colour Technician, De Lorenzo
Fashion Designer, Sweet Innocence
Fashion Designer, Lois Hazel
Blogger, One Girl and The Sea
Fashion Designer, Cameron & James
find us Facebook @FashionAdvocate
Milliner, Crazy Teapot
Twitter @thefashionadvoc Instagram @thefashionadvocate 5
contributors Amanda Cunningham Melbourne Amanda is a Communication student with a background in psychology, but a passion for design. She won awards for her textile designs while in high school and has been known to sport her own creations when current trends don't take her fancy. Besides reading and writing, Amanda keeps herself busy dancing, crafting, cooking, eating and snuggling. Ella Kate Thrupp Brisbane
Sophie Paterson Melbourne
Ella is a writer, artist and fashion blogger who loves talking about the ever changing dynamics of the business of fashion. She gets most excited about the craftsmanship and details of garments, and the final touches that makes a piece stand out. When she’s not writing, Ella can be found painting or drawing – usually with a coffee in hand.
Sophie is a Sydney-born writer, photographer, singer, baker and ukulele player. With a Masters in Creative Arts, she has spent the last 10 years traveling the world, visiting over 60 countries. Now settled in Melbourne, Sophie is inspired by the fashion industry, constantly looking out for designers that are creating new avenues through ethical and sustainable practices. Carmela Morales Melbourne Carmela is currently studying a double degree in Arts and Commerce. In her spare time, Carmela runs her own blog where she combines three of her favourite things: writing, beauty, and fashion. She loves how fashion is always changing with new trends popping up left and right, and that there’s always a way for everyone to make each trend their own.
Elizabeth Gao Melbourne Elizabeth is on an expedition, hunting for the quirky and hissing at the ordinary. From a strict RMIT Fashion Design upbringing, Elizabeth can’t handle a poorly made garment and salivates over luxe textiles. She is a freelance photographer, writer of whims and an avid tester of new things. 6
Alice De Pasquale Melbourne Alice is in her final year at RMIT studying a Bachelor of Fashion (Merchandise Management). When she’s not busy studying or writing, Alice can be found shopping or working out at the gym. She loves Australian fashion because it is unique and constantly evolving, and because it’s unlike anything on the international market.
We often talk about the ‘footprint’ of the fashion industry, but when do we stop and ask ourselves about the impact of the shoe we wear when we make that footprint? Sustainability in the fashion industry is a complicated topic, but rather than being overwhelmed by the complexity of it, it’s an issue easily addressed if we simply look closer to home. Start small and consider the shoes you choose to buy before you look at the environmental footprint they leave. Of course, the shoe is just the tip of the issue, or the ‘sole’ of the issue to be exact. When we spend our money on any fashion item, be it shoes, clothing, or accessories, we are saying something about what kind of world we want to be a part of. When we’re faced with the decision, many of us still associate the words ‘ethical’ and ‘sustainable’ with the thought of negativity, exploitation, sweatshops and mass production, because we’re forced to think of the consequences. While this is certainly not a myth when it comes to the fashion industry, there are small changes that any consumer can ponder if they want their wardrobe to tell a slightly less harrowing tale. In this day and age, it is too easy to find information on any brands’ ethical and sustainable practices. If you really want to get down and dirty with your research, dig up the track record of the head company that owns the clothing brand you’re about to buy, or read up on the associated issues surrounding ethical shopping, or arm yourself with knowledge on other alternatives, and be aware of what cost textile farming has on the ecosystem… Being informed does not mean you need to sacrifice your own sense of style. Advocating this eco-shift is Sydney based womenswear designer, Rachael Cassar, who creates sustainable high-end forward thinking fashion. Rachael describes her self-titled label as “Semi-couture creations for the creative at heart.” Cassar blends high-end couture, sustainable and recycled materials, and ethical practices to merge a line of unique, beautiful pieces for special occasions. Her eye for detail and her ability to deconstruct, results in one-off garments that are comprised of 90% recycled materials, making her one of the most forward thinking designers of our time. But don’t take my word for it; her garments have been worn by the likes of Christina Ricci,
Rihanna, Kristen Stewart, Ginnifer Goodwin, Kesha and Carrie Underwood. Rachael is determined to change the stigma surrounding the topic and she’s never been shy to admit why she manufactures the way she does. In 2007, Rachael shared her story with Science Alert in an article highlighting the eco-shift in fashion, stating: “The only way that people are going to accept eco-fashion is if they’re not sacrificing anything for it. The trick is to replace cheaply made fashion with equally appealing but sustainable items. Designers no longer have an excuse for not using alternative materials as technology is constantly improving.” Rachael’s passion for sustainable practices was leading the movement more than eight years ago, and today, she’s joined by a growing number of designers who are aware of the impact their garments make. So, the next time you fret about your environmental footprint, first think about the shoe. Whether you start at the top or start at the bottom, start somewhere; considering the entire fashion chain and your role within it, is what makes the difference. Although the shoes that you wear may only leave a light footprint, make sure that footprint is part of an ethical and sustainable trail that you’re proud to be following. Sophie Paterson.
Read up on sustainability in the fashion industry at www.tfia.com.au/sustainability
Undress Runways 8
Edda Hamar is on a mission. As the Director of Undress Runways, Edda supports, celebrates and showcases the unique work of sustainable fashion designers from around the globe. The annual Undress Runways events serve to educate, to inspire and to encourage Australian consumers to value sustainable fashion, and the team behind the scenes is committed to making a difference. “Things need to change.” This is a phrase at the forefront of the company. Undress Runways believe we, as consumers, have the power to set new standards for the fashion industry by examining the practices of our favourite labels. Creating the change is also about involvement, education, and engagement, which is why Undress Runways now hosts annual events in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Showcasing sustainable daywear, eveningwear, swimwear and lingerie from national and international designers, featuring everything from bamboo underwear to red wine and turmeric dyed garments, recycled accessories and organic fabrics. Planting the seed, Undress Runways encourages fashion enthusiasts to think twice about the long-term impacts of the fashion industry, and to consider sustainable fashion choices. By combining the ‘fashionable’ aspect of a runway event with the topic of sustainability, Undress Runways are taking a green step in the right direction. “I think ethical and sustainable fashion still has a very ‘un-cool’ stigma attached to it in certain circles and there is also a general lack of education amongst young people who are starting to shop. We want the tables to turn and the term ‘sustainable fashion’ to disappear; it should just be ‘fashion’ and the other stuff should be ‘sweatshop fashion’ or ‘cheap and nasty fashion’. It is slowly getting better in Australia, but ‘fashion’ generally isn’t recognised as a big contributor to climate change, however it is the second-most polluting industry in the world. Government and industry groups are starting to realise that fashion is fuelled by diminishing resources like cotton, and run-off is polluting our planet, but we are still behind a lot of European countries in making the change.” And although Edda is an advocate for sustainability now, working in fashion wasn’t something she dreamt of as a child. Born in Iceland, Edda grew up travelling the world, moving onto a 48-foot yacht with her family when she was five years old to sail around Rome, Italy, and through the Mediterranean, down the coast of Africa, across the Atlantic, up the East Coast of America, back down the Panama Canal, across the Pacific Ocean and through the Pacific Islands. Ending up in Australia, the Hamar family settled. “We ended up on the Gold Coast. I spent my teens growing up in the Bonogin Valley, on a beautiful big acreage property. I was very active, I did a lot of sport and was well behaved in school, but I was a bit of a chatterbox in class. With all the travelling I did when I was young, I had all sorts of ideas about what I wanted to do when I grew up: doctor,
actress, astronaut, director, princess... I was 12 when I decided I wanted to organise events as a career, the Olympic Games in particular. But I started working in fashion on a whim, when I was at university. I wanted to do something challenging and interesting, so I organised a fashion show with a friend called ‘Frock It!’, showcasing the Queensland University of Technology fashion students. After that, I got together with a couple of friends and launched Undress Brisbane.” When Edda looks back at the launching years, her feelings are balanced between nostalgia and frustration. It’s not easy starting a business in the fashion industry, especially on a whim. Edda’s Masters in Business/Marketing certainly helped, but she put the puzzle pieces together herself, learning about fashion shows on the fly, how they work, what they’re for, fashion jargon, what works and what doesn’t on the runway – it all came naturally, but not easily. “During the first 12 months, I was working a fulltime job, so the hardest factor evolved around time and not having enough of it. It can be extremely stressful working full-time and trying to launch a business. You feel like you’re not performing 100% at anything because your energy and time are so divided, it can be really frustrating.” Now, the sheer size and complexity of the touring Undress Runways events seem so monumental that most event managers would shudder, but Edda assures me that the process is fluid. She refers to herself as ‘unorthodox’, but with years of experience and 10 fashion shows under her belt now, each cog has worked it‘s place behind the scenes. The team operates in an unconventional way, primarily run by volunteers who have normal day jobs, but the results always outweigh the late nights, early mornings and long lists. “I had no fashion background before Undress so everything has been created very intuitively and collaboratively. Undress’ goal is of course to produce amazing shows and to work hard to promote our designers, but I also heavily invest into the internal team experience. It’s important that the experience is fun, interesting and meaningful for the team. Being volunteer-run can often make Undress look like organised chaos from the outside, but it is actually a very smoothly-oiled machine with an excellent sense of humour.” A celebrated success now, Undress Runways remains an organic, personal experience for all involved, and because each location’s event only happens once a year, it doesn’t feel like a usual ‘job’ for Edda. “It doesn’t have the same rhythm and routine like many conventional businesses. It has a really unique feel; it feels more like a family of friends getting together to organise an event that we really believe in - rather than a day job. I am passionate about people living responsibly and businesses existing with a worldly purpose and a healthy bottom line (not just profit). I want to show people that there is a better way to enjoy fashion and that businesses have the power to create positive change in society.” 9
It’s a big goal, but an attainable goal for Edda. Being somewhat of an adrenaline-junkie, the transition from Undress Brisbane to the expansion of Undress Runways – which now sees three shows in three cities in just over three weeks each year – is an immense commitment, but a worthy commitment. She labels the before and after, the ‘pre-runway-superhuman-season’ and the ‘post-runway-sloth-season’, and with the blood, sweat and tears that go into each event, she does sometimes question what’s she’s doing with her life in the stressful moments. But, when the show starts and the crowds are seated, the end result is always worth it. The 2015 Melbourne event is one of Edda’s favourites to date, and the most successful. With a team on the ground locally, the lead up was a lot smoother too. “This year we had a team in Melbourne which was amazing, it makes such a difference having a local team when we’re doing interstate shows. The set design was also new. Ryan, our Art Director, was inspired by the connection between our clothes and climate change. He created a floating set of biospheres to make a connection between fashion and the earth’s delicate ecosystem. We picked locations with lots of space and high ceilings this year so we could have a long runway and go to town on the set.” Although the events only run across three weeks of the year, planning occurs year round for Undress Runways, but every week is different and every day is different. Before the tour, a week in Edda’s shoes would include photo-shoots, planning, logistics, writing for the website, partner meetings, interviews, training interns, writing for The Naked Mag, team meetings and sourcing everything from paper-clips to marquees. “Today, I woke up, had a meeting, edited a short video, wrote a video brief, answered emails, paid invoices, worked on an event proposal… There’s never a dull moment when it comes to sustainable fashion.” Edda is also working on the fourth edition of The Naked Magazine, a publication that promotes Undress Runways and sustainability, offering an insight into the behind-the-scenes action of the fashion industry. The Naked Magazine is informative and it’s all about the impact that fashion has on the environment. Filled with educational pieces on the unethical treatment of fashion workers, The Naked Magazine exposes the blurred lines between designers and production; some of it is confronting, but only through acknowledgement will we ever make the change. The Naked Magazine also shares entertaining and insightful interviews about people making positive changes in the fashion industry through their products and practices, and it features people who are paving the way for sustainable fashion design. With the third edition of The Naked Magazine currently on sale, the fourth edition is in the pipeline for September 2016. 2016 is set to be a big year for Edda, with the January launch of VIHN – the team’s sustainable fashion label, which is deter10
mined to transform the garment industry. The word VIHN is derived from the Icelandic word meaning ‘friend’, reminding consumers that there are actually real people behind our clothes. Sales from VIHN will also make a difference: buy a VIHN dress, and you provide child-care to the workers. Buy a VIHN jacket, and you add solar panels to the workspace. Buy a VIHN shirt and you fund education programs for the workers. VIHN wants to create opportunities for mainstream garment workers to move into ethical workplaces, and transform their lives – an inspirational ethos and monumental goal. With the shows, the magazine and the label churning year round, one would assume that the spare time of such a busy woman would be spent relaxing, but not for Edda. “I visit my family a lot in the Bonogin Valley; my sister just finished high-school, my other sister just started high-school, and I have twin siblings who are 11. I’m also getting back into running the Kangaroo Point stairs with my housemates (ouch!) and I’m spending a bit of time on a new event to launch next year.” When you’re working on something you love, it’s not work, and this saying is true for Edda. Her vision and passion remain focused on educating the consumer and changing the lives of people in the fashion industry, from developing countries, factories and workspaces, to the general public and of course, the front row of Australian runways. Claire Goldsworthy + Sophie Paterson.
www.undressrunways.com www.thenakedmag.com www.vihn.com.au
Edda with Holly, Ryan and Kirsten, part of the production team.
Edda’s team, “A very smoothly-oiled machine with an excellent sense of humour.”
Edda with Richard Brandon. Edda wears sustainable fashion label, Harriette Hill, for the promotion of the #BOWTIEFORBRANSON campaign.
Edda opens every show, proud to be promoting such a worthy cause. 11
What do you do? I am the founder of Paint Nail Lacquer, an emerging vegan and cruelty free brand in the beauty scene. You have a background in design. What was the turning point that started your Paint Nail Lacquer journey? I have a trained eye to see colours that translate from the interior to the fashion and beauty world and I’ve always loved nail polish. I found myself looking for specific shades to match colours that were on trend, and when I struggled to find a colour to match this vision, I would look to the Dulux Paint Fandeck. I started to research how I could develop my own label to create the colours there were missing in the market, and Paint Nail Lacquer was born. How important is being vegan and cruelty free to you? Very important! I think there’s a growing awareness in society for ethical choices and standards, and a lot of people share the belief that animal cruelty is unacceptable in any form. I wanted to release a label that I’m proud of and that I can comfortably stand behind. The ‘Five Free Formula’ was also a strong drive behind my label, because it’s completely void of five known toxic ingredients. How are your polishes made? My nail polishes are manufactured in Australia complying with the ‘Five Free Formula’, void of formaldehyde, DBP (dibutyl phthalate), toluene, formaldehyde resin and camphor. My inspiration behind the branding was to create a minimal and clean yet classic look with a strong design emphasis, to support the ethos behind the brand. What inspires your colour ranges? I am inspired by colours that are on trend. Through interior design, I’m able to gain additional perspective outside of the beauty and fashion world. How do you choose your colour names? I specifically choose two-word names that describe the colour while having a little fun. I want people to be able to visualise what the colour might look like without actually seeing it. If you could collaborate with anyone in the world, who would it be? Collaborations are definitively important to Paint Nail Lacquer and my future vision. I would like to collaborate with like minded people who have a similar approach to ethical products that are locally made but also fashion forward. Describe the Paint Nail Lacquer customer? The Paint Nail Lacquer customer has an eye for design and fashion. They’re up to date with the latest beauty products, they’re unique and individual, and they stay true to themselves by supporting locally-made, ethical labels. What does the future of Paint Nail Lacquer look like? Each season, Paint Nail Lacquer will release new colours to keep up with the ever-changing trends, and it is soon to be available in boutique stores and beauty salons around Australia. What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs on starting their own business? If you have an idea, just start somewhere rather than sitting on it. Speak to as many like-minded people in the industry to gain as much knowledge as possible and utilize the varying forms of social media. Amanda Cunningham. 12
Paint Nail Lacquer’s high shine polish follows the ‘Five Free Formula’, completely void of five known toxic ingredients: formaldehyde, DBP (dibutyl phthalate), toluene, formaldehyde resin and camphor. Paint Nail Lacquer contains only the highest quality ingredients, is Vegan Society and CCF (Choose Cruelty Free) accredited, and is Australian made. www.paintnaillacquer.com.au
Pictured Limed White Cloud Mist Storm Grey Coconut Cream Powder Pink Pale Glacier Wet Cement Coral Sunset
yeah baby, yeah Repurposing, reusing and recycling is the key when it comes to sustainable fashion, and the vintage era is something I hold in high esteem. The world’s most coveted labels have always looked to the past for inspiration, and fashion icons, bloggers and celebrities are constantly snapped wearing authentic vintage and vintage-inspired pieces. In particular, the sixties and seventies were some of fashion’s finest years, but with the capitalisation on vintage and antique wears, the supply of quality, used vintage clothing has dried up. Solving the conundrum, Nine Lives Bazaar answers this directtive with truly vintage-influenced pieces, creating items that loudly reference the joyful vibe of the seventies. Rose Maria Sadleir is one-half of the Australian label Nine Lives Bazaar, which she Co-Founded with Vanessa Satchwell in 2012 after noticing the dwindling supply of good vintage pieces in op-shops around their local area. “Up until about five years ago, there used to be so much gold lurking in the racks of your nearest Salvos. They say that the best business ideas occur when you find a unique solution to a problem, which for us,
was that there wasn’t enough vintage gold to go around.” The latest Nine Lives Bazaar collection, This Golden Romance, features prints that almost seem directly out of a seventies photo album. “It’s very much a nod to the 1970s, but this time, everything fits a little better.” Rose’s inspiration comes from vintage and bespoke items that remain unique in a market with growing uniformity. “Mass produced fashion is a sad reality. Why would anyone want to dress the same anyway? Timeless fashion is what floats our boat. We called it Nine Lives Bazaar because that’s exactly what we want our products to have; more than one life.” There’s a real emphasis on well-made pieces that are durable in both physical wear and the passing trends too. “Quality vintage stands the test of time and that’s exactly how we approach our new collections.” And it’s true – while The Golden Romance distinctly addresses 15
the seventies genre, there is no way Nine Lives Bazaar could be pinned down in one of the many trends that have come and gone in the past five years, a trademark of cool style. Rose values the importance of garments that aren’t saturated across the market, and it is important for Nine Lives Bazaar consumers to know where their purchases are coming from. Rose also loves the wonderful idea of the heirloom – a timeless, well-made garment that can be passed through the family as a truly special piece. But it hasn’t all been a dreamland for the brand and its business duo. Both Vanessa and Rose began with no experience in the industry, and often felt like they were stumbling through the dark. “Our lack of experience was our biggest hardship. In the beginning it was a lot of trial and error. We had to ask a lot of questions and rely on the help of whatever contacts we had on hand. It’s also difficult investing all this time and just patiently waiting for lift off.” For Rose and Vanessa, the first 12 months of their business were definitely the hardest, but the pair are grateful for their extended circle of friends and family, who have been and remain their greatest supporters to date. Through friends and family connections, they networked their way to more contacts. Tapping into this extended circle for their Nine Lives Bazaar marketing, Rose and Vanessa created what they call their ‘commune’, a name for their online supporters and customers who help Nine Lives Bazaar move from strength to strength. When it’s not all business facts and figures, Rose and Vanessa love the ocean, and try to spend as much time as possible in close proximity to it. Surfing, camping and long weekend getaways are how the girls unwind, alongside the occasional op-shop fossick. It’s with their aforementioned commune though, that the girls feel most at home. “We have a really special group of friends. Summer barbeques, late-night dance floor sessions and crazy dress-up parties are usually on the agenda.” Rose herself seems to have been born with a love for the outdoors and for creating her own fun, travelling much in her younger years, from the remote Northern Territory to a boarding school in Brisbane. With her feet on the ground now, Rose wants to look to the future. “We would love to open our own shopfront, but realistically that might not be for another year or so. We’ll instead focus on our community for the time being; welcoming and connecting with new customers on a personal level is what we love. If you’re a fan of bygone eras, then Nine Lives Bazaar is going to be a brand you are naturally drawn to. We are all about expressing our personality through the way that we dress.” Aside from the true affordability of their items (the most expensive garment being a vibrant and wonderful jumpsuit for 16
$99), the latest collection is small and intimate, creating a real sense of specialness around the pieces. With only a limited run collection produced, each piece is something really special, heartfelt, and rare. The prints are what get me the most though; both unique and instantly recognisable, they lift every outfit to a new level and salute to one of the most influential fashion eras of our time. Ella Kate Thrupp.
Rose in an original Nine Lives Bazaar ensemble.
Vanessa and Rose happily managing their market stall.
Vanessa and Rose share a business and a close bond.
SIXTIES SIREN Nine Lives Bazaar muse, Christina Macpherson, wearing the Lover Jumpsuit.
The Dress Collective is the only e-boutique that sells 100% Australian made fashion and accessories. We're transparent about the garment lifecycle, which is why each designer's story is attached to every single garment we sell. Where, how and why each garment is made is important information, and we want to share it with you. Our ethos is simple: to create a liberal and dynamic future for Australian fashion. By promoting ‘slow fashion’, Australian made fashion, and ethically and 20
sustainably created fashion, we’re ensuring a future for our own industries. We want to create a market that our Australian fashion designers can thrive in, instead of struggle in. The Dress Collective's range of fashion designers and independent labels embody the Australian fashion identity, an identity that is innovative and unique. We believe in quality over quantity, so all of our designers ethically and sustainably produce their collections locally in Australia. 67.5 million
tonnes of clothing is made and released into the world every single year, and Australiaâ€™s contribution to the worldâ€™s 'fast fashion' problem is sending over $500 million dollars of fashion clothing to the tip annually. To combat this environmental issue, The Dress Collective promotes 'slow fashion', so you can shop online with a clear conscience knowing that you're making a difference. Most of our Australian fashion labels produce small run collections or 'make to order',
which means they are actively reducing production waste and fashion pollution. Shop online from our range of local, emerging and established womenswear and menswear, 24/7 with free shipping.
“Nature is far more clever than man will ever be.” - Vincent de Lorenzo
The colour wheel. It’s something we all learnt about in school, but like algebra, long division and the year Captain Cook landed in Australia, it’s something most of us wouldn’t be able to regurgitate now. Craig Hislop knows the colour wheel like the back of his hand, and so he should – he is a De Lorenzo Colour Technician and one of the best in Melbourne. I’m usually fairly cautious with a new stylist; handing over your entire head of hair to a complete stranger is a big deal, and I’ve had far too many ‘Woops, too short!’ or ‘Woops, it’s green!’ moments with the wrong stylists to take the whole hair ordeal lightly. But with every snip of Craig’s scissors and every stroke of his colour brush, I felt completely at ease and in very safe hands.
Finding the right stylist is like finding the last Carla Zampatti dress in your size at the annual warehouse sale. It’s something that you could probably live without, but it is something worth investing in and hanging on to. This is how I feel about Craig. Over the last few months, I’ve learnt more about my hair than I’ve learnt over a decade from the hundreds of stylists I’ve seen before, and I’ve been introduced to brand that I wish I’d been using my whole life. De Lorenzo was established in 1986 by brothers Vincent and Anton de Lorenzo, but the pair were dominating the industry long before; during the 50s and 60s they styled, cut and coloured the city’s A-list and elite from their prestigious salon in the Trust Building in Sydney. It was here that Australia’s first ‘salon only’ concept for a hair care range was born, and it was here that the brothers built the foundations for a company that 23
would change the entire industry two decades later. As Melbourne’s De Lorenzo Color Technician, Craig couldn’t be any fonder of the company. When he speaks about the history, the collective passion and the grounded philosophies of De Lorenzo, Craig genuinely knows the business inside and out. “The company has come such a long way since the original Vincent and Anton de Lorenzo days. We’ve got salons and training schools all over the country, and we’re constantly developing our product ranges to ensure we’re environmentally responsible. All of our products are made in Australia and use plant-based ingredients, which dramatically minimalizes our chemical footprint. I love working with products that are not only amazing on the hair, but also better for the environment – we’re CFF listed, we use certified organic ingredients that are sustainably farmed, we don’t test on animals, we’re vegan-friendly, we don’t use lanoline, keratin, beeswax or silk proteins, there are absolutely no petro-chemicals, and, we’re 100% Australian made and owned.”
Craig spends most of his time teaching this inspiring De Lorenzo story to his students and salons alike, because it is important to him that the industry’s future is in educated hands. “The De Lorenzo program offers salons and apprentices a comprehensive technical education syllabus that delivers tangible salon service skills and knowledge. Mixing the right colours, using the right products and understanding their impacts are every bit as important as cutting the right length, yet many salons and companies don’t emphasize it enough. It’s also essential to educate our clients about De Lorenzo’s story and why it’s so important to be aware of the way in which hair care products impact the environment. Education is key.” If you’re considering a cut or colour, consider De Lorenzo, and swish that new ‘do around knowing it’s a sustainably-styled one.
Craig laughs through the long list of green ticks that De Lorenzo is proud of, partly because it’s funny that he knows them all back to front, but mostly because of my dropped-jaw expression. I’ve never known a hair care company to be so conscious, and Craig says there’s no compromising on the ethos either. “Being respectful of our environmental footprint is always something that we have regarded as the minimum standard. De Lorenzo is the messiah when it comes to responsible hair care.”
It is this aspect that charms me the most; thousands of salons around Australia wash hundreds of thousands of heads daily, rinsing toxic chemicals down the drain, but De Lorenzo isn’t one of them. They’re also mindful of waste, so every single De Lorenzo salon and training center now uses Re-Foil, Australia's first recycled and recyclable salon foil. The Re-Foil initiative saves 1.7 tonnes of aluminium from ending up in landfill each year, which is a great start considering that the collective global hair industry uses over 1000 tonnes of aluminium annually.
“Being respectful of our environmental footprint is always something that we have regarded as the minimum standard.”
Embracing their environmental side isn’t a recent fad phase for De Lorenzo though; they were the first to manufacture a non-aerosol hairspray pump in the 80s when CFC’s became an ecological concern. They’ve maintained a strong focus on sustainability since, and now, most of the De Lorenzo ranges are grey-water safe, paraben free and SLS free. The company headquarters also use an innovative digital scanning system to eliminate the need for paper use, and each cardboard shipping carton is used a minimum of four times before being recycled. Rainwater is also harvested from their own rainwater tanks for use during the manufacturing and cooling phase of the compounding process, and solar panels have been installed to generate renewable energy through the manufacturing plant. If an award existed for the most environmentally conscious 24
and ethically grounded company from conception through to creation, we all know who would take out the title.
editor’spick Emily Green is a Melbourne based designer whose name has become synonymous with vibrant colour, and her hand-formed polymer clay necklaces have fast become a staple for the Melbourne style conscious. More than four years since their conception, Emily’s original range of colourful 9 bead necklaces are still a coveted design. Emily is well known for her use of unusual and unexpected colour combinations in palettes that suit all tastes. The Emily Green collection has grown to incorporate a wide range of more intricately detailed and patterned necklaces as well as earrings, watercolour prints, cushions and the ‘Up Up’ range of lighting created in collaboration with Melbourne designer, Dale Hardiman. In addition to her growing range of retail products, Emily also regularly exhibits artworks and holds creative workshops on colour and design. She currently shares a creative studio space in Melbourne’s hip suburb of Brunswick, where each of her pieces is designed and handmade by herself and her team. Shop the full range at www.emilygreen.net.
The world of fashion is always changing, there’s no doubt about that. New designers emerge with their own ideas to change or contribute to the industry, and there is always something exciting for fashion lovers to look forward to. Uniqueness triumphs in the industry too – and recent Queensland University of Technology Fashion Graduate, Bonnie Graham, is a testament to this. Bonnie makes a vivid statement with her own label, Sweet Innocence, which can be described as fun, flirty, feminine, and definitely quirky-chic.
After high school, Bonnie wrestled with two tantalizing options: to study patisserie or fashion. Moving from the far North Coast of New South Wales, Bonnie chose the later and moved to Brisbane in 2013 to study a Bachelor of Fine Arts at QUT. The decision to pursue her passion for fashion has only bought joy ever since, and Bonnie has loved every moment of it, no matter how crazy. Bonnie has also found a way to blend her love for sweets with fashion, and the culmination of Sweet Innocence is tempting in every sense; it conjures a childish yet timeless feeling, a sense of fun and frivolity balanced with a classic vintage sensibility. What started as a university project has proved to be a success for Bonnie, and the public can’t get enough of her candy-inspired pieces. “Sweet Innocence was birthed out of a necessity, for my graduate collection, but the concept encompasses me wholly as a person. The first time I ever sold an item was after a girl stopped me at the bus stop to ask where she could buy the chocolate freckle earrings I was wearing. I told her about Sweet Innocence and had made my first sale by that night! This is when I started to think that maybe my brand had a wider appeal than just the depths of my candy-laden imagination.” But it hasn’t been all sprinkles and soda pops for Bonnie the whole time. As an emerging practitioner starting a fashion business, general day-to-day things can be a struggle, and Bonnie faced many obstacles in the launching phase. “Sourcing the right raw materials, finding stockists and all of the nitty-gritty decisions that one must make to form a cohesive brand as a whole – that’s difficult. Sometimes you really must stand by your brand and what it represents, because not all of 28
your mentors or network will ever completely understand where you have come from or where you are going with it. You need to be your most supportive spokesperson.” It’s also important for Bonnie to advocate for sustainable and ethical fashion, as it’s a widespread issue in the industry. Bonnie is ‘over’ the cheap, mass-manufactured fashion that arrives from overseas, and she doesn’t see the appeal in every single store having the exact same item in five different colours. “It drives me crazy! There is a little spark in fashion that is seeing people desire something unique, something they can love and cherish and own for a lifetime. Forget fast fashion, slow fashion is where it’s at! Society has become so incredibly wasteful, and the fashion industry is among the worst. I don’t believe any industry should exist at the expense of the environment or to other human beings, so Sweet Innocence items are lovingly hand made, and made to last. The industry is definitely improving (albeit very slowly) but there’s certainly increased consumer awareness about sustainability within the fashion industry and related issues. At Sweet Innocence, we manufacture locally and we ethically source all materials on our ingredients list. There’s no use-by date on these delectable candy gems, and each piece crafted to last a lifetime.” Factoring a long-term outlook into her brand is key for Bonnie, and it’s one of the many things she considers on a weekly basis. As a budding fashion designer, a week at university for Bonnie would begin and end with study or assessments. Working on her debut collection was an incredible experience for Bonnie, and she devoted an immense effort to each stage of the process, from the designs, to the organisation of the graduation fashion show. Bonnie is glad to finally see her countless late nights come to fruition with a completed collection and as much as it was incredibly exhausting and stressful in the moment, Bonnie would absolutely do it all over again for the outcome. Now that she has graduated, Bonnie has time to focus solely on the growth of Sweet Innocence and her favourite past times. When she’s not living, loving and breathing fashion, she makes time to dabble in her other passion – baking. “I have to admit I’m a bit of a procrasti-baker! I’ll bake anything with way too
Photographer: Rhi Higgo Model: Ashley Capri MUA: Lisa Clout Hair: Shannon Liukuey
much butter and sugar in it! I’m a massive sweet tooth; I love doing high-teas with my friends and visiting dessert bars. Another passion of mine is cake decorating! I admire the fragility of a cake; it can be so beautifully decorated with royal icing piping and fondant, but hours upon hours of work is demolished in such a short time!” Bonnie is also a self-confessed Downtown Abbey fan, mainly for the costumes, and she’s intrigued by the endless options of on-set fashion. “You can go crazy with costumes, they’re not restricted by trends or commerciality. I’ve also been interning at the Brisbane Arts Theatre in the costume department and I think this has influenced my work quite a lot.” Like many new business entrepreneurs, Bonnie works hard to stay as organised as possible, but admits that it’s not always so easy. As a designer, she gets carried away in the details of the design and can sometimes get a little frustrated when it doesn’t come together the way she’d like. “I think I generally get overly excited at the beginning and the end of the process – and somewhere in the middle I’m having a breakdown wanting to light a match to all of my design work! Over the last year, I’ve really learnt how important it is to just push through the middle stage, because often something amazing will come out of that one piece that you absolutely hate.” Getting through the design phase, finding the right networks for industry support and being able to sell her label and herself continue to be obstacles she faces in building her brand, but they are obstacles that Bonnie is determined to overcome. It’s something she encourages other emerging fashion designers to do too, because taking it one step at a time is the only way to move forward. “I am really looking forward to focusing all of my time on Sweet Innocence now I’ve graduated. I’m hoping to increase my customer base and online presence, and I’ll soon have some brand new pieces to add to our online store! It’s a slow process, but I’m happy to see what happens.” With such a distinctive label and such a grounded attitude, we’ve got no doubts for Bonnie’s future. Sweet Innocence is completely unique. It‘s for the fun and quirky individual who loves to make a statement, it’s very feminine and flirtatious and all items are made to last. With a focus on quality materials and a quality end product, Sweet Innocence steers away from being trend-based, and instead releases pieces that are made to last, and to be cherished. “Sweet Innocence is the result of a freak cake factory accident. In a world where Willy Wonka meets Marie Antoinette, fashion becomes a feast not only for the eyes, but for the stomach also.” Carmela Morales.
Designer: Elizabeth Hutchinson Photographer: Bianca Lamont HMUA: Elizabeth Hutchinson Model: Sarah Hutchinson
lois hazel “Good things take time and that is ok.” Lois Fraser will alter the way you view fashion and jewellery. The aesthetic of her self-titled label, Lois Hazel, is simple – minimalistic shapes with subtle details and a natural, relaxed finish. The delicacy in Lois Hazel’s designs flow freely into other aspects of the independent label too; each garment is sold with transparent pricing and candid manufacturing information. It’s not something commonly seen in the fashion world, but Lois’ honesty is refreshing. The basics of her business practices are a testament to Lois’s character; she is down to earth and endearing, her beautiful designs and gentle words embody an aspiration for the industry that very few posses. “I’ve lived an extremely privileged life. My family, my education and my friends have given me so
much that the least I could do is find a way to give back. I feel it is my responsibility as a designer to make sure that I am creating a sustainable and ethical industry that doesn’t have a negative social or environmental impact. To sum it up simply, I just want to make everyone happy through my clothes.” Her humbled attitude is a result of the worldly experiences she was exposed to growing up, and the art of exploration has always been ingrained in Lois’ lifestyle. Born in Scotland and growing up in Hong Kong, her eyes were opened from a young age. “Growing up in Hong Kong was a wonderful experience, it allowed me to live amongst a wealth of different cultures and meet so many incredible people from all corners of the globe. Travel was a huge part of my life and I am truly thankful to my 35
parents for giving me this great experience. We always were and still are a tight knit family and to this day, I still look up to my big brother and his wonderful wife for advice, guidance and support in running Lois Hazel. I am very lucky that the both of them work in the industry and they’re a great pair of extra eyes, and despite the head butting and sibling arguments, they always help me out! The same goes for my parents; they have always supported me in whatever I do, with the late night university pick-ups, the talks and the coaching when I wanted to give up, and the endless support and guidance in everything that I do. I couldn’t have done any of this without them.” As grounded as Lois seems now, she hasn’t always been so certain about a long term career in fashion. When she finished university, Lois still wasn’t sold on a design career, so she set out to gather insight into the industry. She interned at Marchesa in New York, Iris Van Herpen and By Borre in Amsterdam, and she collaborated on a project with weaving artist Marianne Kemp. Lois was also lucky enough to win the Textile Institute National Student Design and Technology Award, which sent her to Paris to study Haute Couture for a month at the Paris American Academy in July of 2013. These experiences planted the seed and cemented her desire to return to Melbourne and launch her own label, Lois Hazel. Alternating with her day job at The Fabric Store, Lois now works from her Fitzroy studio during the week, and the setting is inspiring: the walls are covered with swatches of fabric and collages of inspirational images, huge pattern making tables span the length of the room, and sewing machines sit by big glass windows with their familiar tinkling. Lois shares this space with fellow designers, artists and creatives, and the whole atmosphere is simultaneously serene and intense. When it comes to creating, Lois works best with fabric already selected in her mind, then sketches her designs in any one of her three multi-tasked sketchbooks, always analysing and highly critical of her own work. She manipulates her patterns and drapes out ideas, all of which revolve around an underlying concept: fraying fabrics and linear lines around the body. Piece after piece, Lois reinvents and reinterprets different ways that lines can be used around the figure, and how an element of fraying within a garment can enhance the look. Lois’ work is effortless, yet complex and detailed, and she always strives for perfection. “I always have something that can be done at the studio, from finishing up a collection, starting a new one, experimenting with new ideas, making jewellery and making sure the label is running as smoothly as possible with just me at the wheel. I try and take at least one day off a week but I am getting very bad at doing that, as I always seem to end up here chipping away at something.” What seems like organised chaos now, was more chaos in the beginning though; Lois faced a number of challenges that 36
tested her constantly. “Building up brand awareness and budgeting between finances, the collection and appropriate marketing is tough, but one of the hardest things for me was building up my confidence as a designer. It’s extremely intimidating putting yourself out there and not getting the results you’re after straight away. I have learnt that good things take time, and that is ok.” The need for acceptance is something we all face from time to time, but with the achievements Lois has under her belt, it’s hard to believe she still faces insecurities. She’s been published in Peppermint Magazine, and featured on the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival program, and Lois has also released an exclusive range of necklaces for local Melbourne label, The Ark. At only her second collection, she has already achieved more than most labels do in their first decade. Lois’ focus on sustainability is another triumph too, and wokring out ways to integrate it into her business is constantly on her mind. It’s a topic that she’s both excited to discuss, but frustrated with at the same time. “One of the main things is that people aren’t educated enough on the issues and I don’t think they comprehend what is actually going on. It’s great to see that more and more people are becoming aware, however I feel it’s just focused on sweatshops, and not the effect fashion is having on landfill or where cotton is sourced from and what chemicals are used. A lot of consumers don’t know what exactly goes into producing a garment; they’re unaware of what costs are involved, who is involved and how designers need to actually make money. I also feel there is a huge part played by the economy and people’s fear of spending too much for something and wanting to get as much as they can for their dollar. So when they are faced with a decision to buy an ethically made t-shirt that is supporting a small design company that costs $30, over a top made in a sweatshop for $8, the majority of people will go for the $8. It’s unfortunate.” For now, Lois is focussed on doing her part and ensuring a better fashion future for those involved with or supporting her own brand. Lois’ latest collection, ‘Linear’, is inspired by a top that Lois made a few years back, which took nearly two weeks to create using a hand-smocked technique. Amidst amass of softness and linens, delicate fringing and embroidered fabrics, the top that inspired the entire collection is a reminder of the time it takes to design, to make and to build a brand, and it’s a fashion fact that we should all be aware of. Elizabeth Gao.
Photographer: Morgan Macleod Stylist: Christina Ammazzalorso MUA: Makeup By Lucy Model: Kyla Nichole
Opposite Top: Oroceo Castro Pants: Finders Keepers Above + Right Dress: Serra
Above Top: Serra Skirt: Oroceo Castro Right Corset: Serra Skirt: Oroceo Castro Opposite Top: Oroceo Castro Skirt: Serra
emmagaffy One Girl and The Sea
Emma Gaffy and I have been drifting in the same fashion circles for years. We’ve crossed paths several times, but the busy fashion game got away from us, and in between travel, our own blogs and Emma’s demanding styling schedule, it took years to coordinate a coffee. My first memory of Emma was at Undress Brisbane in 2013, backstage at the dress rehearsal just hours before the show. Dozens of doe-eyed models and frazzled assistants were scrambling in circles, weaving in between racks upon racks of clothes, and, as with any fashion show with mere minutes to go, it was a whole mess of mayhem. Yet, in the midst of it all, Emma stood calm, directing her models one by one with an easy-going and in-control attitude. I was completely mesmerised by her. Bleached blonde hair, scarlet red lipstick, head to toe in effortless black; she had this confident-cool thing going on that intimidated me and intrigued me at the same time. She knew exactly what she was doing, numbering models, organising outfits, directing who to do what, how to wear what and which way to walk, and it was in that moment that I knew I wanted to get to know Emma. Emma is glamorous, but not in a high-maintenance way, a natural way. For someone who has recently turned 30 and shudders to say it, she seems much younger, and looks it too. Her bleached blonde hair sits in an edgy chop, sweeping her stunning porcelain skin and shaping her striking bright hazel eyes. Emma is gorgeous. She’s pieced together her own sense of style from years on the job as a professional stylist, working for multiple publications and runway events, and before fashion blogging and creative styling became the in-thing, Emma was already onto it, offering her styling services on behalf of her own business and blog, No Name Style. Emma had it all worked out a decade earlier; her love of fashion was quoted in her high-school yearbook as, ‘In 10 years, I’ll be a fashion-designing psycho-analysing journalist.’ With exemplary English results and a passion for all things fashion, she was bright eyed and bushy tailed with endless options when she graduated high school, but Emma’s world was turned upside down on Christmas Eve in 2003. “I was at work. My right arm started to feel numb, and I felt sick. I opened my mouth to say something and nothing came out. I collapsed and passed out, and woke up two weeks later.” Emma had suffered a severe brain haemorrhage causing a stroke, and she was left with permanent paralysis down the right side of her body. “It was horrible, but I didn’t want to accept it. I think I went into ‘self-protection’ mode. I was told I might not walk again, that I’d never use my right arm again, and that heels were definitely out of the question, but I refused to believe what the doctors told me. If I had actually stopped to comprehend the situation, I don’t think I would have come out of it. My dad bought me an amazing pair of gold Nine West heels in the first few weeks to help keep me going, but I knew
I’d never wear them.” Emma spent the next six months in hospital, learning to talk, walk, eat, write and dress herself again. She had five surgeries in the first year, and the second was nearly fatal. “I needed a second operation to relieve pressure from my brain after a bit of medical negligence in the first surgery. It got infected, which led to my third surgery. The bruising and swelling was really, really bad. I refused to let anyone take photos or videos of me, because I didn’t want it recorded. I didn’t want that to be me.” Normal day-to-day activities were exhausting, and the rehabilitation and doctor-visit cycle was less than enjoyable. It took nearly eight months for Emma to talk properly again, and the process was tormenting. “The nurses would talk to me like a child. I knew what I wanted or what I wanted to say, but nothing would come out. ‘Frustrated’ doesn't even begin to describe how I felt.” The ability to dress herself was compromised too, but the ordeal developed her love of the finer details, and with only the strength of her left arm to rely on, she began bringing herself back to life, styling her hair, make-up and nails to make up for the less-than-glamourous blue hospital gown she was forced to wear as a patient. Converse shoes replaced high heels, and jeans replaced dresses, to cover the permanent leg-brace Emma now wears to walk. Her handbag became amassed with medications, and 000 was added to her speed-dial list. When most 19 year olds were studying for their careers, or out exploring nightclubs and mixing their drinks, Emma was exploring new hospitals, meeting doctors, trying to find an anti-seizure drug that worked and learning how to live with her new body. With the onset of epilepsy, chronic fatigue, a weak immune system and the constant fear of another haemorrhage, Emma had officially acquired a disability, but now, she doesn’t identify as disabled. ‘Impossible’ is a word that usually accompanies ‘disability,' but neither are words that Emma acknowledges or chooses to use. Instead of allowing the haemorrhage to end her life, Emma grew to embrace it, and after 11 years learning to live with it, she now uses her own experiences to empower others. She’s somewhat of a super hero; she can’t fly, but she’s one hell of a writer, and through this talent she now shares her own story and the stories of others to increase awareness, to offer support and speak out about the difficulties and possibilities of living with a disability. As an advocate for the latter, Emma’s drive to overcome obstacles has seen her travel the world, reach new heights, and set new records for herself. In 2005, Emma helped raise almost $30,000 for the National Stroke Foundation, which lead to her trekking through the Langtang region of Nepal for six days, with only a walking stick and two Sherpa’s to hold her bags. The following year, Emma volun43
-teered at a poverty-stricken orphanage in Kathmandu over winter, and while it dropped below zero degrees outside, only cardboard covered the windows. For three months, Emma slept in five layers of clothing, looking after 23 children, walking them to school, reading to them and caring for them every day. And, in 2010, Emma was also nominated for the Pride of Australia Award. There are very few women who can say they’ve ticked off so much on their bucket list by 30, but Emma is one of them. Now with two degrees and a diploma under her belt and happily living in Melbourne, Emma runs her own blog, One Girl and The Sea, which publishes the triumphs and achievements of women, all of whom live with a disability. Alongside her inspirational blog, Emma is also a freelance copywriter, she dabbles in modeling, she’s often honoured as a guest speaker at events, and she’s recently stepped into her newest role as DJ Frankie Rabbit, debuting on New Years Eve at RMYS in St Kilda, as possibly the world’s first one-handed, female DJ. But, of all her favourite past times, One Girl and The Sea is what Emma is most passionate about. “People with a disability are not represented in the fashion industry, they’re just pushed aside. It made international news when a girl with a disability recently walked at New York Fashion Week, but it shouldn’t be a spectacle, it should be ‘normal’. Both the fashion industry and the media industry need regulation. Unfortunately having a disability is attached to an ‘un-sexy’ stigma, and women with disability aren’t acknowledged, yet one in four women identify as having a disability. My blog is a statement about the prevalence of disability and the need for acceptance. Think about the TV series, ‘Will and Grace’; the producers use comedy to ‘normalise’ gay culture and do a fantastic job of it. It’s mainstream to have a gay character in every show and that’s a great thing, but can you name more than one show that features a character with a disability? We need to normalise disability, not make it ‘foreign’ or ‘scary’, and remove the stigmas attached to it - especially for younger audiences.” It’s this drive for acknowledgement and acceptance that underpins the content on Emma’s blog, as well as her own experiences. When Emma was first dealing with her new body, she didn’t have anyone to look up to, to talk openly with, to ask questions, or to identify with, and that was one of the most difficult emotional aspects. “If you don’t have someone to identify with, you feel isolated. I didn’t have anyone that was experiencing the same things as me, to look to for support, only doctors, specialists and nurses, but they had no idea what I was going through.” By featuring a range of women on her blog and sharing personal stories, Emma is offering the support she didn’t have. “One Girl and The Sea celebrates women from all walks of life, but its main drive is embracing diversity and seeing past 44
disability. I want to celebrate each woman’s journey. Most of the online content out there is dull, medically driven research, but when you’re looking for answers and support, people want something visually appealing and engaging. My blog is equality-focused, inspirational and real, it’s about real women living real lives, and there’s also a fashion element of course. When you’re dressing with an acquired disability, your whole wardrobe changes; you have a massive style-revamp when something unexpected happens to your body. One Girl and The Sea is just about interpreting trends in a different way for women who don’t fit the ‘magazine-cover mould’, which in reality, is the majority of us anyway.” One in six Australians will suffer a stroke in their lifetime, often with devastating outcomes such as death or permanent disability. Almost 20,000 stroke sufferers are denied access to the full benefits of a stroke care unit each year, and 44% of these patients are discharged without a care plan. Join Emma on her journey for change and write to the Health Minister, Sussan Ley, through the National Stroke Foundation website to voice your health care system concerns, or visit One Girl and The Sea at www.onegirlandthesea.com for more information. Claire Goldsworthy.
Images Jasmin Cairns Rathbone Studios 45
the juliet report Juliet Sulejmani is the creative force behind The Juliet Report. After studying fashion design, Juliet worked at Cambridge Clothing as a Design Assistant before turning her focus to illustration. Juliet has been involved in many projects and collaborations with many individuals and brands; one of her favourites so far was working with publishing house Pan Macmillan, illustrating for Jessica Sepel’s book, ‘The Healthy Life’. Juliet draws inspiration from her everyday-life in Melbourne, as well as the world of fashion and pop culture. Her illustrations are created by hand and rendered using Copic Markers or watercolour, and sometimes digitally drawn with illustrator. Follow Juliet’s illustrated journey at www.thejulietreport.com. 47
cameron + james 48
Born and raised in the South East suburbs of Melbourne, designer Cameron Dixon grew up with the best of both worlds; living close enough to the heart of the CBD and just on the edge of the Dandenong Mountains. Seeking inspiration from the disparity of contemporary urban city life and the peaceful calm of nature, Cameron’s design aesthetic has been strongly influenced by this environmental contrast. It was the juxtaposition in his surrounds that led to the creation of Cameron & James, his Melbourne-based, ethically produced label, which focuses on sustainability. Growing up, Cameron had aspirations of becoming a vet, however as he moved into his teenage years, he discovered his true passion. His love of fashion was found in an organic way; learning to sew from his grandmother, he was mesmerized by her ability to make something beautiful from scratch, and, armed with basic home-sewing skills, Cameron then taught himself to draw. “I started with life drawings, focusing on folds of fabric, their texture, cut and quality. I started to draw and design clothing when I was about 15, and from then on, I knew I wanted to work in fashion.” After finishing school, Cameron studied a Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Technology at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) to further his career in fashion. “I wanted a well rounded approach to fashion, and I wanted the necessary skills that would allow my label to be balanced, not only as a fashion product, but also a lifestyle and business. It’s important to have a strong technical base, but it’s just as important to continuously compliment your theoretical knowledge with real world skills. Balance has always been important to me and it shows in my designs. I firmly believe that the duality between menswear and womenswear is often unnecessarily emphasized, and in most cases only small variations are needed to switch one to the other. A large focus of my label is to encompass both genders and their opposing forces; masculine and feminine, natural and manmade, dark and light.” But whilst it sounds like Cameron has it all figured out now, it hasn’t always been so easy. Towards the end of his studies, Cameron became disillusioned with the fashion industry, struggling to find like-minded people who shared his aspirations and environmental concerns. Almost giving up on fashion, he moved away from Melbourne to live and work on Phillip Island at a small café, slowing down his lifestyle and separating himself from the sometimes over-bearing fashion scene of Melbourne. “I remember having a conversation with an old friend where we talked and talked about everything that was wrong with the fashion industry. It was then that I decided that I had to be the one to change it, so I started to put things into action and moved back into the city. The concepts and philosophies of Cameron & James began to come together, but I realised that to properly start my own label, I would need a strong business base, so I started my Certificate IV in Business
at Swinburne University.” Cameron & James then officially launched in September, 2012, debuting a small range at a local Art and Craft Market, which was met only with praise. The next 12 months were a version of ‘easy’ for Cameron, and with numerous industry contacts up his sleeve, he found the transition into the industry a smooth process. “The first year was a blessing, but a major speed bump we faced was the initial demand for garments. The interest in Cameron & James was so great that I found it almost impossible to keep up. We did quite a few successful pop-up shops around Melbourne, and we also had our range stocked in Designer Space on Chapel Street. I am continuously surprised by the support that I’ve received over the last few years, and I wouldn’t have been able to get through that first 12 months without it.” Making it through a time most commonly coined as the ‘make or break phase’ in fashion, Cameron then turned his focus to developing the ethical and sustainable practices within his brand. After learning about sustainability and ethical working conditions within the fashion industry at university, Cameron’s own fashion ethos was cemented. Saddened by the surging trend of ‘fast fashion’, mass production, the use of low-grade fabrics and shady ways of cutting corners to save on production costs, Cameron decided to be the change. “I’ll never give in to such standards, as I firmly believe that fashion and sustainability can coexist together. Cameron & James is ethically created, sustainable menswear, and we’ve combined the exclusivity of contemporary fashion, trends and practicality, with the piece-of-mind that comes with being sustainably and ethically made.” When it comes to the design process behind the brand, things are a little less cut and dry, and Cameron admits he adopts unconventional methods. He’s a self-confessed unorthodox designer, but his process always starts in the most creative ways. Taking to his notebook, he pens down random things he’s attracted to at that moment in time, such as shapes, colours, patterns and emotions. “Sometimes I get a blank scrap book and collect pictures, textures, memories… Anything I can stick in. The process can take up to six months, depending on how I’m feeling about the direction, but once I’ve got to a stage I’m happy with, I start to really develop my sketches and designs. Half the time, I’m developing on paper and half the time I work directly on my mannequins.” Although sometimes unconventional in the process, Cameron finds designing a natural calling and doesn’t pressure himself with commercial confines or unrealistic expectations. But, it’s navigating the sustainable and ethical aspects of manufacturing that require his undivided attention, and as an Ethical Clothing Australia accredited brand, it’s something that Cameron addresses daily. “It is hard for customers to see the value in ethical and sustainable fashion when they can buy garments 49
from a major retail store for a fraction of the price, but it doesn’t deter me. One of the biggest challenges we face is education; we need Australian consumers to discourage unfair, unsafe and unethical practices in the fashion industry. When I speak with our customers personally and I have the opportunity to explain the reason behind our brand and why we do what we do, they’re often surprised and more understanding of the price point. Education is the first step, but there’s much more that needs to be done.” The ethical backbone of the brand has seen it in the spotlight on numerous occasions too, featuring in three Undress Runways shows in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, a RAW: Melbourne show, the Fair At Square Future Fashion Runway, Canberra’s FashFest, and most recently on the front page of Alpha Magazine. It’s been a slow process, but Cameron’s dedication to changing the industry and abiding by high ethical and sustainable practices is finally paying off, with the help of his ‘staff ’ of course. “Between working full time, admin for Cameron & James, coordinating my team, photo shoots and runway events, I can’t remember the last time I slept in! I do everything myself from the initial design, to the patternmaking, cutting and sewing. It’s all completed currently in my home studio, which works well for me, but tasks that I don’t have the time or expertise for, I often delegate to other people. My phenomenal parents post our online orders, and the Cameron & James website was built by my brother after I designed it. A lot of my content is outsourced to a close friend of mine, Daniel, and my two friends, Kasia and Mel, are usually called on to be my style gurus incase I’ve pushed something a little too far. I guess you could say that my ‘staff ’ are often my family and friends, and a lot of the support for Cameron & James comes from them. I honestly would not be where I am today without them all.” With a strong support network, a definitive mentality and a unique approach to design, Cameron and his Melbourne-made brand are set for a positive future in the fashion industry. At the core of Cameron & James lies the belief that independent designers give people a choice, and this choice includes the chance to change the fashion industry for the better. Each handmade piece is part of an exclusive limited run collection to ensure that the Cameron & James fashion footprint is minimised, and by reducing excess waste, utilizing natural and organic fabrics where possible, and promoting ethical working standards, Cameron is well on his way to achieving the change he so passionately advocates for. Claire Goldsworthy + Alice De Pasquale. Images: Janaka Rodrigue.
brenda lui Crazy Teapot
The craft of millinery is an ancient tradition. One of the first depictions of a millinery piece dates back to 3200BC, where a man wearing shaped-headwear was painted on the walls inside a Thebes tomb, and although there’s no evidence of the very first ‘millinery creation’, it’s assumed that the art form is as old as clothing itself. Millinery is a technical craft, one that requires an immense amount of patience, artistic vision and an understanding of textiles and fabrications. To the naked eye or to those who don’t know much about it, millinery seems simple, but to Brenda Lui of Crazy Teapot, it’s a passion, and it’s a business that she’s poured herself into over the past 8 years. I recently interviewed Brenda over a coffee, slowly melting in the North Queensland heat of Mackay where she’s based, and I discovered that we had a lot in common. As we giggled about last years’ millinery ‘cat ear trend’ and cooed over our shared love of vintage styles, I realised several reasons why I was drawn to Brenda’s work in the first place. Her experience in the fashion industry sets her work apart from many milliners – first starting out studying fashion with George Wu, whom she’s collaborated with on several occasions since. Brenda also worked as a Design Assistant for famed bridal couturier, Roslyn Lakelin, and it was then that she says she fell into millinery. “Roslyn entered Queensland bridal awards every year and would end up with bags and bags of trims and off cuts from the dresses. She needed headpieces for the award shows and shoots, so I started creating a few things from scratch with the offcuts. I didn’t really know what I was doing at the time, but I loved it. The headpieces started getting photographed and were winning awards, and I began to get enquiries from brides for custom designs.” The accidental discovery of a career path for Brenda slowly grew into something much more, and she started training to refine her millinery skills. She’s always been inspired by vintage eras and she especially adores the technical side of vintage millinery. “I love the shapes of vintage hats and the techniques of the original craft, so I started looking into vintage fairs, and I would go just to buy vintage style hats and examine their designs.”
her Nouveau Spring/Summer collection and a show at Mackay Fashion Week, she’s realized her craft, creativity and passion are finally appreciated. “It’s definitely taken a while to get recognised, especially in North Queensland, but I now have a lot of interest from country race meets around the state and from central New South Wales, and I’m even selling pieces to Dubai and Ireland.” It’s no wonder why – Brenda’s Nouveau Spring/Summer range is beautiful, blending the techniques of both traditional and contemporary millinery to seamlessly embody a 28-piece bespoke collection of wearable pieces. Inspired by the colours and creativity of Melbourne, which Brenda experienced during a trip in 2015, the Nouveau collection reflects the bustling city’s sculptural and graffiti art, and it’s diversity in culture. The trip down south followed another tour for Brenda, partially funded by a Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) grant, which allowed her to attend a week of specialised millinery classes with talented millinery teachers from around the world. Inspired by her Melbourne experience and her newfound techniques, Brenda channeled her creativity into the Nouveau collection, releasing what she refers to as, “My first solo exhibition and truly creative expression of my passion.” Brenda’s millinery designs also featured in the Herald Sun on two occasions throughout the Melbourne Cup Carnival in 2015; first on Derby Day and again on Melbourne Cup Day, sported by The Fashion Advocate. The collaboration saw two custom made millinery pieces, matched with two Australian-made fashion designers, and both outfits were entered into the Myer Fashions On The Field competition. Brenda’s standout pieces featured on numerous style guide blogs, and were also filmed by Channel 7 and Channel 10 as ‘highlight millinery pieces of the Melbourne Cup Carnival’. Humbly recovering from the past 12 months full of unexpected support, highlights and features for Crazy Teapot, Brenda is now taking it slow with baby number three on the way, but she’s already working on her next collection. Claire Goldsworthy.
She joined millinery workshops with Waltraud Reiner, who visits Mackay in her travelling Hat Mobile annually, she frequents the Brisbane Millinery Convention every June/July, and she regularly collaborates with the likes of Jason Chetcuti and Terry Madden; you can’t accuse Brenda of a lack of commitment. “I just wanted to continue building my trade and learn as much as possible, and with my fashion background it’s been an amazing process as I’m so design-focused. Having textile experience really helps.” It wasn’t until recently that Brenda began to see the fruits of her labour, but now with an Etsy Store, a studio, the release of
birds eye view Creative Director: Tara Leigh Photographer: Tara Leigh Wardrobe: Jets Swimwear Model: Becky Mant
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 13, 2016 THE DRESS COLLECTIVE RUNWAY Merging the digital world with the tangible, The Dress Collective Runway will present an Australian-made lineup of emerging and established fashion designers, to raise funds for the Black Dog Institute, a not-for-profit organisation and world leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder. Featuring only Australian-made fashion, The Dress Collective Runway will highlight the diversity of Australian fashion. Tickets on sale January 2016. For further details, contact email@example.com or head to www.thedresscollective.com.
To buy your own hardcopy, head to www.thefashionadvocate.com. The Fashion Advocate Issue 02 heads back to basics and digs up the dirt on th...
Published on Jan 11, 2016
To buy your own hardcopy, head to www.thefashionadvocate.com. The Fashion Advocate Issue 02 heads back to basics and digs up the dirt on th...