Curated-Melbourne – Pop Up

I paid a visit to the Emporium Pop Up to visit the lovely Vincent Li and take a look at some really cool designs from some really talented people.  Jackets, trousers, shoes, dresses and accessories by various designers. Worth a visit – Level 2, Shop 218.

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I went down to St Collins Lane, where I had the chance to catch up with Scott Benedictine to discuss a creative collaboration.  I met Creative Director Brian Huynh of MNDATORY, and saw his brilliant Menswear collection, which combines beautiful tailoring and fabric choice, with classic styling and a contemporary edge. Very exciting brand – Watch this space. https://www.mndatory.com

Its great to communicate with the creators and to get an understanding of their passions and how they use their skills to architect fabrics to make some wonderful pieces.  This knowledge brings the garments to a whole new level and brings the artistry and intelligence of each designer to the forefront.

 

The CTF Curated is still on to the end of June. It’s a great place to meet some really awesome emerging designers and see some well needed stylish and unique clothes. Each week new and current designers switch between the two locations to present their new collections, giving the general public an opportunity to view, connect and learn.

Meet Vincent Li, Harry Millward, SZN, Jude, Hew, A.BCH, Post Sole Studio, Siyona, Remuse, Citizen Wolf, MNDATORY, Harlow, Mr Willo, Lois Hazel, Erik Yvon, Scott Benedictine, Lott Studio, NICO, Elvie + Leo, Collective Closets, Maude Studio.

https://ctfcurated.com

 

Curated – Melbourne – Pop Up

The ‘Pop up’ concept isn’t new,  it’s definition is ‘a temporary store that is opened with short term objectives, introducing new products or trends’,  invariably they equal fast sales and fast profits. Clearly ‘Curated Melbourne’ is different.  It is designed to create more long term objectives, exposure and customer connection and education.

The Council of textiles and Fashion are the leading force behind ‘Curated – Melbourne’. They are a no-for-profit organisations working to develop, innovate and help new and emerging business, opening up and developing trade channels in the industry. They are also force fronting the improvement and development of a more ethical and sustainable approach in the fashion industry.

I was at the St Collins Lane @ctf_curated pop up #fashionfilm night recently. I had the chance to photograph and talk to the designers on site.  It was great to catch up with Vincent Li and Harry Millward,  and other designers on site. All seemed very pleased with the event and the location of the store. They told me traffic and foot fall has been good and new clients have been very pleased to get the chance to meet and buy new styles and most importantly see new up and coming Melbourne designers. One of the customers was so delighted to find the Pop up, saying, “It’s about time  we get the chance to see something different”. How very promising for the new blood…

I met some of the designers. Lois Hazel, a womenswear designer http://www.loishazel.com   We loved her designs. Beautiful cuts and a fine eye for detail. Really worth a look.IMG_0494

Scott Benedictine, with his elegant flowing garments. Really stylish. (http://scottbenedictine.bigcartel.com).

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I met the lovely Tamara Leacock of Remuse.  She told me how she combines futurism and nature in her collection, and her use of dying technique fusing artisan techniques and natural fibres.  http://www.remusedesigns.com .

A.BCH – Courtney Holm, with her fashion to make a difference to the environment and clothes that last. Stylish. https://shop.abch.world

I’m looking forward to producing editorial projects and in-depth articles about these guys soon.

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Its great to see creative people working together as a community, networking and making a difference. I feel strongly about new, current and up and coming designers and how important it is for them to be represented and get the limelight they deserve.  More input, mentoring and sponsership is needed. The public should have more exposer to these new talents, not just once or twice a year, but constantly. A new attitude is needed and some of the big corporate retailers can definitely help and are sure to benefit from getting involved at this early stage. In Europe, especially in London, Paris and Milan, the educated young fashionistas want to spend their money on exclusive high fashion and they shop inside and outside of the mainstream sophisticate, Melbourne certainly has an amazing scene; exclusive, high-fashion, affordable and unique. What more could you ask for!?

The St Collins Lane – 260 Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Emporium -Emporium Melbourne 287 Lonsdale Street Level 2, Shop 218 Melbourne VIC 3000)

Running through May – June. Check out website for more details. https://ctfcurated.com

 

 

TAFE Final Year Students -Ethical Fashion Show – Box Hill

 

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I was invited to photograph and document the final year students at Box hill work. This is all part of the White House Fair Trade Fortnight 5-21 May,  leading on to  the ‘Sustainable Living Week’ which is from the 26th May – 8 June.

I had the pleasure of meeting lecturers and  final year students.  Interestingly,  all girls this year.  It’s great to see these strong, enthusiastic and ambitious women coming up in the world.

The students where given a project to create and develop a collection relating to the current issue of world wide issues in regards to recylcing, wastage, fur and leather, plastic, chemicals and people in the production of fashion today.  All of them  approached the project using different techniques, use of fabrics and presentation. They committed themselves and produced some beautiful, intelligent, useful and remarkable pieces.

It was great to see fair-trade companies present, including Etiko’s founder Nick Savaidis presenting and sharing his knowledge. Students where awarded prizes. It was a great fashion show and presentation by the heads of the fashion department.

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Here are a few images documenting the evening.  In the next month I will be producing an article introducing each designer, giving their insight to the course, the fashion industry and their plans for the future. So watch this space for Tess Whitfort, Isobel Hyland, Annabelle Bailes, Kathy Marie Field, Kaylee Lacey and Tori Goulopoulos,.  They are the next wave of talented fashion designers. I can’t wait to sharing their stories.

Many thanks again for the invitation.  Thanks to Deborah Pratt (Academic Course Manger), Karen Devos (Fashion Design Lecturer),  Lize Niemczycke (Fashion Design Lecturer) and Barbara Niglio (Fashion Design Teacher Diploma Course). It was a great event. The turn out and support for the students and the Box Hill Institute of Fashion was awesome.  I’m looking forward to working with you all again soon.

 

 

Peter Mcdonald – Fashion Model and Stylist

final 9I met Peter at the Luna Park Fashion Event in March. We’d been following each other on Instagram and it was great to meet in person. He also is someone who is known in Melbourne and is an integral part of the development of local designers, models, stylists and fashion people in Melbourne.

Peter has been modelling since 2010, and has built up quite a portfolio. He is an individualist in many ways, and in a very refreshing way he has an ‘unconventional’ look, with more European and Italian Vogue qualities.

His model experience is varied, and includes more conceptual, fine art and nude projects. Working with clients such as NORD, Fashionably Male, Fashion Journal and often seen on the catwalk at the MSFW.  In regards to male modelling today, Peter tells me that eccentricity and individuality is now becoming the norm in the modelling world. I agree, having seen many of the major fashion powerhouses, such as  Gucci, Prada, Versace, Marc Jacob and local designer, Vincent Li, who are employing gender ambiguous and unique featured models. The fashion industry is changing in a positive way.  Peter adds; ‘Models are more comfortable looking strange and inhuman’.  One of Peter’s main goals is to broaden beauty standards in regards to masculinity.  It’s a predominant change and marketers are catching on in many countries, whether the rest of Australia is ready for change, I’m not sure….. I hope so.  Having spent many years being photographed, he began to get more work styling and collaborating with designers and artists.  He works frequently on projects in Melbourne.  He has gained a big following on social media and is in demand.

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Peter loves fashion, but I wanted to know his favorite designers. He tells me he is into a new designer called Dilara Findikoglu. She is definitely worth a look; http://www.vogue.co.uk/shows/spring-summer-2017-ready-to-wear/dilara-findikoglu/ . His other favorite designers are Yohji Yamamoto, Issue Miyake, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen; naturally….  Peter has the eye for the rule breakers. I love it!

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I wanted to know what inspired him into the fashion industry? Peter begins by explaining while he was still in high school, his best friends, a very good portrait photographer would often take photos. This led to Peter designing and putting together looks for editorial shoots, leading him into the world of fashion, styling and modelling.

His drive to work in the fashion industry?  Peter tells me ‘I am endlessly fascinated by designers’, explaining how he enjoys working on fashion shoots because he get’s the opportunity to see designers at work’, adding,’It’s great to see a designer working creatively, seeing their attention to detail and intelligence, and bringing in their unique perspective’. In terms of his personal inspirations, he reveals that his main inspiration is turning a concept into an image, and he explains ‘Its not the other way round’.  When you meet Peter you know that this guy is very intuitive and well studied and passionate about fashion and art.  He is someone who is constantly observing and is keen to get out there and learn more, taking his inspirations from classical novels, films and music.

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I asked him about his involvement with Facebook –  ‘Melbourne Creative Network’ site, that was formed as an artist community, allowing key development for members, employment opportunities while building a creative platform and enforcing work standards in the industry.

The founder and creator Corinne Grbevski.  Peter helps maintain the site, viewing daily feeds and keeping a check on what’s happening and connecting with new and current talent. A very exciting venture and with a massive scope for business.

I wanted to know what he thinks of male fashion and how it compares to international fashion? His response ‘I think our culture is definitely more laid back, and our style as a nation tends to reflect that’ concluding with ‘It’s starting to change as your man on the street becomes more interested in style and grooming’. This is certainly the case, no more so than here in Australia. It seems that ‘men’ are more self aware with their appearance, health, diet and clothing. The market machine is forcing the average man into the sexy modern world of fashion and the effects are very promising indeed.  This optimistic approach will open the floodgates to more talented designers with new innovative  ideas, improving and opening minds, bringing culture, art and fashion closer. Still Work in progress.

In regard to the term ‘fast fashion’, which is the speed of a designs moving from the catwalk straight into the shops to keep up with current

trends, I asked Peter where he thinks the fashion industry is going in this country?

He answers ”I think we’re starting to get a better understanding of the effects of fast fashion, and becoming more discerning in choosing better quality products that last longer’. He thinks having more immediate access to a collection is much better for the designer and the buyer, and being able to sell direct from your own living room is a great opportunity for designers. He mentions ‘Warwick from Lonely Kids Club in Sydney’ who does a great job of understanding his customers and keeping the conversation going, he still writes a note to each customer with their order’.

This leads me to ask about his global view of fashion?, he replies, ‘Again I think there is a movement towards a more socially aware kind of fashion’.  This is very true, there is notably an emphasis on locally companies using ‘Made in Melbourne’ as a banner and sourcing local and international ecological products. There is definitely a growing sense of awareness here in Australia.

Peter makes a strong statement which is so necessary and we should all take this on as a really valid point, ‘It’s really important to remember that a shirt that reads ‘Feminist’ that was made in a sweatshop is not progressive’.  A lot more mindfulness is needed!

Do you think there is enough support for current designers and new designers in Melbourne?

‘There is definitely a lot of opportunity for new designers’, he says adding ‘Many designers see themselves starting a label straight out of university, but it’s probably a safer route to work with an established designer and build business and industry knowledge first and then start your own label’.

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This is good advice, but I must add  – there needs to be more focus on the new and up and coming designer. More collaboration from the big players and more funding from private and public sector, mentoring in business development, more funding schemes and allowances. This will strengthen and lead the Australian Fashion Industry for the future encouraging economic growth and turning it into a global quality cutting edge industry. The potential for business growth is massive, especially with new students and current designers coming through. They need support or they will take their talent to other countries!

I am eager to find out what he thinks about the evolution of fashion with Instagram, bloggers and other social media platforms?

He answers,’In terms of industry opportunities becoming more open to anyone with an Instagram account, it’s great for us to see fresh perspectives from people who would otherwise have no visibility’ adding ‘it’s also very important to remember that booking a professional model is very different to booking a professional influencer’. Obviously I’m inclined to agree, feeling that social media has taken the fashion world to a whole new level, giving everyone an opinion, taking away the elitist edge and making high end fashion more accessible.
I wanted to know what he would like to see happening in Melbourne in regards to the development of fashion and art?  He tells me ‘I think we’re starting to see already, more variety of perspectives and more connection to the artist personally, adding ‘The idea of a recluse genius is a bit less prominent and artists are able to be human more than before I think’.

To close the interview I asked Peter where he sees himself professionally in 5 years time? ‘He examples, ‘Ideally I would be doing some writing for a publication and doing more work behind the scenes. The goal is to just be able to exercise creative control and make a living out of this passion without compromising integrity’.

Here are a few test shots, while we warmed up for the shoot in the NGV.   It was fun working together and we enjoyed viewing William Eggleston – Definitely worth a view if you have time x

Thank you Peter for sharing your experience and knowledge! x

 

 

 

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Exclusive VIP Designer Preview and Pre-sell with Elizabeth Gao at Myer

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Elizabeth is a stylist, photographer and fashion designer.

She works very hard in all aspects of her life and is doing really well in a very competitive field.  She is a very successful woman in the photography world of fashion, which can be predominantly male.  Things are changing and she is definitely going places, very well known and established in the Melbourne fashion crowd.  She is worth  looking up if you want any fashion advice, styling or information about brands in Myer, Bourke Street. With her very calm and cool personality, she projects her intelligence and knowledge of all aspects of the fashion industry, conducting herself very professionally.

A few clients and I were invited to an exclusive ‘Preview and pre-sell’  VIP Myer Event giving us a great opportunity to see new collections and buy before the lines hit the shop floor.

There was an atmospheric feel in the private show room, while Elizabeth guided us through the collections. It was quite the privilege to see and try on such a lovely selection of dresses, shoes, shirts, knits and jackets from various international designers. Boutique Moschino, Joseph, AG denim, Oscar De La Renta, Balmain, Kenzo and Preen By Thorton Bregazzi, and many more.

It was interesting to see the all pieces, there are lots of colours this season, florals and patterns.  The Oscar De La Renta selection is elegant and classic, featuring figure hugging designs with beautiful woven black and reds and some dresses with  lace applique detail. Old fashioned styles for every modern woman.  Kenzo and Joseph, off the peg and in store, classic, chic lines and modern cut shirts and knits. These two brands have their own characteristics and can mix and match with most things –  ‘general  all rounders’ for comfort and ease. The showroom is set up with row upon row of clothing, sprinkled with some fab accessories,  hand bags, shoes and scarfs to tie up you final look and stand out in a crowd.

I have to say, Balmain, off the catwalk, is very cool. Designed by the controversial and brilliant Olivier Rousteing, who at 24 became the Creative Director of the Parisian Fashion House, turning a financial and creative corner and bringing the company back into multi million dollar profits. Quite the star!  I love the designs, all very glam, reminding me of the 70’s Studio 54 chic era. Metallic, bold, crystals, belts and mesh all oozing strong female sex appeal. When worn in the right way, these clothes look amazing. It is definitely worth a view.

It was great to see so much and get the chance to try and appreciate close up.  I would like to thank, Elizabeth Gao for allowing me to photograph and document the private Preview Event. I’d also like to thank Sarah Chilcott, Katherine Tutt and Sally Reason for allowing me to photograph their experience. x

Check out Elizabeth work https://theexampleau.com/

Chief Eyewear-Uber Stylish Eco-Friendly Sunglasses

Chief Eyewear is run by three young entrepreneurs, Wade Collins, Darcy Collins and Dean Colgrave, all based in Melbourne.  I came across Chief on Instagram and was impressed not only by the style of their sunglasses, but by the fact the products are made from sustainable materials.

I arranged to meet Wade for a preliminary meeting to discuss the creative direction on our combined project. I was shown some examples of the sunglasses, I’d seen them before, while researching, but seeing them in front of me I really appreciated the designs and texture of the materials, in my opinion there is no comparison to any other brand!

I was invited to Chief’s office to meet the guys for a photo shoot. I wanted to hear more about them and capture their personalities in an editorial.

Wade Introduced me to his brother Darcy, and Dean, a long time family friend of 20 years. I asked what made them decide to work together and how they came up with the initial idea?

Wade tells me that “Creating a brand and running with 2 mates is really cool, but It’s not come without hard work and challenges!’ But he adds how very rewarding it has been.  It’s very clear from the start that the 3 have a really strong bond. Personality wise, they  bring the best out in each other and as a business this is definitely paying off. They really have nailed it.

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Why sunglasses?

Being true ‘Melburnians’ they spent their childhoods growing up on the beaches. They have since travelled the world searching for the endless summer.  During their mission to chase the sun and live to the max  they got through a lot of sunglasses. They realised a lot of the sunglasses were poorly made and most from the same plastic and metal frames. Wade adds,”the big brands  have so much ‘brand power’ that they seem to have no concern to the environmental impact”. There was the ‘gap’ in the marketplace and there was the inspiration.

The business started in 2014.  “It was Dean who came up with the Idea while he was recovering from a serious injury”. Dean had to re-assess his work and career path, deciding on a creating a brand new venture from scratch.  He called on Wade and before long the project had evolved into a business strategy, brand, logos, product ideas flowing and then the introduction of the third business party, Darcy, and between them they used their business acumen to develop the business at a rapid rate. During the past 2 years they have updated and designed new models of sunglasses, trying new techniques, new manufacturers and a variation of materials, each time improving with experience.

The guys have a very strong believe in environmental issues and have made the main fundamental aim for ‘Chief’ is to first, help the environment by reducing ecological footprint and giving back.  Wade tells me “Australia has one of the largest ecological footprints per capita”. The key is education, showing the world that it is possible to be super stylish, original and environmentally conscientious by using a more sustainable material as an alternative to plastic.  Chief want to make the World aware of the catastrophic ‘plastic waste situation‘. Wade informs me that “ 86% of the Worlds ocean debris is plastic, accounting to the death of 1 million of our seabirds and marine mammals each year”.  That is quite a dreadful statistic, so essentially Chief had set out to research, design and create products that, not only stands out, but in my opinion, are different from anything mainstream at present. Chief want to draw attention to this real environmental threat that will inevitably affect us all.

This clearly is Chiefs strong philosophy.  Wade tells me , ‘Whilst some of the  material we use are not sustainable yet, our philosophy and main focus of the business is to use the sustainability  materials available to us now and develop and source new materials to grow and advance our range”,  adding “We have made it our core value to give back to society”. From each product sold, $5 automatically is donated to  Seabird Rescue’ and ‘Kids With Cancer’. 

I asked Wade to explain more about the sustainable materials used?

Chief really pride themselves on the sustainable materials they have sourced for their sunglasses.  The styles are classically put together, the structures, colours and textures of the material are meticulously selected.

‘Being eco-friendly focused, we use bamboo, bubinga wood, African blackwood, ebony wood’, mentioning that, “We’ve even used recycled skateboards in one of our ranges and we are adding new products all the time”.  I have seen the various ranges of sunglasses and they are beautiful, each is unique because of the wood grain.  How very clever to create  a pair of sunglasses with individuality because of the simple grain of a natural material.

The cases are made of bamboo and organic cotton. They really look super stylish. He explains that all the lenses are polarized and have a UV Protection with a maximum of UV400, and that the full bamboo frames, float on water, so very unique selling point for people doing watersports.

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I wanted to know a bit more about the designs? Dean is the main designer in the team. Wade says,” We regularly meet and brainstorm new ideas based on research and current trends.

I asked if I could have a bit more insight to the creative process?

They really have spent many hours researching, finding the right suppliers and manufacturers.This can be challenging to get the design concepts across and with a language barrier to contend with, always fun. Wade comments, “Trial and error to start, but we are happy now’, adding, ‘It certainly takes some ‘back and forth’ with samples to get exactly the right quality and model”.  He tells me, “From inception to finished product it can take up to 6 months, the turnaround time between sending a design and getting a sample is 30-60 days”, he affirms, “We have learnt that we are not satisfied with any product that doesn’t meet the mark, they are sent back, it’s not a quick process, but quality is paramount.

Can you tell me more about the ranges of sunglasses?

Wade explains more about the styles;’ 4 styles so far, the Caddo, Cherokee, Apache and Dakota’, ‘The Caddo and Cherokee, were the original 2 series/range, launching them in 4 variants. In 2015, the team added the Apache series and the most recent in 2016, the Dakota range, the aimed at a unisex market and encourage the female demographic. They have released up to 22 different styles so far and are looking into new ranges in the future.

Closing the interview, I asked, ‘What have you all learnt?’

With great pride Wade tells me, “There are so many facets to running an online business, we’ve learnt so much so far and have been exposed to so much information and knowledge, it’s been very rewarding”. They are definitely the sort of personalities that thrive on a challenge.

He adds, “Predominantly selling online is tough because It’s another world”, this leads me to ask “What do you think of social media and how do you see retail shopping in the future?”

Wade replies, “Social media has become an integral part of life, and certainly business, the spread of people that you can reach on social media is so great, it would be ignorant to not capitalise on the marketing opportunities”. They have already created a large following on Facebook and 50,000 followers on Instagram, generating a large amount of sales. He thinks that it is a present opportunity to showcase, not only the product, but the lifestyle and culture that the brand represents.

Wade says,” People really form an emotional attachment and synergy when they can see what you are all about”.  I agree. He finishes by saying, ” As future generations will be more dependent on social media”.  Chief feel it is essential strategy to heighten their social media profile and building brand recognition at the onset, taking the business development forward with the followers, creating loyal customers for the future.

To concluded the interview I asked where do they see Chief in the future?

They have already sold sunglasses in 30 countries via the internet, and want to continue with the global marketing.  Chief Eyewear are present on a few boutique surfing stores.  Wade tells me, ‘In terms of retail, we want to bring it back to our backyard, Australia is a large market and represents the demographic and culture that aligns with our brand’. Chief wants to move forward into direct sales and getting sunglasses into retails stores around the country and focus on wholesale, this will inevitably increase brand awareness and presence. In addition to sunglasses, they are branching into apparel. This sounds very exciting, especially knowing they will be combining their unique style and strong eco-friendly ethics. I look forward to seeing the new collection!

They have achieved products that are cool, practical and durable for a modern day lifestyle, Their motto – ‘Unique, Style, Protection and Sustainability’ – I would say they have definitely covered the criteria!

They have put a lot of effort into marketing their brand and have a number of brand Australian advocates /ambassadors based all around the World. Devyn Scott; a professional whitewater kayaker, Lucinda Keily; Health and Fitness Coach, Adam Dunlop; Pro Surfer, Anna Flanagan; Australian Hockey Player, Brian Pruett; Baseball Player – Florida Gulf Coast University and Valentine Camron, World Class Flyboarder.

The future looks bright for Chief Eyewear, a true modern business, utilizing the internet and social media forums to gain a massive following.  This can only lead to great things.  Their ambition is to grow and develop a Global face to face shopping experience in the retail sector and I fully believe Chief’s sunglasses really deserve a place in high end superstores.  They are very cool, well put together, unique and will stand for the future of eco friendly designs in the fashion world. IMG_8925 black and white image

Many thanks to Wade, Darcy and Dean for all your time.  Your sunglasses are really great and I’m so proud that I have had the chance to work with you all!

All the best for the future. Please keep me posted on up and coming products and events.

Cheers x

All GetYAfashON followers get a unique 10% discount code on Chief Eyewear!

Go to GetYAfashONPress ‘Follow’ – go to the Chief  Eyewear link. https://www.chiefeyewear.com.au/

When you have chosen your awesome sunglasses go to the checkout, enter the discount code ‘ZOE 10′ in designated field and BOOM you get 10% off!!

The Virgin Melbourne Fashion Festival 2017 – The Fashion Advocate Runway – Luna Park

The party started at 6.30pm yesterday.  People arrived and waited for the show to begin. This was a great opportunity to catch up and network amongst the guests. Luna Park was a great location, with the whole funfair going on throughout the night, this certainly added to the atmosphere. A few free cocktails, always good way to get the fun started.

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Designers waited with great anticipation in the public area, while stylists dressed and finished their models. It was great to see so many artists, bloggers, photographers and fashion focused people present.

Designers participating :

Habadakas, Tatyana Design, Vincent Li, Fool, Oroceo Castro, Lorenza The Label, Rayan Ardati, Cameron and James, Blushed By Teagan Jacobs, Dida, Mhoo Mhoo. P’junk By Kate Hannah.

Great people watching and great individual style !

Then the fashion show began.  Each Designer had a few models wearing a selection of their Autumn/winter 2017 collection.  The models moved very fast down the runway. I wanted to capture the atmosphere and rapid movement and energy of the show.

 

Overall a great event and the event ran smoothly.  The only things that I felt the show lacked was the organisation between the event team and planner to the designers.  It must have been very hard for the designers not to have been more present in the dressing, make up, hair and finishing of the models, knowing how much time and energy they had already put into creating and styling their collections so far.

It would be nice to see the show be run more by the designers, maybe, each having  an individual space or time dedicated to their business on the runway. It would be great to see  a little more depth and insight into each individual  and  a little more of their collections. In Europe and America the designer could make an entrance at the end of their time slot. This would have the advantage of the general public, fashion business professionals and photographers to identify with the face and their brand.

One point – there was no ‘Make Up Company’ presence, no professional brands or sponsorship.  This was definitely lacking and there was a gap that should have been filled.  In Europe and the rest of the world, designers work up close to make up artists and hair stylists way before the shows begin. The initial and complete look is decided and set, so clothes, models and make up all match the theme of the designers original concepts and plans. Taking this away from a creative person, who has already spent 6 months or more bringing their ideas to completion, it seems really unfair and very frustrating for them.

So Make Up Companies –  there was a big gap last night ! Fill it – get behind these very talented people, make your mark on the ‘up and coming’ designers in Melbourne; sponsor and support!

Zoe x

 

 

 

Vincent Li

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I have been very fortunate to meet and work with Vincent Li, a very talented designer based in Melbourne. I met him at last year during the Melbourne Fashion Week.

Vincent is from Shanghai, his background is clearly reflected in his contemporary designs. He studied Fashion at Raffles International College in Hong Kong. He is a very accomplished artist producing unique and beautifully cut pieces, he meticulously designs his own fabrics, cutting is own patterns and pulling together with great skill and precision.I was very intrigued by him.

Vincent Li is a very soft spoken, calm individual with a wealth of knowledge, he is mindful and conscientious about the world around him. I spent some time getting to know him and we talked about his background, his life, ambitions, skills and inspirations as a person, artist and a businessman.

A the beginning of our interview, he explained his underlying ethos ,”Vincent Li is not about creating something new and amazing to wear, but it’s much deeper.” Explaining, “I want to capture the emotions and heart of the wearer, it’s not the aesthetic, but the whole”.

He wants people to put the clothes on and then for them to begin a journey into intellectual artisanship, he adds “wanting each garment to instil”. With such powerful beliefs and strong artistic resolve, there is no wonder his passion in his collection is so prominent.

I wanted to know more about is creative process and how he finds his inspiration? His response ,”The Inspirations could be an emotion or feeling, a mood, a story or an important message.” Vincent translates the intangible emotions or abstract concepts into a silhouette, a shape, details, prints and colour.

Having grown up in China, he combines modern influence and experience with an underlining east Asian philosophy and aesthetic, which he explains are more “abstract, subtle, irregular forms and poetics”. He believes we should inherit the spirits and philosophies of the culture and traditions which should be interpreted and applied in a modern contemporary way.

He is a curious man, always with his mind open and eyes and ears on something that draws his attention, he says “it must be something that connects”, “It could be a movie, TV show, theatre, an artist, music, art, a book or visit to a gallery or place”.

Vincent also tells me about people who have inspired him. His favourite designers are Dries Van Norton, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo, quite an array of stellar designers, he also adds that he looks up to new designers, Craig Green and Damir Doma. “I admire designers who are consistent and stay true to their brand, which today requires enormous resilience, courage and passion,” adding “I likes designers who have been constantly bringing new innovations forward and never staying in their comfort zones”.

Vincent refers to a quote by the late, Bill Cunningham, a New York fashion photographer “Fashion is like an armour without it, it will be like without civilisation”, saying that is made a big impact on his work and the in the way he thinks.

I wanted to understand a little more about his procedures, creative process and conception.

He works the old fashion way, involving intensive research on the story and topics. He then spends time producing and developing hundreds of rough sketches and through this process discovers the strongest idea for the collection. His prints have been a classic element in his design, turning his initial drawings or paintings into digital forms, developing up  to 40 digital images, and finally only selecting 2-3 to use.  He tells me  “These prints not only represent my story or mood for the collection, but the colour pallet”.

Vincent kindly invited me to Next State, a digital printers in Abbotsfords, Melbourne.(https://nextstateprint.com). I was so excited to be privy to the experience, getting the chance to watch the printing machine slowly roll off Vincent’s printed fabrics. I could feel Vincent’s anticipation as each centimeter appeared. The nervous energy as the prints came through and the ink slowly dried to reveal the true colour depth and then the final finished article.

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I asked him about his fabric choice?

He works with Next State, together they decided on the best fabric to use, normally a natural fibre is selected. Image of Japanese fabric Vincent also works with a local Japanese Fabric Supplier, a family run business, that represents up to 40 Japanese Textile Companies. They are the only agency for the Australian Market. Vincent visits, each season, spending hours looking at fabric options, once the decision is made, based on his collection ideals, price and availability, he orders and the fabrics and they are imported from Japan.

In response to how he gets to his conception of the collection, how he gets the spark to kick things off?

He answers “The conception is something that runs through the designs, and the purpose of the concept is to encourage people to be confident, open minded, adventurous, to be ‘ourselves’ and be curious about the new and the unknown”. He strongly believes that clothes should have their functionality but it should not just be for consumption. He believes “there is a connection with the appearance and our heart”. His clothes are very wearable and really speak out when it comes to artistic aspects and appeal.

I asked Vincent about his creative path and if it differs between each project? He likes to set himself a challenge each time to test and improve himself, so each of his projects must be consistence with his identity, aesthetic and high standard of work and quality. He tells me “I get bored easily and I don’t want the consumers to get bored easily”.

When he starts to develop each piece, he thinks about how he should present them together. This includes the whole creative path from head to toe styling, the location and the set design for a photoshoot.  He is clearly a very conceptual artist, spending a lot of time researching different forms of art, culture or literature. This keeps his work fresh and new each time.

He explains that when he develops a collection he says “It is a process from one to many and then from many to one”. Everything is planned at the initial start and all aspects will evolve and grow as the project develops, but each step can be clearly mapped out and planned meticulously and methodically. Having photographed Vincent developing and creating his next collection, I can’t wait to see the work completed.

I asked Vincent how he feels when he sees all his work come together?

He says with great joy how rewarding and exciting the process of developing a new collection as being, “Several months ago, it was a rough idea in my head, when I see the pieces in front of me, it gives me such confidence in continuing my brand”. I must add, that I have seen some of the pieces and I find it very exciting, I can’t wait to get my hands on them. I’ll certainly be wearing them with great pride.

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I introduced Natalie Deely to Vincent. He wanted her to work at a fitting session, and I photographed the proceedings. It was a very fulfilling experience creatively, watching Vincent see his clothes on Natalie. I could see his mind planning and rethinking. I could feel the energy in the room. His assistant, Harry Millward helped dress, style and became my photographer’s assistant, light technician (supermulti-tasking man!).

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While we worked together I questioned Vincent on his new collection. He begins by explaining his thought pattern and realisation behind his work, saying that he is always left with so many ideas, after the selection for a collection is made, some of them could be developed further. A season is only 6 months, and he only designs 6-8 looks for one season, but with his new ‘concept’ it allows him to develop throughout the whole year, producing a flow of work.

He tells me that a song he heard captured his heart and reflects his feelings at that particular time. The lyrics are” Your smile wears a mask and pretends to be strong, but it will only make you more fragile” adding ‘ We wear the mask as a kind of language that expresses the figure one chooses to create”.

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Vincent Li  has taken this deep part of our psyche and turned it into his new concept – ‘Disguise Cool’ and ‘Disguise Warm’.He explains more , “that humans are divided, contradictory creatures, with an uncanny capacity, not to disguise ourselves from other people, but to masquerade our own wishes and desires from ourselves”. He thinks that our defences are methods of disguise, “a way of transforming what we find unbearable or transgressively into pro social and meaningful ambitions and fulfilment”. He finishes by saying “This masquerading of desire ensures that there is always the potential of another version of us”.

Vincent wants his concept to lead us to see an armour-like silhouette that is contrasted by different textures, panels and layers, which also can disguise our bodies in a monochrome colour palette. He wants us to contemplate the prints, and feel the emotions they evoke, whether a vulnerability, authenticity, or a real beauty of our inner selves. He is challenging us with new ideas, taking us into a contemporary place and giving us an opportunity to see fashion in a whole different light. It’s refreshing and enlightening to feel that someone can put us in a deeper more meaningful place, miles and miles away from off the peg rails shopping.  All fashion starts with a concept, but with Vincent, philosophy and culture mix, they bring a different and stimulating approach to the Melbourne fashion scene.

To close the interview I asked him about his future ambitions? Naturally he want to bring his work to the World, and more people to view, accept and appreciate his work. His goal is to have his own lifestyle retail store and wanting to developing this space to become a community for people to experience VINCENT LI’s World and use it as a platform to help creative talents.

Where does he see himself in 10 years and will this mean taking his collection overseas?

His reply, “Along with my own store, I hope to hold stock in other retail stores, I also would like to collaborate and explore with different fields and art forms”. He is very determined and has set his path in motion. On the subject of moving abroad, he believes that emerging designer brands should all have a global vision, with the onset of technology and the Internet. Retail is changing fast, soon stores will integrate with social media while you are walking past. It would be great to walk past a large department store in a major City and get a ping from Vincent’s app saying he has his latest collection on show right there. Near Field Communication is coming and retail is getting ready. This is indeed a very exciting World laid ahead with just a swipe of the finger, the business can already reach every corner of the World, the power of social media , online stores and other forms of Internet communication app technology, video and voice technology, anything is possible. He says “this is bringing up the standards”, because the entire fashion world is watching. He mentions ‘ An emerging designer should not want to be buried among their peers”. The global market is a big place, with many opportunities, it is so important to understand, research and market a brand so it can be forced into the limelight. I know that Vincent is ready for the challenge.

It’s been a pleasure to see someone evolve his own ideas, and use such tremendous skill and delicacy to design and finish a whole collection. It has been very rewarding, and a great privilege to be involved with such an artistic and skillful professional. It really has been a significant experience, because I brought together other talented people in this process, which initially is the main purpose for this blog.

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Thanks to Vincent for allowing me to witness such an amazing artist at work. Thanks to Natalie Deely for being awesome as usual, and to Harry Millward for pulling us all together and sorting my lighting x

Please look out for Vincent Li, take note of his work and get into his concept, feel and appreciate a great talent.

http://www.vincentli.com.au/

Happy New Year from GetYAfashON !

Hi Everyone,

It’s been a very exciting last 3 months working on ‘GetYAfashON’.  I have met some amazing people who have inspired me and allow me into their working lives to photograph and learn more about their industry and talents.

GetYAfashON has brought me so much pleasure, and although very nerve wracking at the beginning, I feel that all the hard work, patience and worry has paid off.  It really is a great thing to feel so passionate and focus on using my talents to document other peoples’ skills, abilities and creativeness.

First of all I would like to thanks Clare Arthur and Karen Devos for encouraging and helping me start this journey.

I would also like to thank all the people who have agreed to be photographed and documented, Natalie Deely, Andrea Yasmin, Bonnie Evelyn, Kim Wiebenga, Vincent Li, Sarah Chilcott, Sally Reason, Sally Rudman, Katherine Tutt Sarah Arthur Young and Mandy Stroscio. I really feel very lucky to have met you all and you have all given me confidence and a very positive experience which drives me to carry on.

I am very much looking forward to the New Year’s GetYAfashON projects.  It’s very exciting that there are so many opportunities coming.

Many thanks to my family, friends and followers who have really supported me with projects and have always been there. There are lots of cool projects coming up and it would be great to involve you all more!

I would like to wish everyone a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year 2017.

Many Thanks,

Zoe Singleton

 

 

Christmas In Melbourne

The sun is shining and its that lovely time of year when there are lots of goodies in the shops. Are you last minute shopping…?!  Well now its time for YOU!….here are a few suggestions….I’ve been into the city to have a little peek at what’s out there.  Peter Jones, Myers, Emporium and the Lay Ways. Gorgeous bags, shoes, make up, perfumes, jewellery, trinkets, toys and lovely lovely clothes. Reiss, Jac and Jack and Chloe bags are my favourites.

There are some lovely gifts all waiting for you!  So if you get a chance – go and spoil yourselves – you deserve it!

If you are already getting into the Christmas spirit and can’t make the City, the Sales are on – you can always pop into town  later on next week to spend the Christmas bonus!

Enjoy and have a wonderful Christmas from GetYAfashON !

May Santa bring all your hearts desires!

Zoe xxx

 

HAPPY CHRISTMAS! ♥