1. Your international success is undeniable, but is there anything more special than coming home to where it all began?
I really do love showing back home. The vibe and the energy from the audience is undeniable. There is a genuine affection and attention that I'm happy to say is only present in Oz. I guess because they have seen the brand from its inception and can appreciate the ride and relate to it in a very different way. Also coming back to VAMFF is a bit full circle, it’s when things really began in my career so I'm excited to be back on the labels 21st birthday!
2. In 2012 you had the opportunity to present your collection at the L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival – how has the brand changed since then?
It has really evolved in so many ways and had multiple incarnations. I feel again it has come full circle and the focus of my work is on the individuality of design and its signature aesthetic. There have been moments of pushing commerciality and other lines, but the strength and the main reason why I hope and feel people come to it and are drawn to it, is because it doesn’t look like anyone else and makes them feel amazing. How special to be able to make women (and maybe some men) feel like their best self!
3. How important are the opportunities that fashion festivals like VAMFF provide to the fashion industry and to designers?
I think the festival has been a leader in giving the consumer and the audience which we all hope to capture, to be present and actually be involved in what is essentially an industry which often likes to keep its doors closed to outsiders. The festival throws the doors open and gives everyone the opportunity to view and preview and participate in this ‘exclusive’ industry. That is an amazing thing. It has also nurtured new talents and given light to designers and creatives which may otherwise rely on other channels that aren’t as receptive to others vision that may not fit the mainstream or feels fashionable.
4. What can we expect from your Grand Showcase at VAMFF and how will it differ from shows you have presented in the past?
In the past I guess the audience has only seen a snippet of the collections or edited variations. In the last showcase it was more of a retrospective of sorts which gave the audience a run though on all the technical, experimental ideas and vision for the brand. This time around I will be showing a full scope of the current collections. Which will include elements of the ready to wear collection and some of the more show/spectacle ideas that I allow myself to indulge in.
5. What advice can you pass on to young designers who are just starting out in the industry?
It's such a different landscape now. There are so many designers doing amazing things and vying for recognition and visibility. But what I’ve learnt is to stick with what makes you, YOU! Be different and don’t fit in. Don’t follow what others are doing just because you think it will get you on the pages of a magazine or in a newspaper or a store. Work with your friends and support each other’s talents. Create your own distinctive universe and let people discover it. If you want to make a quick buck, then do what other Australian brands do and steal ideas from talented people... but they die very quickly... It’s a long-term job. It's a life, it has to be something you can’t live without doing.
Further information and tickets on sale now at vamff.com.au.
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