KIRSTY IRWIN

LABEL
KW

Kirsty Irwin is a self-taught fashion designer from Adelaide. Having started at a young age her talent was strong and didn’t go unnoticed. Before Kirsty would get ready for the weekend she would think to herself “if I could wear anything what would it be”?. From there she would then go on to design her own clothes and draw them from scratch. Such a talented person it takes to do this. Kirsty first began working in retail and from there working as a wholesale fashion agent. After gaining experience she then went on to create KIRSTY IRWIN &  JAGGAR the label. Now relaunching her self-named brand  KIRSTY IRWIN. One of her main focuses is on cutting edge style, and quality as well as high-end pieces for individuals.

aboutagirl

You’ve created not one but two labels! Tell us about JAGGAR The Label. How was it creating your first brand? It must’ve been exciting to get your ideas out and creating a collection!

I had actually started Kirsty Irwin before JAGGAR & that is how Australian Fashion Labels stumbled upon me as a designer. Starting up a label is a very exciting experience and I would encourage anyone to give it a crack, if you have a true passion for it.

Tell us, What made you want to create your own self-named label? 

Although I had almost complete creative control with JAGGAR, designing/owning your own namesake label is a completely different experience. This is what I have always wanted to do in life, so I’m just going for it!

Typical day in the office?

Step 1- Get caffeinated… This is a very important step!

Step 2- Answer the abundant amount of emails you have received overnight.

Step 3- Could be anything! The best thing about this job is that no day is the same. Anything from designing, fittings, fabric approvals, to the administration side of the business.

aboutagirl9

What inspires you when you’re designing a collection?

I find both music & travel my biggest sources of inspiration.

How do you go about sourcing your products? Especially leather, I’ve always been so curious about the process (I'm a big fan of leather jackets… I love them!) Tell us about how you source your leather- to creating a leather jacket or leather skirt. What is the process?

I am a huge leather lover, as you probably know. So it’s all about the quality of the leather. I don’t start designing until I have found the leather that puts a smile on my dial. The process for leather styles always take a little longer, so I have to do these styles before the rest of the collection. So it’s really the leather that sets the mood for the collection sometimes.

What’s it like to see both worlds from model to fashion designer?

My sister is the one living the #modellife! I decided to stop that at a very young age. I think immersing yourself in as many sides of the fashion industry is always a good idea.

aboutagirl5

What is the most challenging thing about creating a label?

There is so much more to it that just designing. Obviously the business side is another huge aspect. You have to wear many hats, so sometimes you aren’t going to know how to wear some of them.

……And the most rewarding? If I see someone in one of my designs as I am walking down the street I give myself a little mental fist pump. I get a real kick out of girls that just contact me on social media, appreciating all the time and effort gone into their garment.

How would you describe your personal style? Does it reflect into your designs?

I always cringe when having to describe my “style”… I like to mix grungy, worn in pieces & match it back with more structured, sophisticated style. This will definitely be imminent in the KIRSTY IRWIN collections.

Your biggest achievement with your brand?

Seeing JAGGAR on the runway at  Fashion Week, has been my career highlight so far. Watch this space!

about a girl

And lastly, any advice  and tips to people who want to get into the industry!

Prepare to work hard & be ready to overcome some hurdles along the way… It’s a wild ride, so make sure you hang on!

Special thanks to Kirsty xx Website: http://www.kirstyirwin.com Instagram: kirstyirwinofficial Blog: http://kirstyirwin.blogspot.com.au

5 Second chit-chat with Kirsty…

Most treasured item in your closet? My first ever design… A pair of crazy leather pants!

The person that inspires me the most…… My amazing boyfriend, Tom! He is pretty much a design assistant ha ha.

When I leave the house I never leave without my…..My phone! Instagram never sleeps.

Dream location shoot? Somewhere no one else has ever been allowed.

If I could go anywhere right now I’d go to…………………………… Mexico!

Describe the fashion industry in three words. Exciting, innovative & challenging.

Definition of Style. What does style mean to you? I personally think true style is not something that can be taught; you are born with it running through your veins.

Delightful Darling

ddd
HH

 Meet fashion designer student Hayleah Ralph. Hayleah is inspired by all things fantasy and mystical. Having always been surrounded by Art at a young age, her childhood days were filled with countless art and craft activities. She was encouraged to express herself and think outside the box and question normality.

Now as a designer Her imagination runs wild and free. She strongly encourages the expression of ones self through fashion and to be the main character of your own fairy tail. Hayleah is finalising her studies at Academy of Design(Bachelor in Design Arts Majoring in Fashion Design) Inspiring her to create her own fashion label right here in Melbourne called Delightful Darling. Her creations are marvellously unique wholly inspired and based upon fairytale books. I was thrilled to collaborate with Hayleah and her collection, it is based on “The Folk of the Faraway Tree” by Enid Blyton.

 

delightful_2500px-5544

How long have you wanted a career in fashion? 

Many designers have dreamt of being a designer since when they were little, but for me it was right at the end of year twelve. When I was choosing what university courses to apply for. I have always enjoyed being creative and dressing up but it wasn’t until then that I really considered a career in fashion.

Tell us about your brand delightful darling

“Life itself is the most wonderful fairytale.” Delightful Darling aims to embody and share the essence of this statement with the world. Specialising in feminine aesthetic and child like details. The label is all about expressing yourself and having a play with your own look. The collection is exceptionally versatile; incorporating many reversible pieces. This creating ultimate wear ability and allowing the customer to tailor the collection to their own personal style.

Youre currently a student at academy of design in your final year of fashion design ,tell us more about your current experience with the academy of design and what you have achieved since attending.

Through out my time at the Academy I’ve been encouraged to really push myself as a creative,br I feel this has shaped me into the designer I am today. Last year I was lucky enough to be selected for a scholarship with a group of nine other students. I traveled to Paris and London on a two week study. This experience was a huge eye opener for me because i had experienced so  much culture and exciting opportunities with the scholarship. This year I also asked to participate in “ A Capital Collection “ runway show as part of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival cultural program. I was asked to create two looks based on the 60’s. This was a great event as it allowed me to network with other creative people.

delightful-5630

How did you go about sourcing your material for this collection?

A lot of research!! I used utilised websites such as aliexpress and alibaba to help me out.

What inspires you with your brand?

I tend to find my inspiration for Delightful Darling through children’s story books. The launch collection is based on “The Folk of the Faraway Tree” by Enid Blyton. The clothes incorporate many hidden details and features like The Enchanted Forrest itself. I aim to carry the story book theme through out all future collections and base every new collection on a different story book.

Who is your target market?

The target customer is a woman who showcases the same fairy tail style and attitudes that the Delightful Darling holds. Puts great thought into how they visually present themselves and uses their style to express themselves in a way of empowerment. The environment in which the label is aimed at are occasions such as tea and garden parties but also whenever the customer wants to feel “classy and fabulous.”

delightful_2500px-5675

This collection you created something very different with your garments! Tell us.

The collection incorporates some detachable accessories such as cuffs and collars. This adding to the wear ability of the collection and also a feminine touch to any outfit . These accessories also carry their own surprise whimsical feature, they are scented with Jasmine. When these accessories are purchased they also come with a small bottle of scented detergent for them to be hand washed with to reinforce the scent.

What gives you inspiration?

As a designer I gain my inspiration from many places. I really like femininity and anything bright and colourful. I love Spring afternoons and fairytales. I remember standing in Lincraft once and getting overly excited about this beautiful rainbow chiffon material that I found. It had immediately reminded me of a butterfly that I had seen, i knew at that moment i had to have it and create something out of it. I ended up buying the whole ten meters that was left of it!

Have you completed any internship?

Last year I interned for nine weeks at Megan Park. It was a great insight into the industry and networking opportunity.

delightful_2500px-5653

What are your goals would you like to be an independent brand or work for a brand?

My goal is to develop my label Delightful Darling over the next few years while working for an established designer within the industry to build up my experience. Then ultimately I’d love to work full time on my own independent label.

What fashion designers do you look up to?

There are so many designers that I look up to. One in particular is Melbourne based designer Petrova Hammond, who is the head designer for “Lady Petrova”. I really admire her outlook on the fashion industry and her feminine aesthetic. I actually invited her to the “A Capital Collection” runway that I participated it at the beginning of the year. It was a great opportunity to have a chat to her and hear her advise. I have also invited her to my graduate show at the end of this year and am excited to have her view my collection.

What are your future plans do you wish to achieve?

I would love to have Petrova stock the Delightful Darling label in her boutique . This would be a great achievement for me as I feel the label it extremely suited to that environment. I would also like to travel some more and experience all that life has to offer.

delightful_2500px-5473

Advice for anyone who is currently studying fashion?

Never let an opportunity pass you by!

Special thanks to Hayleah xxx

Models: Adriana Perri Lewis Macmaster

Photographer: Ebony Finck Ebony J Finck Photography

Website Instagram: Delightful_Darling

delightful_2500px-5797

Georgia Guy

georgia-guy-logo

www.georgiaguy.com.au

Georgia Palmer & myself

Georgia Palmer is the creator of Adelaide fashion label Georgia Guy. Having completed her advanced diploma of fashion design and technology at Tafe SA, graduating in 2011. Georgia  last year won Emerging Designer Award in 2013 and since then never looked back. Her unique brand is well known for her bold silhouettes and individual designs. Georgia takes pride in her quality of garments. Every piece is hand made in her Adelaide studio. From designing to patternmaking as well as cutting and sewing which makes every piece of her collection unique. Using materials sourced from around the world. Having a great attention to detail and highlighting on quality of craftsmanship. I met Georgia at the Norwood Parades for AFF2014. I was able to get a feel for her textures and quality of her garments which were so beautifully pieced together. Below I interviewed Georgia as she gives us an insight to her life as a designer.

ggmainphoto

What made you create this label? Tell us your story about your label Georgia Guy?

After finishing my study it felt like a very natural progression to make, I wanted to create clothes that were modern, classic and feminine without being girlie. Georgia Guy is my maiden name so it really is a reflection of me, my style and my life. Wear ability is a key factor for me and something I really take into account when designing as I want customers to not just love their clothes but feel comfortable in them.

Did you study fashion?

I studied an advanced diploma of fashion design and technology at Tafe SA, graduating in 2011.

What is your experience working in the industry before creating your brand?

I had very little fashion industry experience prior to starting my label, which made it a little more challenging and a big learning curve! The year in-between finishing my study and putting together my first full collection (Spring Summer last year) was spent creating small runs of different styles and selling through a small Adelaide based boutique. I also worked in store once week which was great seeing first hand how customers reacted to my garments.

ggphotothree

How many years did it take for your idea to hit and start becoming a reality?

After spending a year making bits and bobs I put together a full collection and entered it into the SA emerging designer competition last year and won. That really gave me the boost that this dream could become a reality and what I was doing was worthwhile.

How did you select and source the materials you use for your collections? What’s the progress for you?

I tend to start off with a few designs in mind- key features/silhouettes and feel that I want to achieve before seeing a few local fabric agents. Fabric choice is a big dictator for my collections so once that is chosen I can get stuck into designing/patternmaking and sampling. My designs really evolve during the patternmaking and sampling process and during that time I can see how things will work together and any gaps in the collection I need to fill.

How and what gives your inspiration for each collection? Do you go on fashion trips to gain inspiration?

I try not to focus on gaining inspiration as it has always happened very organically for me, seeing a photo in a magazine or finding some fabric will set me off and once I’ve started ideas generally flow pretty easily. I try to keep up to date with what is going on in the world as well as spending a lot of time checking out fashion/street style blogs. I am very excited about the fashion icons exhibition which is coming to the Art Gallery of SA as historical fashion has always been very inspiring to me.

ggphoto11

Where is the final product made?

I work from a city studio which is a shared space with several other designers, photographers and an architect. From there I do all the designing, patternmaking, cutting and sewing. Every piece is hand made by myself which is incredibly time consuming but does give me complete control of every piece I put my name to.

Last year you won Emerging Designer Award at the Adelaide Fashion Festival’s Designer Showcase.

Tell us what was it like to win such a prestigious award what opportunities did it open for you?

That was such an amazing night, I can’t believe its been a year already! It was a huge surprise and honor to win as it was my first full collection and what a way to kick things off! Winning the award has opened many doors and helped me to promote my label in a way I could not have done before. As well as brand awareness it has given me as a designer and my label cred within the industry.

Your showcasing your collection at Adelaide fashion festival 2014 this year what direction have you taken with your collection this year?

My spring summer collection this year came from wanting to create a collection which has broad appeal and is wearable. I have also embraced the trend for sheer fabrics by sourcing a beautiful sheer stripe which I have accentuated by playing around with the direction of the stripes. The collection is light with crisp elements such as angled seams and clean silhouettes softened by the use of a beautifully soft cupro blend fabric. There is also a subtle sexiness to it through the use of open back tops which show off just enough skin and giving knee length lady like sheer skirts short lining. The result is casual elegant and easy to wear.

ggphotoseven

Who’s your inspiration/ fashion designers who you look up to?

Locally I love checking out Bianca Spenders work as it has the clean modern feel I really love. Internationally I really love vintage YSL, Roskanda Ilinic, Gucci (especially the 70’s throwback collections) and most recently at New York fashion week Delpozo- loved it!

And lastly, any advice to people who want to get into the industry!

Be prepared to work really hard! Also, as in life, treat people how you want to be treated as it’s a close knit industry (especially in Adelaide).

Special thanks to Georgia Palmer xx Check out more of her beautiful collection from her new spring summer 14/15 collection online!

Website: www.georgiaguy.com.au Instagram: GEORGIA_GUYAU

ggphoto12