KIRSTY IRWIN

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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 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.

 

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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

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Wild Horses

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http://www.wildhorseslabel.com.au/

Natalie Donovan

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Look out for Western Australian tempestuous label WILD HORSES. Designed for untamed women who want to abscond from the herd and dare to be lax but different. Simple, yet striking, the clothing and jewelry assemblage is renowned for achieving naturally inspired fun and accessible designs while still maintaining dark, stormy undertones.

Natalie’s creations are superbly unique as she steers her creative skills into drive ready to road test to onlookers. A woman who takes pride in quality checks, her exceptional craftsmanship ensures each piece of clothing is crafted to sheer perfection. A multi-tasker mum, she has created a marque from scratch, utilizing her prior industry talents and ingenious pattern maker in the making of the business. Natalie allowed her passion to run freely for women who want to escape the herd.

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What is your label about?

Wild Horses is about being carefree, wild, spirited and effortless! For women who want to escape the herd.

What made you create this label? Tell us your story?

It all began in 2011 when I would create hand made jewelry out of precious stones. From there I would go to markets specializing in local fashion and from then on it grew and got popular and so I took the next step which was clothing.

How did you get to where you are now with your label?

Perseverance, consistency and strong will! Be 100% you! Keep going and don’t look back. And make sure you remember ‘if the elevator to success is out of order, you’ll have to use the stairs, one step at a time.

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What’s a usual day in the office?

Office is attached to our home as we have two young children. Usual day is wake up 6am, organise kids for school. The day - answer urgent emails, gym, write a to do list of the day and sometimes week/month, try to complete that list! Meeting, appointments throughout the day about up and coming shows, shoots, collections. And if it’s that time of year where we need to organise the next range, we would be in the studio most days pattern making, designing, toiling and sampling.

Did you study fashion? If not what did you study?

I studied Fashion and Textiles at the Institute of Technology in 2010 completing Diploma.

What is your favorite part about being a fashion designer?

Flexibility of working from home. You have total control on what you design, and how you can style it. It’s very joyful!

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How did you select the materials you used?

Fabrics are usually chosen during pattern making time. I like to be clear in what I’m wanting to use for the collection so I don’t confuse my self and more importantly so I don’t waste time and money. Most of the time I have a theme for the range and I stick with that theme to keep the fabrics cohesive and strong throughout the collection.

How many people are in your team?

There is me, myself and I! And my pattern maker, samplist, factory, book keeper and accountant.

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

I have been on fashion trips over seas. But most of the time the inspiration comes from within. I feel and imagine a lot and from there it creates these little pops of ideas and then it grows.

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Who is your target market?

Women between 18 – 39 years.

How do you go about sourcing your products? Lots of googling! Research into fashion Asking people Calling and inquiring a lot of businesses in what they do.

Where is the final product made?

The final product is made locally – Fremantle WA. A small handful is made in Indonesia which is mainly the leather side.

What’s your current achievement with the brand that you are most proud of?

Proud that WH is 100% pure and organic. The whole brand has been curated and created by myself. And to have started the label up from nothing is truly inspiring and I feel lots of women can be inspired by each other as we are all strong and passionate beings.

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

A good year.

Before creating your brand did you work for another label?

I didn’t as I just thought – hey lets do this! And threw myself into the deep in, head down, bum up!

Which fashion designers do you aspire to?

Stella McCartney,Chanel,Kate moss and the Olsen twins

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

Do it! But, make sure you have the knowledge, strength and financial back up to start. Something tricky and hard as this industry will leave you red and raw. They say to make $100,000 you need $1,000,000.

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Special thanks to Natalie Donovan xx

Website : www.wildhorseslabel.com.au Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/W-i-l-d-H-o-r-s-e-s/150633064994175 Instagram: @wildhorseslabel

Beau In The Wood

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Get acquainted with
, creator of a new raft of fashion, the Wanderlust design, BEAU IN THE WOODS. A former media mogul (journalism and communication), colluding in secret and every woman has a Rendez-voux with herself, Kylie ran with her secret. There she entered the Universe of an unimaginable fashion career.

Residing on the ever so captivating Brisbane, lined with shimmering warmth of the sun and white sandy beaches, Kylie began a love affair in retail fashion. 

Not a seasonal girl, she focused her tag lines on a summer theme, as she lives for summer.

We are loving BEAU IN THE WOODS and with a luxe of whisper, I invite Kylie Dadson to hone in on her vision and her incredible rise towards her success.    

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Below Kylie answered some of my curious questions about herself.

 

What is your label about?  

 It’s about a wanderlust, summer life style. (Yep two words!) …  

Beau is the love and In The Woods is the adventure. It’s really about loving the adventure of life and creating a lifestyle that individually suits you… 

In my world it’s always summer! 

Our prints are created from photographic images, so travel is my biggest influence, but I am also inspired bygone era’s for their classic styling and design. I love a 50’s, 60’s and 70’s woman as a style muse and often think in print design with 1920’s deco lines. 

What’s a usual day in the office?  

I don’t think there is ever a usual day in the office in the fashion world, but it’s always very task focused and I break it into timeframes to suit. It might be based around pattern or production meetings one day. Design time another. I also tend to work best at night when nothing can distract me! 

Did you study fashion? If not what did you study? 

 I studied journalism and communications whilst working in a photography lab/shop. Towards the end I moved to the Gold Coast so I could be near the beach and fell into fashion retail as a back up plan to support my socialising and travel addiction. 

What is your favourite part about being a fashion designer?  

When people come to us for an outfit for a special event. At the moment we are outfitting a bridal party … We have customized the boys bow ties to go back with each bridesmaid who is wearing a different style across one of our prints. It is going to look so fabulous! It’s been such a fun process to communicate with the bride leading up to the wedding! 

How do you select the materials you used?  

I have a slight obsession with silk. In particular crepe de chine silk. It’s heavenly to wear on the body, perfect for travelling and lasts season after season. Plus our digital prints look amazing on it. 

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How many in your team? 

 Me + my pattern maker, machinist and production. It’s a small circle and I couldn’t do it without them. 

How did you get to where you are now with your label? 

 With a lot of support and encouragement from people in my life … My husband and customers that are now more like friends have been amazing! 

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

 I have planned trips to gain inspiration, but honestly it just hits me sometimes when you see an image or have an experience. I collect everything I can, screen shot everything on my phone, take photos like crazy and then wait for a vibe to hit me. Anyone that knows me will tell you I am happiest when near water, so generally all great ideas come together in my head in the shower… it’s a lot more practical that being constantly pool-side.  

Who is your target market? 

 Confident girls that know what they love and don’t want to strictly follow trends. Our age demographic is anywhere from 16-60. It’s crazy but fabulous that a piece like our Palms Kimono or Bow Cami can kit out such a wide age bracket so perfectly. 

How do you go about sourcing your products? 

We create them all! I am super passionate about building local industry and manufacture all of our garments locally. I drive to drop off items for production, then drive to pick them up. Soon I will have to get couriers of course but I love the conversations I get to have with our makers. It puts life into the garments and everyone is so passionate and proud of the work they have created. 

Where is the final product made?  

Brisbane. 

What’s your current achievement with the brand that you are most proud of? 

I can never answer this questions!!! Sorry, maybe in another a few years!! ;) 

How did you go about creating this label?  

Omg, sooooo many years of trial and error and fabulous moments all in between. Jumping in head first. Just going with it. A ridiculous amount of passion for an idea and turning it into a product. First there was a trip to Vietnam and falling in love with fabrics. Then my husband and I started a fashion agency. Then our first label. A few stockists. Then a shop. Then a raiding of my step father’s photography from which the Beau’s first prints were created. Then a flagship boutique. Now I have pulled it back and am starting super organically with everything I have done to move it forward on a e-platform.  I feel that this is a more modern approach to retail and pop up’s will give the brand the flexibility to change each season. It’s been a constant work in progress for almost 4 years so far.  

Any difficulties in creating and production?   

There will always be a challenge somewhere along the line but because we work so closely with everyone involved in the process it gets sorted quite quickly.  Maintaining great business relationships and creating a beautifully finished garment is the utmost importance to us all. 

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Before creating your brand did you work for another label? 

 Not behind the scenes, just on the shop floor.  

What are your future plans with your label?   

Online retailing is my focus at the moment. I am working on developing a new website and have plans to re-launch the label later this year for the resort season. Moving forward Beau is about summer all year long. (I can’t pretend to care about winter anymore!) We plan to do pop up’s with designer friends too! Kind of like the wanderlust lifestyle we constantly covet! 

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

 I always rave about Jenny Kee. I love following Matthew Williamson on instagram. I am terrible at looking at style.com to follow new season shows and trends. I much prefer street style, architecture, vintage finds such as bohemian glassware and purses and daydreaming about as many travel destinations as possible. 

What’s your feeling for future trends?  

I don’t really follow trends personally. I think it’s the flipside to working in retail for so long and getting such a huge wardrobe that gets outdated so quickly.  (There are only so many market stalls one gal can do!) I love styling for longevity, lifestyle and personal taste. I only buy pieces I absolutely love and encourage my fabulous customers to do the same.  Quality is the biggest trend. The second is knowing your style and just simply rocking it. 

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And lastly, any advice to people who want to get into the industry! 
Get as much experience as you can. And get onto that shop floor! Listen to what people like and don’t like and really gauge if there is a market for what you want to produce. Just do it.  

Special thanks to 
Kylie Dadson xx

 http://www.beauinthewoods.com