Harry recently completed his diploma of applied fashion design and technology at Kangan.
Having grown up on a farm two hours north Adelaide, Harry decided to move to Melbourne at 22. Before studying fashion, Harry had worked nearly over six years as a photographer digital-retoucher, working at studios and with photographers for his own business. Having a love for fashion , but was unsure if he could ever become a designer. That all changed one day at Kangan's open day. They required a portfolio of which he didn’t have one, Harry didn't even know how to sew but took his photography portfolio in to show them. " I told them I was starting off without any background knowledge but this was the creativity, and the drive I brought to the table, that I would work hard, and somehow I got in," Harry says.
You've just completed your Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Technology, Tell us what you've experience during your time at Kangan.
Having just finished my diploma, I can tell you my education in fashion design has just begun. I’m planning to return next year to start my advanced diploma. I never want to stop learning!
I never came from a fashion background, and before Kangan I’d never really sewed besides a few stitches at home many years ago. My first few weeks were an overwhelming surge of self-doubt. Thanks however to some teachers who gave me the support I needed as well as mule like sense of stubbornness that wouldn’t let me give up.
Certainly one my biggest ups so far would have to be receiving the Technology Award at last year’s fashion show, and then almost falling off the stage after being taking one too many sips of wine…
Kangan has become a home and a family in my time there, with all the love, fights, support that comes with it.
Most difficult thing you've had to learn since studying fashion design?
The trick is to keep breathing… just breath god damn it! I learned that just because something goes wrong it’s not the end of the world. If the fabric shrinks, just go with it, make it the best you can do and make sure no one can hear you swear at your mannequin for inexplicitly changing size since the last time you tried on the garment.
Favourite part about being a designer?
The creative process, finding an idea that spills into an image, then an object. Sometimes I feel like I’m turning energy into matter, and nothing makes me happier.
Have you completed any internship since studying? If so what did you learn during your internship?
I had an internship with Rollie (www.rollienation.com) this year, a very cool Melbourne based shoe designer whose process was very tech orientated, always using new programs, new tech, and anything he could to keep his processes moving forward.
It was an amazing environment to be in, I observed that with a small and smart team how much work could be done if you were smart and adaptable enough. The owner/designer Vince Lebon showed me a ton of different ways I could do what I was already doing easier, faster, and better.
What do you aspire/ hopes/ dreams to eventually be in the fashion game?
This is the question I’m asked most often, but also the hardest for me to answer…
I’d love to start my own label, fashion that is beyond mainstream trends.
The saying goes ‘you can’t choose your family, but you can your friends’, and similarly you cannot choose your body, your skin, but you can wear a new skin, and I think that’s what fashion should be.
What was your inspiration behind your final collection?
For my final show garment this year, which I called Bio, I was inspired by the metamorphic and whimsical qualities of the moth/butterfly. I loved the metaphor as a personal story from camouflage to evolution and growth. I used 100% linen and created the print for the skirt using a photograph I took of tree bark.
Also do you have any side projects on at the moment?
I’m really enjoying using my break to work on my digital and traditional drawing. I’d like to use more of my own art to create textiles as a move forwards which makes things so much more fun and personal.
Anyone you aspire or look up to in the design industry?
There are a TON of people I look up to in the fashion industry, designers, photographers, hair/makeup/drag artists, models, and stylists. I have a special place in my heart for Garth Pugh, Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier and an extra gaudy place for old school Heatherette.
Advice to anyone wanting to study your course?
Enjoy everything! Don’t be lazy!
So many people just turn up and expect the system to turn their work into something amazing, but it won’t, it can’t, it’s all about taking the small things as opportunities to learn and to stand out!