Fairly Fashionable? 2015 Show

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“There are 49 designers using fabrics from 25 fair trade organisations here tonight. These designers prove that ethical fashion is something we can and should be working towards.”

These words enlightened and inspired the sold-out audience at Fairly Fashionable? 2015 in Fremantle’s Victoria Hall, ready for a truly unique show.

The Fairly Fashionable? Challenge is a fun and unique take on modern fashion shows. Designers who enter are given ethically sourced fabrics and have just 14 days to create a submission, whether that be a dress, a bag, a whole outfit or a piece of jewellery. Participants can add their own fabrics to complete the submission, but these pieces must also be ethically sourced. Designers then submit a design brief along with their submission, discussing their inspiration, design and materials.

The judging panel, consisting of Aly May (Department of Culture and the Arts), Robert Roberts (Fair Trade Association of Australia & New Zealand) and Jessica Priemus (Bhalo), had the difficult task of choosing standout winners among a group of talented students, amateurs and professionals. Between shows, Angie Parker, winner of last years competition and co-founder of Rana Clothing, spoke about the value of this event, crediting Fairly Fashionable? as the foundation that created her brand.

In a sea of colour and patterns, designers highlighted texture, craftsmanship and design through innovative layering, stitching and patterning techniques. A number of outfits such as Vynka Topham’s submission had not been cut at all, but rather made into an outfit through skillful layering and stitching techniques. Our favourites of the night included Melissa Westwood’s floral jacket and shorts, Cordelia Gibbs menswear jacket, harem pants and vest outfit and Anita Stapenell’s jumpsuit. Both Gibbs and Stapenell went on to win awards for their submissions.

As model after model took to the runway in pieces that embodied culture, ethics and sustainability, it’s hard to understand how we as a society accept sweatshop-made, unethical fashion. In a mere 14 days, designers had created pieces that would put some of the clothing we see in stores to shame, both in quality and sustainability.

Ethical and sustainable fashion isn’t just a trend, it’s a movement and it’s one that we plan to see through.”

Fairly Fashionable: http://fairlyfashionable.com.au/

Photography by Ryan Ammon: http://ryanammon.com

By Laurie Power

Rana Clothing

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Rana Clothing is a Perth-based brand creating stylish officewear that is sweatshop-free and ethically sourced. We caught up with Angela Parker, one of the founders of the company, to find out more about Rana and its creative process.

Shortly after Angela won 2014’s Fairly Fashionable? Fashion Revolution Day competition, she was deeply considering a career-change, unsure if a future in fashion was possible. At this time, Angela met Rebecca Dracup and Rana became a possibility. After researching target markets and focus groups, Angela met with a friend who presented a problem she was having; finding ethical officewear. With a target audience created, Rana was established.

Rana is named after the Rana Plaza Tragedy of 2013. Rana Plaza was a multi-storey production factory in Bangladesh. On April 23rd 2013, workers alerted their superiors to cracks appearing along the walls and pillars. These warnings were ignored and with the threat of being fired, workers were forced to return the next day. On April 24th 2013, Rana Plaza collapsed, claiming over 1100 lives and injuring over 2000 people.

Rana had its breakthrough in March 2015, when it’s Pozible campaign raised $15,000. “While I was in Sri Lanka, the campaign was successful. The money is going to pay for the production of the first line.” Rana’s clothing line is created in Sri Lanka in a sweatshop-free factory. Angela visits the factory as regularly as possible to ensure that everything is operating under the Rana ethos, as well as to connect with the manager, staff and employees, helping to create a sense of community and develop connections with these people. “Designers never come to the factory” was the shocking message that came from the manager of the factory when Angela arrived to examine the process.

We asked Angela why she thinks April 24th’s Fashion Revolution Day is important. “There’s a real lack of transparency and a lack of responsibility that needs to change and I think that’s what Fashion Revolution Day is about … buyers putting pressure on the brands that they support to be more transparent.” We also asked what she would suggest to brands considering becoming more sustainable and ecofriendly. “For a lot of brands, taking the first step is the scariest part. If you’re an established brand and you’ve got the way you do things and it’s working, to then go and change something, it’s scary!” Identifying problem areas, visiting the factory you source from and making connections with the people who work there were just 3 of Angela’s suggestions for brands.

The future for Rana? Menswear, hopefully. “It’s going to be a challenge but I have a few ideas for collaborative designing”. Expanding the range of available products is also on the horizon, such as separates, skirts and tops. “The important thing for us is to have a range so that more people can actually buy fair trade, we don’t want to limit it to anyone.

Rana’s debut collection will be released in June, with preorders available now on their website: http://ranaclothing.com.au/

Rana’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ranaclothing

If you want to be involved in Fashion Revolution Day, find out more; http://vashti.colosoul.com.au/fashion-revolution-day/

Photos of Rana’s factory in Sri Lanka, the hand-operated loom and Angie Parker with her factory liaison Ravi Abeysekera.

Photography by Ryan Ammon: http://ryanammon.com

By Laurie Power

Fashion Revolution Day

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“It takes a lot to make a garment. Not just the bits we hear about – the designers, the brands, the shops, the catwalk shows and the parties – but also the farmers who grow cotton, the ginners, spinners, weavers, dyers, sewers and other factory workers without whom the industry would not exist. These people, the people who make our clothes are hidden from us, often at their own expense.”

Whether you take pride in your style or not, clothes are important in our day-to-day lives. Getting dressed every morning is regular routine and we often get caught up in the latest trends or the figure on price tags. But have you ever stopped and thought about where your clothes came from, who they were made by or how the people who are involved are treated?

Most, if not all of us are probably unaware of the process involved in making our clothes. It can be physically demanding for workers and can even claim lives. The Rana Plaza tragedy was considered one of the deadliest factory incidents in history. When cracks were discovered in the eight-storey building in Bangladesh, warnings were given to avoid using the building. These warnings were ignored and factory workers were ordered to return to work as normal the next day. The building collapsed on the 24th of April 2013, claiming the lives of over 1100 people and severely injuring over 2500 people.

Fashion Revolution Day is held annually on the 24th of April to raise awareness and inspire change in the fashion industry. With over 65 countries taking part worldwide, the day encourages us to find out who made our clothes. This year Fashion Revolution Day is focusing on transparency in the industry and building a future by reconnecting the broken links between companies, shoppers and those who make our clothes. Making a change is easy. Fashion Revolution Day endorses three simple steps to get involved. Be Curious about who makes the clothes you wear and how they are made. Find Out more about the brands and supply chain. Do Something by joining the movement and posting a selfie on your social media accounts wearing an item of clothing inside out, asking the brands “Who Made My Clothes” and adding #FashRev as the caption. By getting involved, you can be a part of a fashion revolution and help create a fashion industry that is fair and gives equal value to people, the environment and creativity.

 

By Chloe Fraser

An Audience with Jimmy Choo

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“Be confident in yourself, believe in yourself, have patience” – Jimmy Choo

When we think shoes, one of the first names that come to mind is Jimmy Choo.

In his visit to Perth this week, Jimmy sat down with host Claudia Bertorello-Kell and an audience of fashion enthusiasts to discuss his humble upbringing and rise to royalty in the fashion word.

“Call me Jimmy” he requested as Claudia began the interview. Full of confidence, wisdom and passion, Professor Choo gave advice on how to survive as a designer in the global fashion industry. Choo’s success and fame has not changed him; if anything it has made him more humble and sincere.

At just eleven years of age, Jimmy designed his first pair of shoes for his mother as a birthday present. From that point on, he knew he wanted to be a designer and pass on his skill to future generations. Jimmy earned his first big break at London Fashion Week in 1998, where he displayed his first collection. He was then approached by fashion giant Vogue, who produced an eight-page spread about his designs. This propelled Choo into the major league, as he began designing shoes for the high society, celebrities and even Princess Diana.

While Jimmy’s success comes from his eloquently crafted shoes, he also expresses the importance of loving what you do, being determined and being aware that “there’s always someone better than you”. For Jimmy “a shoe is not just a pair of shoes, a shoe is a piece of art” and it is that love and passion that continues to inspire him to design.

Jimmy believes it is vital to share his skill and encourage others to work hard to follow their dreams. He takes on various students as apprentices and acts as a platform for students to learn from and eventually become their own designers.

“I want to put my heart back into society”

“I want people to follow in my footsteps” he says.

By Chloe Fraser

Perth City Fashion Runway 2015

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What will you be wearing this winter?

 

If you’re looking to update your wardrobe then there’s no better time to do so than this winter. This season’s looks are heavily inspired by the 70s and are both chic and suave.

 

The Perth City Fashion Runway was held on Sunday and showcased the latest winter fashion from the city. Forrest Chase came to life as models arrived in limousines and walked through the streets towards the runway, hounded by paparazzi.

 

The models floated down the runway wearing firm-fitting and well-tailored garments, as local band PUMP took to the stage with an upbeat performance.

 

While black and white are always popular colours for the colder months, the tonal look including nude, caramel, and reddy-browns tones are right on trend this season. Layering is also essential and experimenting with different textures can create quirky and fun looks.

 

For the men, earthy browns and lights blues construct the typical ‘American college boy’ look. Layering a clean crisp shirt with an open jacket and ankle freezers is both simple and very stylish.

 

But it’s not just about the clothes. Accessories are a must have to polish off the perfect look. Add some boots, a jacket, a bag and maybe even a felt hat to take your outfit to a whole new level.

 

Ladies will be left looking elegant and men rather dapper in this seasons evening wear. Sequins and bling are a must have to add a little razzle dazzle to your night, while men will be left looking sharp in tailored fit shirts and hot new kicks.

 

There is plenty to shop for this season weather you are updating your wardrobe or just adding a few on-trend threads to really dress the part. Whichever it is, you can easily find all the latest fashions in stores around Perth city.

 

Photo Credit to Ryan Ammon: http://www.ryanammon.com/

By Chloe Fraser

 

Urban Couture Tableaux

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Joondalup Urban Couture finished last Sunday March 29th and did so within the busy streets of the Joondalup festival, allowing the general public to see and experience the new Perth fashion scene. With Grand Boulevard being closed off, Urban Couture featured tableaux presentations as a final showcase for designers, models and artists. The models were given an opportunity to interact with their clothing and the sets surrounding them, giving more life to the collections.

Two sets were placed between the festivities, with models presenting pieces from the range of emerging designers and design students. Both setups also featured floral headpieces designed by local millinery Susan Rush. The first tableau, among a backdrop mural made by artist Anya Brock were pieces by Vidhi Dudhia, who combines bright, splashes of colour and simple, elegant dresses, and Birds on a Wire, who create sweet pieces from pastel patterns and doughnut prints.

The second setup featured a tropical backdrop made from a variety of materials imitating trees, leaves and other greenery. This tableau featured four bold and elegant gowns from designers Munkshur Abboudi, Shreeja Rajan and Joel Un. Our favourite pick was Joel Un‘s piece; featuring a drop waist, high neckline and an asymmetrical hem gown coloured by in shades of blue and green. Combined together, the dress resembled a quietly moving river and the backdrop complimented it perfectly.

After the month of showcases, designers have been given an opportunity to both express their art and experience the world of fashion. With the great variety and unique designs that fashion graduates have been able to present there is no doubt we will be seeing them grow and expand alongside the Perth fashion scene.

Photo Credit to Ryan Ammon: http://www.ryanammon.com/

By Jessica Clausen