Student fashion ambassador focused on raising animal welfare awareness, one paw at a time

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For 18 year old Communications and Law student Joshua Sanchez-Lawson, fashion means more than what it does for most people.

Being an active club secretary of the UWA People for Animal Welfare (UWA PAW) and a student ambassador for the much loved online store ASOS, he has an avid passion for fashion with a conscience, and is responsible for running a wide range of information sessions and events such as vegan BBQ’s, education seminars, and fundraising parties. Recently, he hosted the UWA PAW De-Stress event where local organisations and shelters were invited onto the UWA campus, allowing students to interact with rescue animals and find out about volunteering, fostering and donating. Furthermore, being a student ambassador for ASOS gives him insight into the Green Room Initiative adopted by ASOS- they aim to provide workers who grow and make consumer goods better working conditions and wages, and also stock a wide range of eco-conscious items.

‘Fashion is its best when it can inspire and excite us without unnecessary harm to people, animals, or the environment,’ says Josh, and through his collaborative involvement with UWA PAW and ASOS, he is focused on raising awareness for animal welfare across the UWA campus.

Josh views fashion as an ultimate form of self-expression, and believes getting involved in various university clubs is an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable experience for all people, offering many opportunities. ‘If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. Take risks with fashion and express yourself. Respect diversity, and don’t be afraid to get involved with something you believe in!’

Josh hopes to eventually work in fashion media or creative direction, and his involvement with ASOS is most definitely paving the way.

Check out the UWA PAW Facebook page and give Josh a follow on Instagram @dirtysanchezlawson!

Open House Perth 2014 Event Launch Party

Celebrating the upcoming Open House Perth 2014, Perth’s most modern hub, Brookfield Place, hosted the launch event party last Wednesday. The event was attended by architects, designers, bloggers, and locals who were passionate about the transforming vibrant city of Perth. Deputy Lord Mayor Rob Butler opened the event with a speech, proudly stating Perth as one of the top 10 most livable cities in the world. Channel Seven very own Mark Gibson, as the official Open House ambassador, also attended the launch event inspiring locals to get the buzz of the event around. His fiery passion for Perth has brought Channel Seven’s special report on Open House as the most watched story on Tuesday.

With the tagline, “Want a backstage pass to the city?”, Open House Perth aims to showcase Perth’s most iconic destinations, giving a dazzling opportunity to explore more than 70 great spaces in the city for free. This event encourages locals to be tourists in their own town, unlocking a blend of old and new architectural structures that will be accessible to the public.

Open House Perth will take place this weekend on November 1 – November 2, 2014 all over the city and also venturing up to the fringe suburb areas, including North Perth, Mount Lawley, Maylands, and South Perth. Head to their website to know which destinations are featured this year.


Living an ethically conscious life with Lisa Karaki



For some, juggling full time university, a casual job, a modelling program and a health food blog is an arduous, time consuming and essentially impossible task. However, for 18 year old Lisa Karaki this is a mix of her much loved interests and passions in life, and she commits herself day in, day out to making the most out of the opportunities she is given- whether it be spending time at university, participating in modelling shows or posting about new recipes and healthy tips on her much loved Instagram and health blog. As well as studying early childhood education at university, she has committed herself as a primary school mentor and, more recently, became signed to a development program by Chadwick Models, one of Australia’s leading modelling agencies. She says she is focused on achieving a healthy balance in everything she does and thoroughly enjoys cooking and discovering new recipes, whilst also spending time exploring new places and keeping active on her regular bike rides.

After following a number of health blogs on Instagram she was inspired to start her own, and with a following of almost 50,000 people, it is no doubt that it has been an incredibly rewarding process for her. ‘I now have a much healthier perspective on ‘weight loss’ and ‘diets’ and have found something I am truly passionate about,’ she says, and it is clear when scrolling through the hundreds of vibrant pictures of the wide range of delicious, healthy and wholesome foods she creates (all vegan and cruelty free!) that she is well-informed about what it takes to maintain a healthy lifestyle in an enjoyable and feel-good way.

This keen interest in the nutritional and ethical values of food led her to making cruelty-free choices in as many parts of her life as possible: clothing, cosmetics and personal care to name a few. ‘I think the best advice would be to start small. Making every choice you can towards a more ethical world is more than enough, because really, every choice does count. Even just opting for the vegetarian meal when you go out for dinner is making a difference. Making the transition to a completely cruelty-free lifestyle takes time and effort, so it’s important to not be too harsh on yourself,’ says Lisa.

Over the recent years, there have been a growing number of nutritious and ethically conscious health food stores and cafes opening across Perth, some being Manna Wholefoods and The Raw Kitchen, specialising in providing wholesome meals and focusing on environmental sustainability. Lisa’s favourite Australian company, Pana Chocolate, hand make their cruelty free chocolate in Melbourne and use only organic, sustainably sourced ingredients. All of their packaging is 100% recyclable and waste free.

Lisa has also been kind enough to give one of her favourite breakfast recipes to us, a tasty Acai Bowl for a nourishing and energy packed start to the morning.

Acai Bowl Recipe (Serves 1)


  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 2 scoops acai powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries or frozen blueberries
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 4 tbsp water overnight (optional)

Blend all the ingredients in a high-powered blender until it reaches a soft serve consistency. Top with whatever you feel like (my favourites are banana, homemade granola, fresh berries, coconut and mango!)


Lisa runs the Instagram account @healthforhappy and blog

Asuar – “As You Are” by Lauren Atkinson





Asuar is a Perth-based fashion label created by the talented Lauren Atkinson. The designer uses hand crafted patterns and exquisite materials to bring unique creative designs, inspired from art, architecture, and travel. Her travel to Vietnam has birth the latest Spring/Summer 14/15 collection. Read our interview below to know more about Asuar and the designer behind it.

What inspired you to create Asuar in the first place?

I have been interested in art and textiles for as long as I remember and my mind is always going crazy with new ideas that can be translated into printed cloth or garments. I completed a BA in Contemporary Arts with a double major in Visual Art and Contemporary fashion and then I went onto work as a freelance textiles designer and for a textiles wholesaler, which developed my knowledge about the fashion industry, and gradually the business developed quite organically.

What differentiates Asuar from other fashion labels?

Asuar is a boutique label that prides itself on creating unique, quality pieces for the relaxed Australian lifestyle. All processes are completed in house, from the artworks for print, to the final sampling. This allows us to constantly respond to the creative process, which, I feel generates more of a sense of authenticity.

Can you tell us a bit of the process of creating your designs?

The creative process varies, however it is a culmination of capturing natural beauty through selecting exquisite materials, manipulating fabric and introducing interesting images derived from travel, culture and experiences. The recent Spring Summer collection was influenced by my travels throughout Vietnam and the visual relationships I built with the local street and village cultures.

What 3 words describe Asuar?

I guess carefree, textural and comfortable springs to mind.

Who do you see wearing your designs?

I see both younger and older women who are really cool and down to earth! The pieces can be worn either individually or electively. I think it is really exciting to see the outcome of when people mix pieces from different sources, old, new and reinvented.

What challenges have you faced as an emerging designer?

It has all been a huge learning curve really from sourcing, sampling, marketing, sales, PR and production. There is a lot to manage but it has been a great experience. I guess the biggest challenge is ensuring that the sales and delivery dates align with other prominent Australian designers, which is just a matter of being really prepared and ordering supplies in advance, as unexpected delays are quite common.

Can you share with us your experience in showcasing your designs in Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2014? How did you feel about it?

Yes, Asuar showed in the WA Designer category and it was a really nice experience where we had a great support from the community. It is such an awesome event for both emerging and established designers and I feel so privileged to be able to be part of it.

What have been the highlights of the journey in creating Asuar?

Nothing tops the feeling after shooting a campaign. So much goes into the sampling and organizing the components of a shoot but the highlight, for me is collaborating with other creative individuals that understand your vision and then producing images to reflect the story and the brand.

Can you describe your daily style?

I guess my style is quite relaxed and eclectic. I don’t live by rules where you must match this with that. I tend to mix interesting statement pieces with basics and vintage items. I am very drawn to fabrics with a beautiful hand feel or colour and I definitely buy quality over quantity these days.


Wylden: interview




Vancouver based jewelry designer, Trisha Lazaroo is the creative mind behind Wylden. Having started in 2010, Trisha fell in love with colourful mess that is, creating jewelry. Simplistic and elegant, Wylden emphasizes modern femininity with ever evolving style. Despite continually experimenting with her jewelry, her background is one that has had “a history of goldsmiths.” Wylden represents “a new history being written” and Vashti Magazine had a chance to discover more about this gem on the other side of the world from us.

VM: Name a few influences on your artistic style.

TL: It’s hard attributing my style to one particular thing/person. Especially since I find that my style has evolved, and will probably continue to do so. I will say though, that music is definitely one of those things that really help fuel my work. Definitely helps to be surrounded by my talented and inspiring friends too.

VM: What would be one of your fondest moments while creating your work?

TL: Hmm.. fondest moment hey. As a whole I generally enjoy each stage of the production. What I am fond of though is the personal touch behind each piece. The nature of making things by hand comes with certain unpredictability. So each piece has slight differences from each other. I quite like that.

VM: Your jewelry is all minimalistic. Is that deliberate or is that your personal preference?

TL: I guess you could say both? It’s deliberate in the sense that I’ve set out to create jewelry that I myself would wear. Honestly, I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to jewelry. So I like not having to switch out my pieces too often! Easy breezy!

VM: You make these pieces by hand, right? How do you go about doing that?

TL: It depends on what I’m making. I usually have to prep my materials beforehand, like measuring and cutting my metals to the right size. After which I fabricate the metals to the desired form. This usually requires a combination of sawing and hammering. And if soldering is required, I bring out my handy torch to get the job done. Once my metals have been properly soldered, I do some major clean up and polish.

VM: Does something usually inspire you when you make a piece of jewelry?

TL: Like most, I draw inspiration from whatever grabs my attention! Whether it’s a piece of music or a hint of color. The main thing really, is to continually experiment and work at it. I find that most inspired ideas usually come from those instances.

VM: What would you say are your biggest challenges?

TL: I’d have to say the insecurities that come along with being a creative. For a long time, I felt uncomfortable calling myself a jewelry maker / designer. I felt like I wasn’t good enough to be doing this. When you’ve invested so much of yourself into your work and put it on display, it all starts to feel a little daunting. It’s something I still tackle with from time to time, but I’ve got a better handle on it.


VM: Finally, why the name, WYLDEN? Is there a certain meaning behind it?

TL: It’s kind of a long story.. But I’ll do my best to explain it. When I started working with jewelry, it didn’t quite hit me that my family has had a history of goldsmiths. It was only after the fact, that I put the pieces together. My maternal grandpa, ‘gong gong’, was a goldsmith and so with his grandfather. Wanting to incorporate this history, I took his English name, William, and split it with my paternal grandpa’s name, Dennis. To me, Wylden represents a new history being written.

Each piece is carefully handcrafted and welded into something that feels so good on you! And something like that can never be bad! Constantly growing, this project  is one to look out for and definitely one that “creates pieces that reveal the inner qualities of materials and objects.” And I’m certainly happy to have had the chance to speak to this lovely lady. So check out her website and trust me – you will not be disappointed!





Karen Walker’s Worldly Vision


Her eyewear campaigns have featured children, advanced style stars, albinos and now Karen Walker is using the advertising platform to highlight the plight of poverty-stricken African regions, working with the United Nations’ International Trade Centre’s Ethical Fashion Initiative.

The New Zealand-based designer just released her Spring 2014 campaign in which she gives a face to the Kenyan artisans who worked on her range. Karen Walker is known for her provocative, out of the ordinary visuals. The latest campaign however, called ‘Karen Walker Visible’, might be the most innovative one yet.

For the range, the designer worked with a group of Kenyan artists who created the pouches sold with each pair of sunglasses purchased. Made using local materials, machinists, tailors, metal workers and Maasai beaders, the result is an exquisitely crafted collection of embellished and screen-sprinted sunglass slips.

It’s these craftsmen and women who are cast in the campaign, shot by Derek Henderson, created a visually arresting tribute to the artists’ culture and creative talent.

The Ethical Fashion Initiative aims to promote fair and sustainable business rather than a reliance on aid in disadvantaged African and Haitian communities, bringing together craftspeople and international brands to produce products and hope to change the future with these initiatives.

Karen was thrilled to be able to work with the Ethical Fashion Initiative on this project and explained that she “wanted to expand on that by presenting not only the pouches they’re creating for us, but also something more intimate – a glimpse into the world that the work is coming from.”

“This campaign captures both this innate optimism and love of maximum impact in the images themselves and also the way in which they direct our attention to this part of the world and the work being done there. In short, the images help bring visibility to this place, these people and the work of the Ethical Fashion Initiative.”

The new collection of sunglasses includes oversized black frames with colour-tinted translucent lenses and gold trims, gold glitter and filigree styles, and reflective gold lenses.

For further information on the Ethical Fashion Initiative, visit


Karen Walker Visible Eyewear