Designer Feature: Curious Birdy

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Curious Birdy, previously known as Bird on a Wire, was created by Charissa Schlink in 2014. The label is fun and quirky, and aims to bring out beauty in everyday life. The prints are the foundation of the different collections, each carefully detailed and combined with the perfect texture and fabric to create extraordinary pieces.

Charissa graduated from Polytechnic West in 2013, and absolutely loved that she could be both practical and creative in her course. After her studies she began working on other Australian labels including Little Gracie, Dyspnea and Lover. In 2014 she continued to study fashion and business while starting up her own label, which was known as Bird on a Wire at the time. In 2015, the label’s name was changed to Curious Birdy. Bird on a Wire felt vintage with a twist, and the name change symbolised Curious Birdy moving further from its vintage roots.

The creative cuts of Curious Birdy simultaneously evoke the scorching Australian summer and cool femininity. The cool colours and summery motifs of the prints match this feeling, and can focus on anything from flowers to doughnuts. The simpler chequered and polka dot patterns are also incredibly adorable. The photoshoots for this label always has interesting locations, poses and props, so it’s fun to check out Curious Birdy’s lookbook on their website.

The Curious Birdy label has its own e-Boutique, and is also sold at Merge in Northbridge and Common Ground in Fremantle. The spring/summer collection for 2014-15 is called Desert Bloom, the main print is a fascinating combination of green, purple, blue and orange. The cactus and flower shapes work seamlessly together to create standout garments that are also suitable for daily wear.

On 4th September 2015, Curious Birdy was featured in the WA Born Fashion Event. This sold out show also featured 18 other WA born and raised designers and was an amazing night all around. Curious Birdy showed off their new collection utilising light blue and white striped fabric, as well as an intricate pink butterfly print. Having these prints clash on the same garment and between garments was an interesting choice, and displaying the gorgeous white floor length dress balanced out the pieces. Short skirts and head wraps were key to this new collection, giving that familiar girly and summery feel.

We’re looking forward to seeing what else will come from the Curious Birdy change in name and direction!

Photography by Chanelle Gibbs

HMUA by Chanelle Gibbs

By Terina Kett

Designer Feature: Hello Parry

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As street wear, unique high-fashion and individualisation of style is becoming more evident in the world of fashion. it is a very exciting time for Perth based online boutique HELLO PARRY. The online store is dedicated to classic, chic, timeless pieces that can be mixed and matched in order to create your own unique look.

Sandy, the creative mind behind the boutique, explains that HELLO PARRY is all about the personal style of the individual. For girls who “love to mix and match a few designer pieces (hand bag and accessories) with clothes that are at an affordable price point”. After being asked frequently about what she was wearing Sandy realised “there was a gap in the market for high-street fashion at a price point that won’t break the bank”. It was then that HELLO PARRY was created to provide this stylish niche to not only WA but also national and international customers.

When it comes to the inspiration for HELLO PARRY, almost anything goes. “I’m inspired by lots of things every day. From checking out the styles on the streets, flicking through Instagram Feeds and fashion blogs, to collaborating and sharing ideas with other creative minds”.

Along with a number of other Perth designers HELLO PARRY was shown at the WA Born Event as part of the 2015 Telstra Perth Fashion Festival (TPFF) Cultural Program on the 4th of September. As this was their first group show at TPFF, Sandy was looking forward to not only supporting a great cause but also working alongside other WA creatives. On the night, HELLO PARRY showcased their range from bold statement pieces to everyday basics with edge to add to your style.

Despite their distance from the eastern states, Sandy says that the Perth fashion industry is a close-knit community, where designers, artists and creatives are eager to collaborate and help each other out. Although, above all Sandy believes that being unique is vital in establishing yourself as a new designer. By standing out and trying to be different from the crowd, observing, researching and being prepared to work hard – “It’s not as glamorous as you may imagine. Be prepared to work hard”.

Photography by Jiawa Liu

HMUA by Sandy Lai

Styled by Sandy Lai

By Steph Const

Designer Feature: Palm Swimwear

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The PALM swimwear woman is one who appreciates fine, timeless and minimal designs. She is a traveler who doesn’t go anywhere without her classic cut bikinis, and evokes an elegant unique look by the pool or beach side.

PALM is an independent swimwear label, created in Western Australia who is devoted to providing carefully constructed swimwear from high-luxe Italian lycras. By using these sustainable fabrics, PALM reflects a passion for the basics – “clean lines, simple palettes and classic style”. Above all, PALM brings customers comfort, shape retention and the highest standard of quality wearable swimwear.

Kat, designer and label founder, has always had an appetite for art and fashion. “Everything from people, places, music and memories” inspired Kat to study Fashion Design and the Arts. After working in the industry for some time she then started designing for herself, and later moved to Bali with her partner to begin working together on bringing her sketches to life. Kat also explains that “Of course being a swimwear brand, I (Kat) am heavily inspired by the ocean and ‘that feeling’ of summer and travel”.

When designing Kat says that she is always trying to visualise what the garment would like on herself, then combines this with what she find inspiring on the runway at the time. Kat explains that PALM is no ‘fast-fashion’ movement and still retains its level of uniqueness along with classic timeless designs. She also believes “it is important to support independent brands which tends to be much more personal, honest, unique and well designed”.

Being a West Australian label can face some challenges, although Kat found that remaining anonymous was more difficult than she had realised – “Word got around so now I just go with it”. It was an intimidating experience for Kat at first as she found herself not only in a highly competitive industry, but also found exposing herself to some of her biggest critics (family and friends) difficult. Now, as seen through the success of PALM Swimwear, Kat can now see how lucky she is to have that drive and support behind her.

So where to from here? And what is next for PALM Swimwear? “We will be expanding from swimwear to resort wear. We are currently travelling in India and we will be working with silks and handwork to create exclusive edition pieces. We also aim to collaborate with other emerging designers. For instance we are working with WA graphic artist Janice Law to create a series of exclusive prints, which we are very excited to release within the next year.” – So exciting!!

Photography by Michelle Van Dijk

HMUA by Kat O’Hara

Styled by Kathleen Furey

By Steph Const 


Designer Feature: Tindale

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Not many West Australian designers have made a massive impact in the international market but certain designers are coming close to bursting into the world stage, such as Tindale. The label was founded by Michelle (Shelly) Tindale in 2010 and is one of the most exciting designer brands to establish itself from the Perth fashion scene. The Fremantle based designer is more avant-garde in her aesthetic with a darker twist on evening wear. Tindale’s designs offer conceptual and modern garments and pieces using quality luxury fabrics, proudly manufactured and designed in Australia.

Tindale has always been proudly Fremantle and West Australian based, and has always supported local and national talent. Along with a few other established labels, Tindale has been recognised for countless accolades in the West Australian fashion sphere and the label was recently nominated for the Western Australian Designer of the Year Award in 2015. She was also selected as Western Australia’s top emerging talent in the prestigious Banshu Fashion Textile Program where she has an opportunity to impress Japanese stockists with upcoming collections, allowing her to finally make a mark in the wider fashion community.

The avant-garde label excites West Australian fashionistas in their designs, playing with more refined aesthetics and cuts – allowing the women who wear these garments to capture a sense of strength whilst demanding attention. It’s a label for confident women and those who are aware of their personal style. Made with soft fabrics with beautiful patterns, Tindale utilises clever draping techniques in her designs to create feminine, edgy and seductive pieces. By far Tindale’s most intricate feature in her design process is her attention to detail. Tindale uses dark colours, texture and form to pursue the dark, mysterious and elegant styling of her designs despite the asymmetry in its composition. Inspired by the beauty of ageing architecture, it’s classy with a slice of punk rock, and everyone loves clothes with some personality.

Photography by Romain Duquesne

HMUA by Hedra Widjaja 

Styled by Chloe Christos 

By Ariel Nanagas

Designer Feature: San Cora


For any woman looking for feminine ready-to-wear pieces San Cora offers something more refined and luxurious. The label which was founded in 2014 by Susan Tran specialises in geometrical and edgy silhouettes, vibrant patterns and immaculate tailoring. Susan Tran’s motivation is all about redefining and changing the sphere of Australian fashion whilst “reaching the epitome of elegance”. Her goal to bring change and to eventually grow and influence the world doesn’t put her out of supporting the Perth fashion scene. Tran, a proud Australian with a Chinese and Vietnamese heritage is one of Perth’s emerging designers and knows the value of supporting our local industry and the talent that our city produces.

What is fascinating about Susan Tran’s designs are her vibrant patterns, which are quite architectural in detail, the same for her geometric cuts, yet somehow can still be feminine and fun to wear, perfect for day-to-night styling, this makes it a statement piece in any woman’s closet. Especially made to be self-sufficient, long lasting and to accentuate the female body allowing the wearer to not only look but feel beautiful, Tran’s designs will never go out of style. Her Erosion collection featured strong lines with raw and colourful patterns imitating the beauty of chemical processes against white lining giving it that architecturally futuristic yet feminine element to the design. And they’re never afraid to be a little bold. There are garments made from the collection that ticks all the boxes for futuristic shapes yet featuring cuts that showcase and flatter features of a woman’s body. However the designs are softer in San Cora’s Vignette collection which is more feminine and light in construction.

All garments under the San Cora label are made in Australia, which allows for guaranteed quality for that luxe aesthetic. It’s no surprise that Tran makes the most of her base location. Perth has a particularly tight-knit fashion community, and the city itself prides itself on diversity and homeliness. The city’s fashion scene has always been welcoming in helping up-and-coming designers. Experimentation and new ideas are embraced by San Cora – and the support from the Perth fashion community has allowed them to put their own support and contribution to the scene.

Photography byAndy Huang

HMUA by Janelle Han

Styled by Zoe Van Zanten


By Ariel Nanagas

Designer Feature: Jomay Cao


Jomay Cao, the 25-year-old designer behind the popular eponymous evening and bridal wear line, got her start in consumer psychology, a career she eventually left to work as a stylist in 2009 and start designing her own line of clothing in 2012. Since her career change almost 6 years ago, Cao has seen her dresses displayed on many a runway and now the expansion of her business with the opening of her own boutique this February in Subiaco. This new flagship concept store is located at 2/94 Rokeby Road and carries Cao’s gorgeous gowns along with accessories, beauty products, and more––the perfect one-stop-shop for any bride-to-be (or just any lady with the need for a beautiful dress!)

Before starting her line, she took two months to travel Europe, specifically London and Paris, in search of inspiration, which she now claims to find in architecture, décor, and fashion icons like Coco Chanel. Much like Chanel, who changed the fashion world in her heyday with her claims that luxury could still be comfortable, Cao has set out with the desire to make every woman she dresses “exude radiance and effortlessness.”

As for her line, the WA-based Cao has described her style as simple and understated glam, preferring clean lines and “not too much fuss,” which is evident in her gowns. The colours black, red, and (since she is a bridal designer) white seem to be Cao’s preferred colours, with most of her designs featuring different shades of each. Dresses fully decked-out in sequins, the finest satins, taffetas, and laces can be found lining the walls and racks of the shop, where customers can make appointments for fittings and have dresses custom designed by Cao. Elegant yet minimalist is the best way I can think to describe Cao’s clothing and décor style––her gowns are not overly decorated with prints or flashy decorations, while the décor in her store is classy and simple and doesn’t draw away from the beauty of the gowns it is meant to display.

Cao recently showed her bridal and evening wear collections at the Telstra Perth Fashion Festival to much critical acclaim, and was featured this month as a part of the Design Australia showcase in New York City, a significant accomplishment that will hopefully lead to a larger presence in the States and beyond!

Photography by Dhyan & Benjamin

HMUA by Amy Bryce

Styled by Holly Reedman

By Melissa Greenberg