Designer Feature: Sab Five Five


Celebrating in the theme of ecological fashion, Sabrina Wong’s label Sab Five Five brings a fresh sense of diversity with her edgy Eastern designs in the West Australian fashion scene. At a young age Sabrina’s love for the arts and fashion has allowed her to exercise creativity using clothes bought from thrift stores. Now she’s a leading fashion designer specialising in sustainability and reinvention in her designs, transforming them into wearable art. With a flagship store in Claremont since 2005, Sab Five Five “is a place for people who have an appreciation of art and who are inspired to discover their own unique style”. It has also been worn globally in its tapping into the worldwide market. Wong’s designs are one of the leaders in evolving genderless and androgynous streetwear with quality pieces fit for versatility and personal styling – and she’s been rocking this (along with her eco-conscious design production) since before it became a trend in the wider fashion world, appealing to the more alternative fashionistas.

Sabrina Wong’s designs offer something new to the table, edgy, unconventional silhouettes, oriental, and genderless yet a little bit feminine, with native and tribal elements inspired by Asian cultures from Brunei to India and her roots. Her pieces are made with flowy fabrics such as linen for softness and lightweight breathability in neutral earth tones, and pieces made from the deconstruction and reconstruction of pre-owned items, ensuring that nothing is wasted in the process. But the label is not only leading in eco-conscious fashion but is proud to be ethical when it comes to workshop manufacturing.

For those who didn’t study fashion but are trying to get into the fashion industry, you can relate to Sabrina Wong – who didn’t get “proper” training or attend fashion school. It was her experience with marketing in the fashion industry all over the world that has led her to where she is today. Her work has impressed many in the fashion world, just as when Wong presented her Son of Soil collection at this year’s Telstra Perth Fashion Festival where she displayed new designs with similar elements that have resonated within her work, such as the tribal and ethnic elements, flowy fabrics and neutral earth tones – but the way the colours are utilised in the design composition bring the garments to life. It’s great to see a talented local designer drift away from the trend culture of western fashion and just do something different. Wong’s designs appeal to the more accessible, or the more eco-minded crowd, and it will be interesting to see where her direction will lead her next.

Photography by Khaliq Roziman and Wilson Lau

HMUA by Jason Chung

Styled by  Hariz Khalid

By Ariel Nanagas 

Designer Feature: Andrea Goh

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Andrea Goh, mastermind behind popular fashion blog “What’s The Goh” and curator of up-and-coming “fashion destination” e-boutique ShopGoh, has always had an eye for the eclectic. Describing herself as a “magpie with fashion” in her younger years, Goh created ShopGoh with the goal of offering customers a “diverse, eclectic selection of affordable, internationally sourced pieces alongside vintage designer pieces” that she will soon be adding to her carefully curated collection available on the site.

Goh’s passion for clothing and fashion began at a young age, as she admired the jewellery of her aunties and began putting her own outfits together by the age of four. Today, she is inspired by “anything visual… interesting colour palettes and shapes––you can find them anywhere­­––art, architecture, nature, and more.” She also loves to watch people, drawing inspiration from cool outfits that she spots on the street, especially stylish senior citizens!

Goh has attracted a significant following on social media through her Instagram (@whatsthegoh) and her blog, where she posts regularly about her daily outfits, inspirations, and delicious food, as well as fashion events around Perth. Her blog has been nominated not just once, but two years in a row for “Best Blogger” in the Western Australia Fashion Awards, so you know she means business.

As for her work on her new e-boutique, an addition to her popular blog, Goh says “ShopGoh is all about celebrating individuality and unique style.” This is evident in her current collection, with her focus to provide clothes that are affordable and high-quality, but straying from pieces that are “too trend-focused, as there is no longevity in those.” Goh believes that the collection is perfect for “fashion forward thinkers that aren’t afraid to be unique and dare to experiment with styling.” The site itself is beautifully designed, easy to navigate, and has plans to expand, with Goh hoping to take on new local, national, and international labels in the near future. For now, customers can shop from a large array of hand-picked items by Goh, with everything from tops and pants, dresses and coats, to accessories like tote bags and colorful angora socks.

ShopGoh recently made its runway show debut at WA Born, which Goh claims was an exciting opportunity because it gave her an outlet to be involved in the promotion of the local fashion industry in Perth, something that often is overlooked. “There are so many creative [people] here and it is so great to see us all coming together for a great cause.”

Hopefully Perth will be seeing more of ShopGoh on the runway and new items added to the website soon. Until then, we’ll just have to settle for the snippets of Goh’s life we can catch on Instagram and “What’s the Goh” and hope we can take some of her inspiration for ourselves.

Photography by Shirin Carter

HMUA by Hendra Widjaja

Styled byAndrea Goh

By Melissa Greenberg

Designer Feature: Teagan Jacobs


Blushed by Teagan Jacobs was first established in January 2014. Teagan has already participated in eight runway shows, and in 2014 she was named RAW Artist WA Fashion Designer of the Year. The philosophy of Blushed is to create garments that can be layered, mixed and matched for a unique look with every wear. The pieces are timeless, yet are unique when worn along with your wardrobe staples. It is not difficult to see why the delicate and flowing style has enamoured so many in such a short time.

When Teagan was a young girl she was a dancer, and her first foray into fashion was decorating and designing her own dance costumes. As she grew up she became a huge magazine collector, and began ripping out and gathering her favourite pages of them. Teagan realised she wanted to pursue fashion design in high school after doing a short course on fashion at ECU. The course exposed her to a new way of thinking, and greatly benefitted her artistically.

Teagan’s biggest source of inspiration is the physical texture of fabrics, and the material itself. She created the pieces for Blushed with daydreamers, coffee enthusiasts and creatives in mind. If Tavi Gevinson, Lena Dunham or Alexa Chung wore her pieces, she would be thrilled.

Teagan’s Blushed label was featured in the WA Born Fashion Event held 4th September 2015. Check out Teagan’s Facebook page to see the fabulous pieces featured at this event. The light pinks and pale creams of these pieces complement each other well, and are completely different to the sheer polka dotted items in last year’s spring/summer collection. The short dresses and casual pants and t-shirt combinations presented at this event would be perfect for casual wear in either spring or summer. There was one piece in the Blushed collection that was a little different from the rest of the collection. It was a long, flowing dress of a shiny material, with a cut that made it fall in a truly elegant way.

Teagan says the hardest thing about being based in WA is that everything is limited, including resources, people and opportunities. However, she says this doesn’t prevent success, it only makes it so that you have to work harder. Everyone in the WA fashion community is very supportive and everyone has the same goal!

Teagan’s advice to emerging fashion designers in WA is to stick to your gut on things, be strong, and don’t give up when things begin to get tough. It is a huge adrenaline rush to see things you designed and created yourself featured on a runway, so the hard work does pay off!

Her goals for the future are to get more stockists and to make her label grow and become more recognised. To be featured on national and international runways is the next big step for Blushed by Teagan Jacobs.

Photography by Melissa Louise

HMUA by Caitlyn Estes

Styled by Teagan Jacobs

By Terina Kett

Designer Feature: Nicola Yeung


Nicola Yeung has loved art since she was a small child. She decided to pursue fashion design at the age of 15 after winning the APEX Teenage Fashion Awards. She has a dual interest in creating fresh, ready-to-wear items, as well as stunning avant-garde couture pieces.

Nicola’s blog and Facebook are full of incredible photos of her avant-garde fashion items. Her experimentation with silhouette, colour and fabric are apparent in all of her carefully crafted designs. These pieces can be witnessed in places varying from the bright and sunny beach to a dark and gothic indoors location.

Everything from architecture to nature inspires Nicola’s elegant and unique designs. She channels this inspiration by: looking at heaps of images, recording her thoughts in an art diary, putting on some music, taking time out to pray and reflect, making an absolute mess, and just going out and getting lost somewhere new. Her creative process flows best when her time to dream is balanced with the deadlines and pressure that she thrives off of.

Nicola’s favourite fashion icons include Agyness Deyn, Lily Collins, Keira Knightley, Constance Jablonski and Sui He. She would be thrilled if any or all of them wore pieces made by her label someday.

Nicola Yeung’s designs were featured in the WA Born Fashion Event held 4th September 2015. Her pieces showcased at this event were brightly coloured day wear made with interesting cuts and materials. The charming, soft green and yellow pear print on off-white proved to be simple yet versatile, looking great as both a knee-length dress and a short top. The use of sheer, bright blue fabric as pants on another of the pieces was also a fascinating design choice. These breathable and stylish clothes would offer a lot more comfort in the summer months than a pair of jeans!

Nicola says the hardest thing about being located in WA is the logistics of it all; it’s difficult to source the materials that she wants while still supporting the WA market. However, on the positive side WA is a very supportive and open environment for new fashion designers. Her advice to new designers is to be kind and friendly to others in the industry, pay attention to upcoming opportunities, and stay focused on their craft. So work hard, network, and take every opportunity you can to get your name out there.

In the future, Nicola would love to be in a position to be able to donate part of her proceeds to helping those in poverty, and supporting those who require the services of other world aid organisations. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could all use our passion for fashion to help end poverty?

Photography by Tijana Lilic

Hair by Rober McPhilomey

Makeup by Chantal Humberstone

By Terina Kett

Designer Feature: Gypsea

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I was first introduced to West Australian label Gypsea swimwear as an Instagram sensation. I was drawn in by vibrant and captivating photography that seemed to capture a Perth summer in each shot. Combining their passions of photography, travel and the ocean, designer Emma Jones and photographer Scott Bauer created Gypsea Swimwear.

Describing their designs as ‘unique pieces of wearable art’ Scott was originally working in the surfing industry and wanted to take his obsession with the ocean to another field and try something more challenging. Pairing this with his skills in photography Scott and Emma decided to create unique and functional swimwear.

Scott explained that pursing design was in fact one of the hardest things he has ever done. “I have that obsessive personality I guess, once I got started I was hooked on design”. From there his passion for the industry grew as did the labels exposure. With nearly 72k followers on Instagram alone, social media is a representation of their success.

When asked who the Gypsea Girl is, Scott says that they cover an extremely wide demographic of women.

“I think in general, women who just want something unique and functional. We get so many comments from girls who say they have so many compliments on their swimwear, because it’s so different and we’re not overly commercialised.”

Gypsea Swimwear was featured in the WA Born Fashion Show held on the 4th of September. Although feeling as though Perth can be limiting due to its remote location, Scott thinks that being WA based brings some the most creative minds together. “The fashion community is small but on average it is some of the most creative I think. It may be the fact that we’re more individual rather than being heavily influenced by others. For me personally, WA is so inspiring because it’s so stunning. Nature is a very big driving force behind the label” and this is evident in the patterns and prints created by Gypsea Swimwear.

Scott says that being able to travel and be constantly surrounded by the ocean has always been the inspiration for their designs. Added to this is the close attention to detail in complimenting the female form and giving females a confident look to feel amazing in, regardless of their body type.

With the likes of fashion icons such as Rihanna spotted in the Karijini Deep V reversible one piece in Barbados recently, and the label branching out internationally, it is an exciting time for Gypsea swimwear as their unique, vibrant and nature inspired pieces will be spotted throughout beaches and pool sides this summer.

Photography by Brooke Dombrowski

HMUA by Cassandra Rull

By Steph Const

Designer Feature: Ethel and Leo

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The Ethel and Leo girl is a boundless dreamer, the one who wears the sun on her body and the green forests of Amazon on her head. Founded by WA-based Jess Pollitt, Ethel and Leo is an adventurous, daring, and vibrant clothing brand. Their approach to fashion is simple and profoundly effective: high-end comfortable garments with beautiful explosions of colours. Garnering over 14,000 likes on Facebook and nearly 7000 followers in Instagram, Ethel and Leo is leaving a blazing trail of fervour on the Australian fashion industry.

Designing clothes was not Jess’ first choice, but she grew up surrounded by designers and artists which contributed to her eventual decision to establish Ethel and Leo. Jess studied business but she already knew that her calling was the pursuit of creativity so she started making clothes with her mother. This love for design and creativity formed when she moved from the outback farm setting into the coastal living area. The name “Ethel” actually came from Jess’ grandmother, who was a masterful tailor. Back in the 1930s, she managed to create an amazing crepe dress that fit her own body perfectly. According to Jess, Ethel was a woman of remarkable creativity and hard work and was the inspiration for Ethel and Leo.

Jess translates her imagination and inspirations through the vibrant combinations of exciting colour schemes. Think of the natural wonders around Perth like Cottesloe Beach, the blue sky with streaks of white clouds, or the solitary cactus in front of the mystical red desert; these are some of the things infused into Ethel and Leo’s garments. As mentioned in her interview, Jess draws inspiration from her love of colours and travelling. Looking at her designs from different seasons, it’s apparent that she incorporates the vintage 60s and 70s as well as South American tribal artworks into her products. The recurring themes are comfortable contemporary garments with cheerful South American inspired shapes and patterns, with a twist of vintage conventions like the classic fedora.

When asked about her success and failures, Jess stressed the need for every designer to see through their passion for design works. The ability to adapt to different environments is a paramount factor in establishing her brand not only in WA, but also in Australia. It was her determination and persistence that brought Ethel and Leo to where they are today. This beautiful brand is looking to expand into shoes, bags, and bikinis at the end of 2015.

Photography by Michael Tartaglia 

HMUA by Alissia Gomez

Styled by Ethel & Leo

By Christopher Matahari