DAY 2: Melbourne

Its my best friend's birthday today and i feel slightly bad that i only sent her a birthday wish through sms. However, today I am going to richmond, to bridge rd where i can look for cheap clothes and presents for people. It's absolutely scorching and my skin is sizzling under the sun. It doesn't take long to get there, as Melbourne is so small compared to Sydney. I walked down Swanston's to get to Flinders Station (its this beautiful building opposite Federation Square) and the NGV (National Gallery Victoria) is there too. Omgsh! There was a clothing exhibition called Together Alone: Australian and New Zealand Fashion. I was there for HOURS just looking at all the designs. My favourite has got to be Material By Product. Their innovative approach to design, as well as their appreciation of form and sartorial structure made it a stand out for sure!!! Tony Maticevski was pretty good too as well as Akira. AAHHH love it love it.
Bridge Rd shops were pretty much all the ones like in Sydney anyway, so i didnt wanna spend too long there. The road is so old and spacious. But it was ok i suppose. There were these ugly shoes there though, its like clogs- carved out of wood- with strips of leather stapled across the foot. It looked soo cheap but cost $110. Urgh, how stupid.


DAY 1: Melbourne

It was SOO HOT!! Its like 35 degrees down here!
So I got to city center (i think) and got guided down to my cousin's house. The city is so neat and gridlike! The town planning it amazing! Just almost too well planned. Its super easy to go around the city in Melbourne, along with the transport in which you buy kinda like a weekly, except it is calculated in terms of how many times you use it instead and includes trains and trams.
Melbourne is a very flat area, the houses and business are very sparse, and there are hardly any high rise buildings in the city, which is the difference to sydney.
Tomorrow, i am going to try to walk around the vintage shops near to where my cousin lives, but its going to be BOILING HOT!The place where my cousin lives reminds me a bit like the outer suburbs of sydney but i think its still part of the city.


Kenneth Paul Block

Yves Saint Laurent's 1976 Ballet Russes collection, by Kenneth Paul Block:

Joe Eula

Joe Eula: classic, nice poses, free style, but only looks nice from far away.


I created a new site. This is to have all my pattern-making trials and tribulations. I dont really know about the name, but if i ever have a lable, i'll have to think of a better name, cos my own name is not so catchy when it comes to fashion labels.

UTS makes top 10 national finalists.

UTS Finalists Get Set For New York Fashion
"Three UTS fashion & textiles students have made the top 10 national finalist pool for Australian's in New York Fashion Foundation's internship program.

Final judging will take place on 21 December to determine if UTS's Laura Beaven, Katelyn Gray and Nikki Cohen will win world-class expereince and contacts in New York's fashion industry.

All three students will exhibit in the UTS design graduate show Republic of Design 2009."

UTS newsletter.


Daniel McNaboe

Please go to http://www.ameliasmagazine.com/art/an-interview-with-daniel-macnaboe/2009/10/07/ for an interview with this artist. He draws with amazing realism in mostly pencil and paints.


Photography Rankin, Make Up Alex Box

Garance Doré

Image from http://www.garancedore.fr/en/

I LOVE! her blog and I LOVE especially her illustrations. I thought this one was interesting, I think she put some pattern-making paper down on it. Love it love it. You can experiment with different textures and papers to create your look.

Fashion Mags

Want the latest fashion magazine news?
Go to: http://www.fashion.org.au/




Robby Tjia is inspiring. I hope to follow in his footsteps with the same determination and vigour for the discipline!

Check out his myspace of his designs and illustrations.

For more pictures of his designs:
http://www.vogue.com.au/people+parties/events/lancome+colour+designs+awards,1336 (Colour Lancome Design Awards)

At the Powerhouse Museum showing with Dion Lee. http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/exhibitions/student_fashion.asp

Here is an interview from the UTS graduate profiles.
Robby Tija - Bachelor of Design in Fashion & Textiles
When did you graduate?
What do you design?
Everything that is different!

What's the hardest things about working in fashion?
The hardest thing about fashion design or design in general is to come up with new, creative and innovative designs.

Most people think that we just draw and the design is finished. They forget about the research and process of getting it to the finished product.

With fashion in particular, I would say that pattern making is the second hardest thing to do, because when the pattern is wrong, the whole fit and proportion of the garment is ruined.

What's the easiest then?
The easiest and most fun part of doing fashion design is the fashion show and the after party!

Polygons - Designed by Robby Tija

What are you up to these days?
Right after I finished UTS, I made another collection called Polygons and following this I moved to Paris.

I first studied the language here just to get to know the city better.

During this time, I applied to study at the master school of the Institut Francais de la Mode - which is one of the best fashion schools in the world for a master school.

My UTS lecturer Val Horridge had introduced me to the school when we had both been in Paris two years earlier after I won the Lancome Colour Design Awards.

Polygons - Designed by Robby Tija

IFM is really hard to get in, with the school only accepting 10 - 12 students in a year.

To be accepted, there was a long and involved process:

In December 2008, I applied just to receive the application form.
I then had to send them my CV and education background.
After they saw that I might have been eligible, they finally sent me the application form, which consists of describing my creative world and how I achieve it. It also required a two page portfolio.

Apparently many applicants don't make it through this first level. I luckily did and was then asked to:

Make a garment in 2 weeks time

Include three videos (a video about the garment that I did, a second video about my portfolio, and in the third video answering a question sent in an envelope that we're not allowed to open it until we're in front of the camera.

Finally, if you pass this level, there is the third exam - a phone interview with judges from acclaimed fashion houses in Paris. Apparently some of the judges in my judging were from Nina Ricci.

Three days after, they called me and told me that I was selected for the next fashion program starting in September (2009). They are also currently exhibiting the garment that I made for them at the school.

Australian Fashion Designers

List of Australian Fashion Designers: New and Established



Interview with 4 Australian Designers Dion Lee (Ultimo TAFE), Lee Mattews (UTS), Robby Tjia (UTS), Christopher Esber

A must read: http://www.jigsaws.com.au/jigsaws-articles/2008/4/24/young-blood/

Young Blood
Sydney Morning Herald
Thursday April 24, 2008

Stephanie Wood
From Star Wars to jigsaws, four up-and-coming designers tell Stephanie Wood what inspires them.

Dion Lee

22, Newtown

What's his story? In the tiny spare bedroom of his mother's home, fashion student Dion Lee creates garments that mark him as a face to watch. Among them: a black dress trailing handmade ropes that used 200 balls of wool and was inspired by the symbolic Tibetan concept of the eternal knot, and an interlocking, four-in-one tailored jacket for which he received an unprecedented 100 out of 100. Lee is one of four hand-picked 2007 TAFE Fashion Design Studio graduates to present a group show at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week this month. "I'd like to see where the collection takes me," says Lee, of the 20 "looks" he will present.

So what's his look? "It's a sophisticated but industrial aesthetic with classic elements."

Where does the inspiration come from? Lee's work has recently been fuelled by inspiration gained from construction and anatomy - specifically the concept of cell mitosis, in which a cell duplicates the chromosomes in its nucleus to generate two, identical nuclei. On the face of it, that might result in a frenzy of polka-dotted pieces - the dots alluding to cells - but not for the cerebral Lee. He thought of cell mitosis in a conceptual sense. "It's taking the idea of one thing dividing into two, and an ongoing cycle of change," he says. That thinking informed Lee's panelled, heavily layered silk-organza pleated A-Line dress with a tailored collar (right), one of the looks he'll present at fashion week. The dress's multiple panels are based "on the idea of separation and growth"; the diamond-shaped cream panels lift off, as does the wool-silk collar.

Anything else? Architectural lines, scaffolding and construction. Lee's workbook features photographs of buildings, including the Centre Pompidou in Paris and Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas' extraordinary work-in-progress, the CCTV headquarters in Beijing.

"I have a construction-based interest in fashion," says Lee.

"I spend a lot of time on patterns."

Lee Matthews

26, Wahroonga

What's her story? Matthews, who last year wrapped up her four-year Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles at UTS, is working as a freelance designer and planning her next move. On the cards is a move to London at the end of the year and, in the not-too-distant future, the launch of her own label. Early last year, she was one of three UTS students chosen to go to Paris to compete in the Lancome Colour Design Awards world final, in which fashion students interpret the cosmetic brand's spring/summer make-up collection through clothing designs.

So what's her look? "It's very avant-garde; very geometric and structural. I try not to be too conventional and I work against a commercial aesthetic."

Where does the inspiration come from? As Matthews started to prepare her graduate collection late last year, people told her she was crazy. Enthralled with the work of Richard Sweeney, a British artist who creates complex sculptures by modelling, folding and pleating paper, Matthews used cardboard to drape a mannequin instead of the usual calico. The final result - hard interlining and plenty of boning giving shape to silks, linens and poplin (left) - fell in softer lines than the cardboard but still, the collection was a study in structure and form. "I try to create new silhouettes on the body," says Matthews. And her well of inspiration has a long way to go before it runs dry. So far, she has confined her paper-into-fashion experimentations to oblong shapes. Next up? Curves.

Anything else? Origami first piqued Matthews' interest in paper. "I thought if I could translate the paper into the fabric then it would be a new way of looking at fashion." Architecture also figures: pinned up in her workroom at her parents' Wahroonga home are photographs of masterpieces such as the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain.

Christopher Esber

21, Parramatta

What's his story? When Christopher Esber heads to Paris in August he'll take a portfolio of work boosted by the looks he presents at Australian Fashion Week this month in a group show with three other students from the TAFE Fashion Design Studio. "It's a little holiday and an opportunity quest," says Esber of his trip. And if the collection he shows is well-received and orders flow in, he's ready to go into production mode. Esber has also invested money to develop fabrics, importing yarns and working with the Australian Spinners and Weavers Guild.

So what's his look? "I like to balance pieces that are approachable and wearable

with pieces that are a lot more offbeat and conceptual."

Where does the inspiration come from? Esber's reversible wool and leather "puzzle coat" (left) refers to the jigsaw puzzles of the work of Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, who often explored mathematical theories. "I was drawn to his work: it was very precise and almost looked computer-generated."

Anything else? More mathematics. Esber's father was a maths and science teacher and, although maths wasn't his son's strong point, his daily "show me your homework" demands left their mark. "I always thought 'I'm never going to do maths' and then I do pattern making, and it's pretty much all maths," says Esber, who has explored the Fibonacci sequence and the physics theory of "wormholes" in his designs. The organza shirt (left), for example, refers to the theory with its sleeves, which join at the back. "Wormhole theory is like a passage between two universes... I try to create the portal between each surface and you see that at the back with the joining sleeves." Over the years, Esber has also found inspiration in "the whole Adam and Eve thing". He is currently developing a "kitschy fabric" that depicts a garden of eden merging with an "industrial, neon wilderness".

Chair from Edit.

Robby Tjia

24, city

What's his story? Indonesian-born Tjia has segued from designing clothes for his UTS graduate collection, which he presented in December last year, to conjugating French verbs in preparation for a move to Paris later this year. "My supervisors kept telling me, 'you can't stay here, you have to go overseas,'" says Tjia, who did a three-month internship in London with English designer Alexander McQueen through the '06-'07 northern winter and hopes to get work with Givenchy or Balenciaga when he heads to Paris in September. Tjia came second in the Lancome Colour Design Awards world final in Paris in May last year.

So what's his look? "It's very contemporary, sometimes futuristic. I want to give women superior strength through the garment."

Where does the inspiration come from? After the Lancome Colour Design Awards, where he unveiled garments with strong 18th-century influences, Tjia knew he wanted to do something futuristic or space-age. The muse for his graduate collection, "the Underground Cyborg", was Star Wars and its robots. "I tried to come up with how women in the future might look, and how I might [translate] the look of robot armour into women's daily garments."

The result? A layered black patent leather calfskin cape offsetting a cotton striped dress with white vinyl trim, black patent leather and calfskin detailing, and laser-cut metallic detailing (above).

Anything else? Tjia's inspirations come from multiple sources. "I always have a little black book with me," he says. Tjia's lively MySpace page reveals more: his love for black and white, for geometric shapes - and for a marionette theme. During his time in London, he came upon the work of illustrator Richard Gray, who had painted a marionette. That sent an intrigued Tjia off on an exploration that resulted in drawings featuring circus motifs, trapeze swings, merry-go-round unicorns and women on strings or with wind-up keys in their backs. (s)

Dion Lee

SS 09/10
I seemed to recall, not long since I was last perusing the internet, looking at the designs of Lee Matthews and seeing that Dion Lee of Ultimo Tafe take out the winning designs at the Australian Fashion Graduate of the Year Award 2009 Mercedes Brisbane Fashion Festival, that suddenly, whilst i checked up my Dazed website, who should pop onto the page? Why, Dion Lee!

After researching on his designs, it's wonder that he's been hailed the next big thing, set to explode already in Australia with opportunities on the international scale. He is definitely one to watch with his strong yet feminine designs. Why do I think it is successful? And what can I learn from his direction:

. distinctive sculptural and engineered aesthetic in design
. detail. why this? why not this?
. technical pattern-making brilliance
. quality of make (finishings) and material
et ensuite
. selection for fashion competitions
et ensuite
. fashion shows- buyers
et ensuite
. pioneer a contemporary Australian fashion identity
et ensuite
. international presence

Here's what Dazed wrote of Dion Lee:

Dion Lee strikes Australian fashion like a bolt of sartorial lighting- and it may never be the same again…
Disassociated from the relaxed, practical wearability that normally characterises Australian fashion, Dion Lee has burst onto the style scene like a rocket in flight. Completely unique in his vision, Lee combines structured architecturally with something distinctly primal; cutting, pasting, peeling back layers, celebrating form and the female body in a way that Australia has never seen it done before. A mere three seasons in, Lee is the most hyped, hot new talent the antipodean industry has seen in quite some time, and the nation is swelling with pride. Perhaps it is not long then, until Lee sets off to conquer the world, an imminent reign that seems more cemented in fact than the whimsical dreams of those who came before him.

Dazed Digital: You have been somewhat of an over night sensation in Australia. How do you feel about the hype?
Dion Lee: I suppose it doesn't feel like it happened overnight, for me. The collection I showed at Australian Fashion Week in April was my third season. I started my business straight out of college, without alot of experience and it has been a huge learning curve. I am definitely very pleased to that people are responding to the where it's going, however I still feel like I have long way to go before I start patting myself on the back.

DD: What inspired your SS 09/10 collection?
Dion Lee: I was looking at the crushed car sculptures of American artist John Chamberlain. I liked the idea of creating these crushed and twisted forms, in a clean tailored articulation. I also integrated a jewelry element into the pieces, using glass and silver chain as harnesses, that hold parts of the garments together.


Here are some other sites to see his work.

His website: http://www.dionlee.com/
For an article on his Fashion Graduate of the Year show; http://www.ourbrisbane.com/shopping/mbff-feature/brisbane-designers-compete
For pictures of the show: http://www.thevine.com.au/fashion/articles/dion-lee-wins-fashion-graduate-of-the-year.aspx
"The night belonged to the gracious and softly spoken Dion Lee, who has recently sold his collection to Belinda Seper’s iconic boutique The Corner Shop which has played a key role in kick starting the careers of Australian labels such as Ksubi and Michelle Jank."
More pictures: http://www.thesupermelon.com/style/dion-lee-ss09/
Where to buy: http://www.mycatwalk.com.au/designer/dion-lee.html

Fashion Theory

This is an interesting site about contemporary fashion and design from a theoretical view. Its quite conceptual with articles written about directions, purposes and impacts on society.

Flight Luck

Ok, so I just cannot believe my luck in that I booked my flight at the LAST minute which resulted in the prices skyrocketing. Then suddenly, when i went to pay, I noticed that a cheaper $39 fare had become available....LUCKY! I took my chances and paid for them after quickly checking that it was the right date and between the right airports. Which just goes to show, always keep your eye out, and things change all the time.


A Quote by Hussein Chalayan

"By merging with our cyber-environment we become anonymous: we can wrap ourselves in electrical shadows, masquerade as another, lie in concealed silence, or fall into a clandestine underworld. And yet we find ourselves under the watchful gaze of an unknown omnipresent eye. An eye which covertly regulates and orders our movements, encrypting invisible tattoos upon the imaginary skin, This is the eye of surveillance."

In ShadowsAutumn/ Winter 2005-06

Obtained from Parlour X website.

UTS Fashion Design Graduates 2009, Talia Shuvalov on working with Alexander McQueen

Here is yet another budding designer to look up to. I'd love to see some of her designs one day. Here is a bit about what she says about her fashion design.

Talia Shuvalov 2009

Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles

Exhibiting Work
In my major work Synthetic Organic, I have been looking at how designers have exaggerated the natural figure through fashion.
My work at the moment covers the progression from organic form to synthetic. It starts with organic shapes and blends into a more robotic image.
I’m focusing on knitware - 98% of the pieces are all knit. I am looking at combining the knit with woven fabrics so creating 3D forms with the knit - something that is proving to be extremely hard!

Working with Industry Contacts in China
I am getting a lot of knits made for me in China. I’ve got a few contacts there, creating two different types of fabric for me (Intarsia knits and velvet devore).
For me this is a really pure way of designing because I am starting the process of design from scratch, designing the actual fabric.
In terms of building these relationships with industry people overseas, it can be hard relying on other people to pull through with your tight deadlines. It has been okay so far and they seem to understand everything pretty well and I seem to understand their limitations.
An issue it has created for me is that it places an extra three weeks on the top of everything else having the fabric made and sent back here. I have had to get things in production well before other students and I am not an extremely organised person usually, I don’t think I’ve even ever owned a diary.

A Family In Fashion
My mum owns an importing company called Sandra Steiner and used to be a knitwear designer in the 80’s, designing for David Jones.
Mum now sells her label to David Jones and around Australia and I’ve had the experience of designing a couple of ranges for her under T.I.S. - which is my initials. This experience has helped me to design to a target market different to myself when in the past I only designed for me.
Mum has been in the business for 25 years.
Ever since I was little my mum has been travelling to Hong Kong for the fashion trade fair. I now go with her in January to meet all her contacts there and help her out. I love it because I can work for her but then drag her to the shops that are open till 10pm.
I pretty much always knew I wanted to work in fashion but at the same time it was something I fought against because mum was in the industry.
Since starting uni however, I haven’t regretted my choice in course at all.

A Bit on Me Work Wise
This year I worked for three and a half months for Alexander McQueen in London.
McQueen has three assistant designers. My boss Holly was the assistant design in textiles and style but he also has an embroider assistant designer and a construction assistant designer.
When I worked there I was enjoying the work so much and was so motivated at the beginning of each day, but at the same time I was getting absolutely no sleep. You were producing all of his ideas at the most insane pace. I had never been able to produce things as quickly in my life. There would be a showing almost every morning to present all the work.
McQueen has contacts at his fingertips that people would only dream about. It takes me five weeks to get a piece of material back from China, it takes him about two days to get this perfect piece of fabric back with not a single change to make. They have photos of people making these fabrics in a workshop and they’re all wearing these lab coats like it’s some kind of science fiction movie – I kept thinking where do I find these people?!
One of the highlights of my experience working with Alexander McQueen was the show in Paris.
It was amazing, really, really amazing. I just never expected to be at one of those shows. It was not a fashion show but a performance. McQueen had sixty different looks. The models were crazy looking, almost like another alien species. The people there were people I would only read about in magazines.
While I was in Paris, I also got to go to the Victor & Rolf show through my job back in Sydney. I work for Parlour X in Paddington and my boss was in Paris at the time and had asked me to help her with her buying. With my boss I went to the showrooms for Balenciaga and Isabel Marant and Herve Leger, they were all an experience in themselves.
The trip to Paris made all the hard work worth it. Those three and a half months with McQueen was just such a crazy experience.

Student profiles

Here is another site worth looking at: http://www.australiandesign.org.au/(A(Srm0i4OKygEkAAAANzJlNTI5ZGMtZGMwMi00NzVlLTgzODYtNjlmNGRkMWU2OTk04Bk-2FwgmsRCmYLRD5Xa2phEdGI1))/LightBoxDetail.aspx?id=134&type=spotlight&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
for more information about rising Australian Fashion Talent. It is a directory for Australian Design such as Industrial, Graphic, Landscape, Digital Media, Furniture.

>>OMG That is SO AMAZING!!! I definately have that to aim for. It just gives me less apprehension about what I can do with my degree. How do i become more like her? How can I get more motivated to achieve like her, or work as hard as her, or to have that much knowledge and contacts and freedom to move creatively?? I suppose the first thing to to tackle each thing step by step. The first thing to do complete my skirt project which is failing dismally. I may think for this time, yes, try hard, yes, get help from teachers because it shows commitment and dedication and they really mark you on that, and then make LOADS of toiles because everything goes wrong CONSTANTLY as i have realised. And I mean, take it like its school. I just dont know why i am still doubting, probably because of my parents. SO, HOW do i stop blaming my parents?


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