TF Archives

Stylin' 928

Author: Alyx Gorman
Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sarah Murdoch spoke out against the fashion industry in a recent interview. The face of Bonds underwear – who is tiny herself - argued that girls are indoctrinated into fashion too young, are forced to remain too thin, and that this results in “an unhealthy body image for young women.'' However, she was quick to rush to the defence of another set of very young, very thin girls. She told the Australian that things are very different for ballerinas, who are “treated like elite athletes”. Really Sarah – the girls with some of the highest documented instances of bulimia- Personally we think both industries have their problems, but when it comes to staying thin, we’d much rather do it the model way - coffee for breakfast, cigarettes for lunch and vodka for dinner (with a sprinkling of white ‘diet’ powder to give you an occasional kick) – than have to run to the bathroom to purge the six pies we just ate.

They don’t call them the Fall collections for nothing! In Milan last week models stacked out at various major fashion shows. There was drama at Gucci as one of the last girls of the show took a slip, although we are assured that the spill played second fiddle to what Vogue UK described as the ‘trousers of the season’. Prada had even more spectacular stacks with not one but two models tripping over on their ridiculous heels (think skyscraper high, and barely held on), and falling bony bottom over bonier elbow. One of the models fell so badly that members of the front row had to rush to the catwalk to help her up. However, as with Gucci, it was the clothes that remained memorable after the trips – the show received a standing ovation.  We’ve been loving the clothes at Milan - from Moschino’s Alice in Wonderland meets Parisian mime to Giambatista Valli’s pretty pastels – just don’t expect us to try the shoes!

Japan showcased some ultra-luxe textiles with a green bent last week in Paris.  Thanks to competition from neighbouring China, Japan’s textiles industry has had to undergo massive changes in the past couple of years. To survive, many Japanese manufacturers have gone upscale. Obscenely, amazingly upscale. We were most impressed by the Peruvian vicuna wool, which fetches upwards of $7000 a metre. The price is phenomenal because the soft hair of the vicuna is slow growing and sparse, which means the endangered creatures can only be shorn every three years. Also making waves is a more ethical approach to fur, that sees brushed off mink fibres woven in with cottons, to produce pieces of astonishing warmth and softness. While vegetarian groups cry, “all fur is bad fur,” we have to wonder – shouldn’t they be happy with a lesser of two evils- Fashion is as likely to totally give up on fur as football is to give up meat pies.

Natasha from Rag Trade Jobs knows her fashion. Indeed, the independent businesswoman has such a sound knowledge of the industry, we thought we’d pick her brain! All aspiring fashionistas listen up, because here’s how you get a job in fashion.

Tell us about How did it get started- started out of a random $60 domain purchase about three years ago.  I thought, good name, I’II do something with that one day.  A few months later I wrote a business plan, then developed the site.  Six months later we went live.  So out of a $60 random purchase came Australia’s No 1 fashion industry jobsite just 20 months after launch!

What was your first job in the fashion industry-
Working weekends and Thursday nights for Country Road at Chatswood in Sydney aged 16.

Is there anything you learned there that stuck with you-
At the time I had the most miserable boss!  The experience of working with someone who was in a leadership role with no sparkle really made an impression.  Since then I have always strived to be unconventional with my management strategies to really inspire the people I work with.

What are some of the perks of working in fashion-

Love the runway shows, industry openings (L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival A- List party is one of my annual highlights!)  And I love borrowing dresses from designers to wear to the fashion launches!  Lisa Ho and Mad Courtes are two of my faves! (shame I can’t keep them!)

I’m applying for an internship at Harpers Bazaar, any tips-

‘Desperation’ in your application’s tone is going to sink you.  Make sure your application is short and sharp, use bullet points and highlight the words you want read.  Give them a reason to call you. Dig deep – why should they hire you- What skills can you bring to them-  Adjectives that describe you will not get you a job! And if you say you have a ‘passion for fashion’ you’re gone.

Now I’m applying to be editor of Harpers Bazaar, any more tips-
Who do you know- On a more serious level, roles like the editor of Harpers would be very much on a recommendation rather than a recruit.  But if you happened to see an ad for the editor of a magazine you would need to have experience with a fashion magazine as a sub editor and definitely have some strong contacts…

What are the most important things to remember when going for a job in the design side of fashion-
When you design for a label that is not ‘your handwriting’ you need to transform your style into the direction of the label.  Demonstrating your ability to design for the essence of the brand is the mark of a true designer.  So show-off your ability to design for their label and target market and really show you understand their ‘brand essence.’

“If you really want something, and work hard for it, you will get it in the end” true or false- Why-
So true, but I am such an optimist even my dog is challenged by me!  You can simply have it all if you focus and develop a thorough strategy and avoid other ideas distracting you along the way.

What’s the most high profile job that’s ever been advertised on
We have had high profile GM roles advertised on the site.  We love seeing the variety of roles on the site, but it is the aspirational roles like ‘Accessory Designer for Volcom’, ‘PR Assistant with SABA’ and ‘Assistant Buyer for Sportsgirl’ that get us really excited!

What is one thing every one should know before they decide they want to work in fashion-
Fashion is like a circus, you need creative talent, daredevils and people to sell the tickets and get the show on the road.  Look at what you can bring to the industry and go for it, everyone can belong in fashion (except for the clowns, clowns should stick with the circus!)

To find the job of your dreams log on to

On Thursday 18 October Ladies of the Loft presented the latest collection by Samantha Wills. The mixture of cocktails and shiny trinkets resulted in a glam but laid back affair. Groups of well-dressed girlfriends swanned around the venue, taking in Will’s burnished but beautiful creations and catching up on gossip. We coveted the oversize cocktail rings and chunky cuffs - they were cleverly displayed in a museum-esque fashion. Our shock of the night- Finding out that the label’s gorgeous, Amazonian spokesmodel is the designer herself. People shouldn’t be allowed to be talented when they’re that good looking; it makes the rest of us look bad.
The night before was Ed Hardy’s store launch after party at the Eastern. The night was a bit of a blur for us; all fake tattoo sleeves, snakes, bikinis and too many mixed drinks, but the crowd were as cute as they were playful. See for yourself!

What: Imperial Panda presents Cab Sav 6 What: Tuesday Night Movie – Total Recall
When: Tuesday, 30 Sept from 7pm
Where: Darlo Bar, Livepool St. and Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst

When: Friday 3 Oct from 8pm
Where: 5 Auckland St, Newcastle

What: No Answer
When: Saturday 4 October from 9pm
Where: Q Bar and 34B 34 Oxford St, Darlinghurst