TF Archives

Stylin' 951

Author: Alyx Gorman
Monday, March 16, 2009

Just a few weeks after announcing an end to manufacturing in Australia, Pacific Brand’s label Bonds has pulled out of L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival. Unions had planned to protest outside Bonds’ “Art Attack” show (we’ve seen the video promotion for collection, it’s actually pretty cool), and many suspect that this is the reason the show was canned. There has been nation-wide outrage over Pacific’s decision to shift manufacturing offshore, a move that has lead to the loss of almost 2000 jobs locally. Pacific says that cancelling the show had nothing to do with the protests, and that cuts to the marketing budget were actually to blame. While we’d ordinarily be dubious of this claim, in the context it makes a lot of sense. If Pacific were willing to make an incredibly unpopular manufacturing choice to save dosh, they’re probably keen to cut costs in other areas too. Although given the blow the offshore shift has dealt to Pacific’s image, they probably need marketing money now more than ever.

Parents across America and worldwide have been flipping out this week, thanks to the announced makeover of treasured early childhood icon Dora the Explorer. In an effort to appeal to a broader age range the Spanish-speaking tot is about to grow up. While we’re yet to see a real picture of Dora’s new look, her silhouette (pictured), is causing a stir. Parents are concerned that her long, girly hair and short flippy skirt mean that she’ll become a bad role model, just like her doll-foes Bratz and Barbie. Younger Dora isn’t being replaced however, she’s just being offered to two different age groups. We don’t understand what all the fuss is about, as long as they don’t rename the doll Whora the Explore-Her, she’s probably not going to be too sexual. Hey Dora, what’s Spanish for “I’ll be legal in three years”-

American Apparel’s depraved founder Dov Charney was apparently a very good student in high school. His report cards were recently linked online, and much to the surprise of feminist blogging site Jezebel (a website which would be excellent were it not for its unbelievably obnoxious commenters), it was revealed that the fast fashion maven got a B+ in ethics. Why is this such a surprise- Well, in the past few years, Charney’s hilarious escapades have included masturbating repeatedly in front of a female journalist, firing “ugly” staff members, attempting to have sex with all the remaining ones and more sexual harassment lawsuits than every sports star in Australia put together.

Sydney-siders Theresa Nguyen and Cheri Flewell-Smith began their careers working in the world of advertising, design and creative direction. But a few years ago, the pair left their day jobs in pursuit of a childhood dream; they both wanted to design jewellery. Just looking at a piece from their label, Lola & Bailey, you can see the design-trained background to their work. We caught up with designer Cheri for a chat.

Tell us a bit about Lola & Bailey
It all started over a bottle of wine, too much cheese and a rambling late night “pie in the sky” conversation. Three years later, we’re stocking in 30 stores around the countries and wake up everyday smiling because we’re doing what we love.

How did you first become interested in jewellery design-

Being five, trifling through my mum’s jewellery box and being fascinated with her vintage brooches and ‘80s clip-ons. From wearing it to designing it – great accessories maketh the outfit no matter how old you are.

Is jewellery different from other areas of design- How-  
Yes, in that you have to consider how each piece will be worn. We have to consider issues such as comfort and durability.

Was it difficult to make the transition from art direction to jewellery design- How did you go about it-
Having an idea is the easy part – realising it is the difficult part. It was a matter of learning about various manufacturing processes and the limitations involved. The best part is when those happy accidents end up becoming our best sellers.

Do you ever see people walking down the street in your pieces- What is it like-
Yes! It’s always fascinating to see how each person makes it their own.

Do you have a particular person in mind when you design a piece- What is she like-

Not really, but if we did she would ride a vintage Pashley bike, buy a cake and pretend she baked it, and always have to be the last one to leave a party.

I know you take cues from the Art Deco movement, where else do you source inspiration-
From a great song lyric to an interesting shape of a leaf. We’re cultural bowerbirds collecting inspiration from different places: love, life and everything in between.

If you could change anything about the fashion industry what would it be, and why-
It would be great to see more initiatives that help young businesses navigating their way in the fashion industry.

What are your tips for surviving a recession in style-

If you could put your pieces on any person, at any stage of history, who would it be and why-

Edie Sedgwick – the ultimate kaleidoscope of all things cool.

Can you tell us a bit about your time studying at COFA-
COFA gave us real technical and practical skills as well as a great foundation in design across every discipline. It also gave us the freedom to genuinely experiment with different techniques and materials that we couldn’t have done at other institutions.

Any tips for aspiring designers-
Learn how to critique your own work. Find a mentor.

Anything else you’d like to ad-
Look out for our next collection called CMYK and our online store – coming soon!

What: The Naked Show
When: Wednesday 17 March from 18:30
Where: 102 Burton Street East Sydney

What: Sweet Spill
When: Thursday 18 March at 18:00
Where: First Draft Gallery, 152 Chalmers St, Surry Hills

What: Kirrily Johnston Sale
When:  Friday 20 and Saturday 21 March
Where: Level 2, Suite 2, 46 Holt St, Surry Hills

LET’S GO SURFING – Take a sneaky trip down memory lane with Puma’s new archive website. Featuring shoes and styles of days gone by, the site reads like porn for sneakerphiles. And unlike those stuffy bastards at the museum who wouldn’t let you take home that 12th century piece of armour, here you can actually buy some of the stuff on display. - She’s facing some serious competition in the form of Bloggie winner Marieke Hardy (AKA Ms Fitz), but that hasn’t stopped one of Sydney’s most visible stylists for setting up her own blog. Right now it’s acting as an archive of her work, but maybe if enough people ask, she’ll start handing out styling tips. – We love Imelda’s witty/bitchy fashion commentary, and the way she zooms in on accessories like a hawk with a bunny. Not afraid to call ugly (or plagiarism) when she sees it (actually we suspect Imelda might be a boy), we love this blog most for coining the term “haute mess.”