Meet Flaunter's Emerging Designers of 2016: Stephanie Henly (RMIT)

1. You did some incredible, intricate thread work in your graduate collection, what is it particularly about this kind of work that you love?

My love of thread work comes from the ability to create completely unique textiles and in turn garments. I find purchasing ready to use fabric often limits my design process as I design by balancing colour, texture and print. By using such intricate hand detailing, I was able to create fully unique garments. From dyeing my own yarns to making the textile to finally applying it to my own pattern I had complete control over the resulting looks. These methods of designing to making result from my design intention of craft preservation through innovation.

2. Can you explain a little about the concept behind your graduate collection?

The project is a material exploration deriving forms from the application of the long-stitch. This challenges the traditions notions of embroidery as a flat decorated surface rather than a functioning purpose. Forms are created through the performance of repetitive hand embroidery in conjunction with innovated methods of applications. The intuitive response found new functions and constructing methods, translating a value of material expression relevant to the body as a form. These expressions are emphasized by minimal cuts to the manipulated fabric. A comprehensive understanding of stitch application initiates creative prospects.

3. What did the 24 hours before your graduate parade look like?

The 24 hours felt like the calm before the storm! The honour to showcase at Melbourne Spring Fashion week has been the biggest learning curve yet most rewarding event to date. There is always more you can do with hand detailing, however restraining myself is the hardest! Those 24 hours were spent scheduled by the hour, from final model fittings, adjusting, finishing embroidering the shoes and accessories, hemming and frantically troubleshooting a last-minute modesty problem! Communication is the key and I understood a runway presentation is about balancing the vision of all creative designers.

4. What is the first piece of fashion you ever loved?

As a teenager my pocket money was spent on monthly Vogue & Harpers Bazar magazines (in which are still piled under my bed!) I was always attracted to imagery showing the beading, embroidery and embellishment as this was more eye catching and created a unique photograph. I found this is what tuned my design aesthetic within the ideals of high-fashion and couture.

As my desired atheistic isn’t often the cheapest or most commonly available garments to purchase, my first piece I will also cherish is my graduation dress by designer Bora. After falling in love with the intricate detailing of Jennifer Hawkins' Miss Universe Gown I hunted down the Brisbane designer and was able to customize my dress. From selecting the colour of my fabric to be dyed to India to the embellishments hand detailed in France and waiting throughout the 3-month process.  It was knowing the Provence’s and entire designing process in creating such a special piece that I had complete appreciation for the piece. This love I hope to translate within my design methodology. It is still hanging in my room to this day!

5. What would we find on your desk right now?

I am proud to say I have finally cleaned my desk from what was the biggest year of designing! However I will always have a coffee cup (say no more). As I am constantly thinking of new designs or techniques I have my box of threads and off cuts of fabrics so I can be visually stimulated at all times.

6. Are you a piece hunter, or a piece gatherer?

I am definitely a piece hunter. It is funny also I think, dream and consumed by design, I very rarely purchase. Unless I fall in love with a piece (and I will need to think about buying it for days to be certain) I make sure I treasure all my pieces. It is hard to find a piece that ticks all my own boxes – well made, functional and of course it has to have an element of unique textile design or embellishment.  I still wear pieces of clothing I bought 7 years ago!  I find when a garment has these elements and is so unique it doesn’t date.

7. If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice at the beginning of your degree, what would it be?

Entering any course is always the unknown! I am so proud of myself that I moved from my hometown to Melbourne straight from high school and knowing virtually no one! I look back now and I am thankful that I didn’t over think it! As you go through a design degree the first few years are spent somewhat trying to please your assessors because you’re still trying to find your unique design aesthetic. However after studying overseas in Sweden and facing my final year I realize the importance of owning your design aesthetic and understanding how you think, design and commutate your ideas the best. It is cliché to say however I realise my first idea is often the best!

8) You've finished your degree, whats next for you?

It is daunting to think what is next however I am extremely excited for what is to come! Although I have nothing set in stone I know it is what I don’t want to do is often more important to me.

My design and personal ethos will always focus on the the values of handcraft. I wish to explore ways in which fashion companies and integrate the hand-crafted techniques of global artisans as a means of craft preservation and positive community engagement. I was able to collaborate with artisans in Pakistan to develop my unique stitch application within my graduate collection, so I can see this can be successfully achieved. Few high-fashion brands are successfully integrating and communicating their conscious design practices within a high-fashion context, however there is so much potential to combine the two.   

Although the support and opportunity to develop a brand is overwhelming, in this current fashion economy believe I need to learn so much more about the logistical business side to confidently launch my own brand. It is exciting to see how much the industry is changing and I believe innovation, marketing and consumer knowledge is key. It is just learning how to combine them successfully. Although I wouldn’t disregard establishing my own brand, I wish to work under someone else that shares a similar design aesthetic of hand-crafted details. Whether this be in the context of high-fashion, couture or artisanal hand-craft within a social enterprise all practices a line with my natural design atheistic.


Meet Flaunter's Emerging Designers of 2016: Emily Stone (UTS)

Emily Stone of UTS created a standout collection of men's knitwear, and an effortlessly cool photo shoot to match. This talented machine knitter brought one of her pieces (and her infectious giggle) to Flaunter HQ last week for a chat.

1. What sparked your desire to design knitwear for men?

I just wanted to design garments that are really comfortable, snuggly and sort of protective that people feel good in and that are really nice to wear.

2. Tell us about the 24 hours before your graduate parade?

I lost one of my jumpers 24 hours before- I just misplaced it and was running around frantically panicking about that, but I found it so it was OK!

The day before I was trying to knit myself a pair of pants and it was taking so long, I was also making socks...and yeah, it was a long 24 hours!

3. If you could bring back one trend from the past what would it be?

I think I'd bring back the whole wearing of one colour head to toe, blue, red, green...you know- whatever!

4. What is the first piece of fashion you ever loved?

I always remember when I was 5 years old I had this red velvet matching One Hundred and One Dalmatians outfit. It had a dalmatian trim, was red velvet and had a little matching mini skirt. I used to wear it constantly- it was all I ever wore as a child.

5. Any advice for others looking to study fashion?

Just be really good friends with the people in your degree.  You spend so much time with them and they are the most amazing support network you can have I think throughout uni, so just be really good friends - and be really lovely to everyone.

 


Flaunter Emerging fashion designer 2016 campiagn Marissa Li UTS

Flaunter launches 2016 Emerging Designer Campaign - the only digital showcase bringing together 100 of the country’s most talented fashion design students

Flaunter’s 2016 Emerging Designer showcase launches today as the only platform of its kind to support emerging Australian fashion talent.

Flaunter Emerging works with schools, universities and colleges to support final year and newly graduated fashion design students in building their public profiles and showcasing their work to a large media network.  For the journalists, stylists and influencers who use the Flaunter platform, the campaign also provides a unique opportunity to discover Australia’s most talented new design talent in one central, digital location.

Now in its second year the digital showcase will feature collection imagery from 100 of the top final year students from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology [RMIT], TAFE Fashion Design Studio, Queensland University of Technology [QUT], University of Technology Sydney [UTS], The Whitehouse Institute of Design and Melbourne Fashion Masters.

Icaro Ibanez-Arricivita, Design Lecturer, QUT: “The campaign was an amazing success for our students last year, both in terms of exposure and a sense of excitement amongst them all.  We jumped at the chance to take part again in 2016.  Flaunter gives students the ability to expand their audience at a critical period – while giving media the opportunity to access the country's new talent all in the one location.”

An industry panel has also  been formed and each member will select their ‘Top 5 Faces to Watch’. These will be announced during the first week of December, 2016.

The panel includes: Alison Izzo [Harper's Bazaar], Amanda Stavropoulos [Who What Wear], Anna Plunkett & Luke Sales [Romance was Born], Arani Duggan [Powerhouse Museum - MAAS], Courtney Miller [The Australian Fashion Chamber], Leah White [Fashion Journal], Mikey Ayoubi [Stylist], Petta Chua [Vogue], Rebecca Khoury [10 Magazine] and Riena Voss [Golightly PR].

Fashion Journal, 10 Magazine Australia and Vogue online will further support the Flaunter Emerging campaign with editorial features on the students they select as their Faces to Watch. The Australian Fashion Chamber (AFC) will also award one student with a one-on-one mentoring session with one of the Australia’s leading fashion designers.

Rebecca Khoury, Associate Editor, 10 Magazine Australia: “10 Magazine and 10 Men Australia have always encouraged, supported and mentored emerging Australian talent. We’re excited to see Flaunter establish a platform that recognises young designers and are proud to support a campaign that recognises new talent.”

All 2016 emerging profiles are now available to view online

Lynette Yahya, graduating student, UTS: "I feel honoured and privileged for my work to be shown to industry professionals and leaders via the Flaunter emerging campaign. It's such a rare and exciting opportunity that allows emerging designers like myself a platform to showcase the collections we've been working on all year."

Email us for your industry log in to browse the 2016 showcase.

Or read through the 2015 Top 5 Faces from Vogue's Petta Chua.

Feature image: Marissa Li


Our top 3 tips: making the most out of your relationship with your PR agency

With a little help from some friends, you could be well on your way to world domination. Here's our top 3 tips on how to make the most out of the PR/Brand relationship:

1. Communication is Key

As a client, knowing what to expect from your agency is fundamental, but so too is providing your agency with the information they need to be able to do their best work for you. This means communicating what you would like to achieve from the relationship can avoid any potential confusion. Avoid the ‘data dump & vanish’ and use first meetings as a base introduction - leaving plenty of room to build off goals in the progression of the relationship. Remember, these agencies have a number of clients so remaining active and keeping them updated about your latest news can achieve better results - they can't pitch it if they don't know about it!

2. Trust in me

Setting off on any new relationship is daunting, so it’s normal to have some trepidation early on. Make sure you’ve done your homework and have spent time selecting the right bunch for you.  There are some amazing PR agencies out there (Team Flaunter is lucky to work closely with many of them!) 

While your agency will be letting you focus on other things while they work they magic, it’s essential you still take time to participate in the process (in consultation with your agency of course). You’d be surprised just how many of your own ideas could actually be the catalyst for your next feature.

Examples of valuable participation:

Content Creation: Contextual advertising is a common, valuable strategy nowadays, and many agencies will create content for you. However, you know your brand best! If you’ve made insta-worthy material, or taken a great snap of your team in action, don’t be shy to share it with your agency or on the social channels you're managing.

Relevant write up: Any information that speaks to the uniqueness of your brand's story or product should be shared with your agency. Ultimately, you have the choice in how you’d like to be seen. For example -  Drawing attention to special materials & techniques used in your manufacture, collaborations with other brands/people, news/events in your industry that your brand could comment on... Don't be shy to write up information to share with your PR agency - you mighn't know what angle the media are seeking next, but your agency will...and they want to have a reason to put your brand forward.

3. Social media is power, your agency can be your guide.

Think of your online profile as the ‘cheerleader’. Ultimately a large following does not always equal success, it’s how you engage with & develop your audience that defines your success. Your agency will give advice for the optimal social strategy including how to present to your particular audience, posting times, types of content etc. If you’d like to push out certain content, remember lead times and give your agency notice! What you may think works for business may not always be appropriate or effective in terms of your agency's greater strategy. We recommend using apps such as Plann and Schedugram to pre-plan the content you wish to share.

Image: Damian Zaleski via unsplash.com

 

 


How do I tell my brand's story?

With our online content visible to so many different people, it’s easy to forget who we’re aiming to connect with, but building a solid story/message your brand wants to communicate is an important part in establishing a connection with media and customers alike.

 

 

Who am I?

No existential crisis here! It's more of a 'how do I want to be seen?' thing - Ask yourself this question of your brand often and reinforce it continuously.

In order to develop a successful persona/story for your brand, you must be very clear on your core audience, and then flaunt your unique personality through every avenue- being recognizable as 'you' and consistent about it works to authenticate your brand, making you more desirable to connect with, as well as easier for media to share your news.

So what makes a good brand story? Here are a few things to consider:

Your story must connect to the audience you've decided upon. For example, if you implement sustainable practices in production and want to speak specifically to 'conscious consumers' you may centre your messaging around highlighting the sustainable practices that you could disperse across your branding e.g labeling, packaging and social media profiling.

Be loud and proud: Use creative ways where you can draw attention to your unique quality. For example, an interiors label passionate about supporting local artists and small-scale design may want to collaborate with these individuals in designing packaging for their products, run a social media campaign sharing work from local artists every week or sponsor a gallery event/pop up showcase of local artisans.

 

Post, Share, Repeat

The one case where being a broken record player is recommended.

Once you have your story, consider the logistics! An active social media presence keeps your brand current and its message strong.  The key to success in the world of social media is activity, and we don't just mean lots of it, we mean quality posts that encourage engagement with your client base. Get your customers involved and create your own Instagram hashtag, repost amazing content from customers and brands who use your products or personify your brand's story. This can create traffic on both ends and in tech head strategy, raises your chance in showing up on other people’s discovery feeds on Instagram.

You may also want to look into your 'SEO' ... and by that we mean blogs. Pieces that are jam packed with highly searchable relevant terminology can get you into that top result haven everyone's aiming for. Hitting two birds with one stone means not only will you increase your online presence, but you'll also be venturing down yet another avenue in sharing a unique brand story.

 

Want to know more about how to get the most out of your brand's story? Read our guide on how to extend the lifecycle of your content.

Image: Florian Klauer via Unsplash


Spotlight on: George Wu

What’s been your greatest moment to date?

Changing my business from Ready-to-wear fashion to custom made couture and getting to dress a few celebrities for the red carpet event.

What do you love most about designing couture?

The chance to work with clients personally and get to see some of the world’s best fabrics used by houses like Dior, Chanel, Valentino…etc experiment of couture structure inside the dress is a major drive in creativity at our studio.

What’s the first piece of fashion you’ve ever loved?

Chanel Platinum perfume for men.

You’ve already conquered New York and LA, what’s next on the cards for you?

Growing new wedding side of business and branching interstate/overseas with RTW bridal collection.


Spotlight on: Josephine Perkins from Homage

What makes you passionate about the label?

Producing collections that are a little left off centre for women who are a little left of centre, and knowing that we are manufacturing by ethical and sustainable means.

What’s on your desk right now?

A French curve, rulers, dot and cross paper, white lilies, a strong latte and a book Hormones and Behaviour: A Psychological Approach for next season research!

If you could bring back one fashion trend from any decade, what would it be?

70’s velvet suits.

If someone could only buy one new accessory next season, what should it be and why?

Absolutely any of the footwear from Gucci because they are goddamn amazing!

Are you more of a piece hunter or a gatherer?

Definitely a gatherer. I love that joy of discovering something that excites me that I never knew I needed.

My perfect pair of ____is..?

Lingerie is romantic, feminine and something I wear more for myself than for anyone else.

Image: Homage via Flaunter