About a week back I had the pleasure of being asked to go up to The Institute of Design Ulladulla to photograph the fashion parade for their open day in conjunction with Escape Arts Fest. After the event I got the chance to interview one of the students, Jessica Burns! I was super excited because there are some ridiculously talented students at the school so it's great to get a little bit of information about their garments!
Hey Jess! The show went so well, the garments you sent down are amazing!
Thanks! I really put a lot of effort into styling and making my looks work for this show. It definitely feels like it payed off.
What inspired you to start studying fashion design? Have you always had a love for fashion or is it more of a recent thing?
Actually, visiting the campus at IDU inspired me to start studying fashion design. I had considered it during high school but never really committed to the idea, I just decided to go in and have a look one day during the limbo after HSC and fell in love. I think I've always had an admiration of fashion but the people around me that loved fashion as I was growing up were horrible, so I squashed it down and embraced my nerdy side. Now that those people aren't around me anymore I like to combine my nerdy side with my fashion side to create unique garments.
Can you give us a little bit of info on the inspiration behind each of your outfits?
After being at IDU for around 2 months I'd learned so much and wanted to learn so much more. I found pattern making really interesting and used this dress (Look C) to see what I could push myself to learn. This dress was inspired by the pattern magic books by Nakamichi Tomoko, and her work "disappearing", through a lot of trial and error I managed to create the collar coming up out of the bodice of the dress. I loved the challenge.
In second semester it was much more relaxed, I was more focused on finding out what kind of aesthetics I liked to design with, I discovered I like asymmetry and strange angles and used these in the design process. The design (Look B) turned out quite simple and so I like to accessorize it with something big, I borrowed the spinning gold neck piece from 'Afterglow' jewellery as I've sold the original neck piece that I created for the look.
My last look (Look A) is where I decided to embrace my love of a dramatic story and incorporate it into my look. The story behind this is of a mercenary in a post nuclear fallout world, she pieces together her armor from the spoils of her victims, this is why the jacket is made from several different skins and has a slight patchwork feel to it. The top and pants helped create a kind of militaristic.
If you had an unlimited budget to design your own full collection, what sort of theme would we see, and what sort of garments would you create?
Big things. I'd like to design big architecural, theatrical shapes. My influence from Japan would definitely come through. I'm moving to Tokyo next year and really want to work in costuming and that tends to come through in my designs, so definitely some dramatic stuff.
Can you give us a little sneak peak of what you're up to next?
This semester we're working on gowns, I've tried to combine all the main features of my design aesthetic in this design.
Keep your eyeballs peeled for some more backstage/runway shots from the other night