Sunday, 17 April 2011

Supporting Australian Fashion - Sportsgirl and LMFF

As part of L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival (LMFF), Sportsgirl sponsored the LMFF National Graduate Showcase. The showcase featured collections from 12 of Australia's most talented fashion graduates.  LMFF is a great way for Australian businesses to get behind up-and-coming designers.

I was surprised to see, sometime after LMFF, that there was a display of pieces from some of the 12 designers at the Chadstone Sportsgirl store.

It's great to see the support continuing after LMFF.  In a competitive industry, it's easy for designers to get their 5 minutes of fame, but then not be heard of again.  The issue is: how long does this support last for?

In order to build a successful career, graduates will not only need the right guidance in fashion, but also in business. It's one thing to present a collection, but beyond this new designers will need to work out how to market their label, source materials, organise manufacturing, price the products and manage orders. Designers effectively become sole-traders, operating their own little business. However, the majority do not have the right training or support to help their business get off the ground, so many talented designers find they cannot make a sustainable career in fashion and have to pursue other employment options which will help them pay the bills. The fashion industry, not only in Australia, but globally, have lost many promising designers in this way.

In the upcoming week I hope to cover more of these talented designers (see post on Sarah Mok, the designer for Emphemeral Reverie who featured in the LMFF National Graduate Showcase) who will form the future of Australian fashion.

I also will cover the major issues facing Australia's up-and-coming designers, and post interviews with a range of them to hear about their perspective on life in the fashion industry.

Here are some pictures I took of the display at Sportsgirl:

The attention to detail on each design is amazing. Each designer has their own unique style which is evident in the difference in material, silhouette and aesthetic of each piece. It's definitely worth checking out if you are at Chadstone, otherwise you can view the collections and learn more about the showcase and graduates online.

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