Braddon Tailors are suiting women
by Wendy Johnson
Women have been wearing pants for years. But it was in 1966, when the famous Yves St Laurent launched the Le Smoking tuxedo suit for women that matters changed forever. Power suits and elegant pant suits were in and there was simply no turning back. But here’s the deal with wearing a suit. It has to fit and fit exceptionally well for it to look smashing.
Think of men in a bad, frumpy looking suit, with sleeve lengths too long, an untidy fit across the shoulders and embarrassing tailoring. Well, the same applies to women, says Pip Morgan of Braddon Tailors. Pip is busy putting the finishing touches on the 2015 collection he’ll launch at FASHFEST, with opening night just two weeks from today (13 May).
His collection comprises 12 outfits—four for women. “We have women-specific designs to ensure a top-quality fit,” says Pip. “We don’t use the same patterns or even some of the same techniques as we do for men. We use darts and pleats in different places for a more feminine look.”
This is Braddon Tailors’ second year on the catwalk. After the 2014 event, at which the label even launched denim suits to the delight of guests, Pip started to get orders from women who worship impeccable tailoring—women who want to invest in a suit that will last them for years, made of quality fabric sourced from some of the best mills operating today. When women visit Braddon Tailors they check out fabric with Pip, and talk about other details such as lapels, buttons and lining. “They’re very involved in the process,” says Pip.
“Our 2015 collection is called Wintery Exploits,” says Pip. “We’re using recently re-imaged tweeds that go beyond traditional browns, blues and greys to incorporate reds and oranges. They’re more electric and modern in colour and lighter weight—more refined and perfect for women’s suiting. They’re also perfect for Canberra conditions.”
The cornerstone fabric for the new collection is Donegal Tweed from Molloy & Sons Weaving Ltd in Ireland. The company, operating for a couple of hundred years, says it represents ‘the history of the past, the ambition of the future, and the ever-present beauty of the Atlantic coast of Donegal.’
Pip has a fondness for such well-established mills. Indeed, Braddon Tailors only source from some of the best luxury mills in the world, including Dormeuil, Loro Piana, Ariston of Napoli, Bradmills of Australia, Acorn Mills, and the London Cloth Company. Pip also sources denim from White Cone Denim Mills and Kaihara Denim Mills. This year’s collection, for both men and women, is more casual, but still snappy and professional.
Pip is also collaborating with Tanja von Behrens, a contemporary jewellery designer and maker from Canberra who now lives in Tasmania. Tanja’s work often draws on her past experiences of travel, considering notions of ‘home’, ‘place’ and ‘identity’. Wherever possible, she uses 100 per cent recycled sterling silver, copper and brass to create her works. Tanja and Pip have knocked heads on how the two aesthetics will marry and are excited at the possibilities.
Braddon Tailors was recently on the runway at Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival and will soon open a retail shop in the Ori Building in Braddon, near Assemblage Project, owned by Karen Lee, who is also launching a new collection at FASHFEST 2015. Pip hopes to be open mid to late-June.
Braddon Tailors will also be at Day Five, Sunday 17 May, along with about 18 other FASHFEST designers. To be held at the National Convention Centre, Day Five is a unique opportunity to visit designers, talk to them personally, try garments on or get measured up for that special order. Entry is free and it’s from 2 – 7pm.
FASHFEST is on at the National Convention Centre 13 – 16 May
Tickets on sale now: www.fashfest.com.au