It’s Time! for Sovata

It’s Time for Jade Sargent to take control; of her life, her work, and her deep love of fashion.

By Wendy Johnson

And so this year, Jade has wound back on the number of days she works and has built into the rest of her life some serious, dedicated time to Sovata, her independent fashion label. The timing couldn’t be better with FASHFEST 2015 just six days away. Jade will showcase her new Taking control collection on the red carpet on Friday 15 May.

Image from Sovata X Libris collection

Image from Sovata X Libris collection

Canberra was first introduced to Jade’s fashion in a major way during the inaugural FASHFEST. Although young and a recent graduate—she finished her Bachelor of Design (Fashion) in 2012 from the Canberra Institute of Technology—this designer thoroughly impressed guests. She did the same last year and promises to wow the audience again this year.

“With the first FASHFEST, I was nervous about whether people would like my fashion and whether there would be a market for it,” says Jade. “I had really great feedback and gained the confidence to then start going to the Hustle&Scout Twilight Market. People started buying and even placing custom orders. It was really rewarding.”

X Libris collection

Hot colour from Sovata X Libris collection

Jade still had the jitters with the second year of FASHFEST given that she had diversified the label’s original race wear focus to include pieces perfect for wearing out to a special dinner, or to weddings, cocktail parties, garden parties and the like. “Again, the feedback was positive,” says Jade. “It made me realise that fashion is definitely what I want to do. I don’t enjoy sitting at a desk all day. I need to be creative. I need to let creativity be the main part of my life.”

So what’s in store for guests at FASHFEST 2015 when Jade’s 13 piece collection graces the catwalk? “The title of my collection—Taking control—is part of my inspiration with these designs,” says Jade. “I’m still using zero waste construction, but have pushed the boundaries on this. Previously I used the technique to wrap fabric into garments. This year I’m also using it for flat pattern making and draping to great effect.

X Libris collection

Drapes and colour from Sovata X Libris collection

“The idea is to control the fabric when I need to but to let it do the controlling when it makes sense for it to do so.” In addition to draping, Jade has pushed herself by introducing embellishment into the collection, something she’s never done before, and is working with different textures, including elastic and unconventional techniques to created embellished detail.

X Libris collection

Classic Sovata from the X Libris collection

Jade’s colour palette for this year’s runway line-up will pop with bright colours, including high-res oranges, fluoro greens and vibrant purples, which look amazing against the black and white the designer will also incorporate into her garments. “I really love the garments I’ve created this year,” says Jade. “They were challenging and I have pushed myself, but I’m really happy with them.”

Now that the garments are made, it’s time for Jade to do the ‘total look’ she is so famous for by finishing off the hats she’ll showcase at FASHFEST. “Some take a couple of hours, tending to almost create themselves, while others take hours and hours to complete.”

Hat from Sovata X Libris collection

Hat from Sovata X Libris collection

And that name Sovata? Well it represents S+OVATA … the ‘s’ coming from the first initial of Sargent and Ovata the botanical name for a Jade plant—just another bit of creativity from this very creative designer.

FASHFEST kicks off on Wednesday 13 May to Saturday 16 May. Tickets available from

All images from Sovata’s X Libris collection taken on location at The Australian National University, and The National Museum of Australia. Photography: Eric Piris, RED Photography; Models: Nicole Luker, (HAUS Models): Hair Artist: Designer, Jade Sargent; Makeup Artist: Belle Artistry, Gabbi Vannithone

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