Tag Archives: Canberra designers

A story of a pear-shaped woman

Lovin’ thunder thighs. Designer Bronwynne Jones with model Swan Ricco at FASHFEST 2017. Image: Avon Dissanayake.

For years, Brownynne Jones was frustrated with fashion, so much so that she started her own label. We all have different shapes—hour glass, watermelon, banana, apple and pear. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, says Bronwynne, the reality is that it’s easier to shop fashion for some shapes than others.

Bronwynne is pear shaped and proud of it.

‘I used to think there was something wrong with my shape because I could never find lovely clothes that fitted just so,’ says the designer. ‘Then it dawned on me that it wasn’t my problem, it was the fashion industry’s problem and so I began making my own clothes. That’s when I started to feel great and stopped worrying about how I looked.’

Image of Tiahna taken at FASHFEST 2017 by Naimat Ahmed.

Thunder Thighs is a label for the perfectly pear shaped, although Bronwynne now knows her designs fit a range of shapes, even the tall and thin. ‘It was fabulous to discover this, although the pear-shaped is still my main aesthetic,’ says the designer.

This Thursday, at M16 Artspace, Brownynne is launching an exhibition as part of Design Canberra Festival. ‘Curvature Couture: Design and the pear-shaped woman’ officially opens at 6 and runs until 25 November. M16 is where Bronwynne has her studio.

The exhibition showcases what Bronwynne does best—focus on shape as a feature not as a flaw. She’ll host a short fashion event using a combination of models with interesting shapes, such as Bec and Trish from HAUS Models. She’ll also use women who aren’t professional models. The common thread is that every woman who appears in the show is in love with their body shape and fashion.

Bec from HAUS Models. Image: Naimat Ahmed.

Thunder Thighs is still a young independent label and Brownynne has learned heaps since presenting her first full collection on the catwalk at FASHFEST in 2017. ‘FASHFEST is a real platform for local designers and an important one,’ says the designer. ‘I was so nervous, but the collection looked amazing on the catwalk and the feedback was  fabulous. The team members behind FASHFEST are so willing to share knowledge and encourage you.’

Sustainability is important to Bronwynne and she’s committed to using new and natural fabrics as much as possible and sourcing interesting roll ends and remnants. She also uses pre-loved garments, deconstructing them and using elements in her designs. A classic example is Bronwynne’s hugely popular ‘Shirt Front Back Top’, which she’ll present at ‘Curvature Couture’.

Bronwynne’s famous ‘Shirt Front Back Top’. Image: Naimat Ahmed.

This shirt is fitted at the top and has a swing back to skim over the thighs, but women who have a tummy love it too. ‘To enhance interest, I include an insert using men’s shirts and, more recently, women’s scarves,’ say Bronwynne. ‘Customers even bring in their own shirts and scarves, ones that hold memories, so the garments I make for them are highly personal and a major talking point.’

At the opening of Curvature Couture, and throughout the exhibition, guests can check out their shape against life-sized panels by String, local artist Paul Martin. The garments on the catwalk will be put on mannequins after the show and form part of the exhibition.

Brownynne presented her first full collection on the catwalk at FASHFEST in 2017. Image: Doug Hall, Studio Vita.

You can also hear Bronwynne talk about her designs at M16 on 15 November at 1pm. She’ll also present a short workshop on dressing thunder thighs on 25 November at 2pm.

In the meantime, join Bronwynne at ‘Curvature couture: Design and the pear-shaped woman’ for the official opening this Thursday, 8 November, at 6pm. The fashion show starts around 6.30.

 

 

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FASHFEST 2017—a sneak peek at what’s new!

In a blink of an eye, FASHFEST will roll out the red carpet and present new fashion, new music and new film for its 2017 show, with tickets on sale now. What’s hot for the runaway this year? Where do we begin …

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Gehrich – photo by Christopher Thomas

Let’s start with the ‘firsts’. New labels include luxury label Gehrich, from Melbourne, which favours quality and sustainability over quantity. Queensland’s Naudic, a bold, brave and playful label, will showcase colourful day, evening and loungewear for women of all ages. From Canberra, and making debut appearances at FASHFEST, are designers such as De Challie Haute Couture, presenting elegant gowns made from the finest materials and Bianca Pavlic The Label, presenting feminine garments embellished with embroidery and beading.

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Bianca Pavlic The Label – photo by Tina Nikolvski

For the first time, the New Zealand High Commission is sponsoring seven labels, showcasing the incredibly diverse fashion coming out of New Zealand, including Nyne (presented by Department of the Exterior), Sabatini, Trelise Cooper, Curate, Coop and Cooper (presented by Momento Dezigns), Kowtow (presented by Assemblage Project, which will also host its own segment) and independent designer Melanie Child, who returns to FASHFEST for the third year.

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Trelise Cooper

Another first is the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation show, with high-end creations by 12 Indigenous designers who have worked with textile designs and textile art from 12 art centres (eight from the Northern Territory). Recently, the fashion industry, nationally and internationally, has embraced Indigenous textiles as a new and exciting trend. In a separate segment, Magpie Goose will showcase fabric designed and hand screen-printed in remote Aboriginal communities.

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Darwin Aboriginal Arts Fair Foundation – photo by Shane Eecen

Also new is Gabrielle Spencer Bridal, whose work is inspired by the texture, balance and colour of fibres found in nature, and several lingerie labels presented by Canberra’s Miss Winks.

Fashion zeroing in on niche markets include Thunder Thighs, a new label celebrating perfectly pear-sharped women of all sizes with edgy designs that fit and flatter. Stok Denim Kids and NOMI (know me) Kids are taking care of the young ones, and Summer Paradise Seekers, by young emerging designer Ashleigh Bujaroski, will present surf clothing celebrating Australia’s beautiful coastline and beaches. Those who love op shopping will be amazed by the segment being presented by Salvo’s Stores, curated by their eco stylist Faye De Lanty. This is serious eco chic.

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Coop

All-time favourite Canberra independent designers are re-appearing, including Karen Lee with her simple, sophisticated lines and classic shapes. Zilpah tart’s new line of prints celebrating spring, once more celebrate scenes from the nation’s capital. CIT fashion students return with two shows this year. BT (Braddon Tailors) will showcase men’s and women’s wear. And from Cooma, Charly Thorn arrives for the second time to wow guests once more.

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Kowtow – Dreamscape Crew

FASHFEST is so much more than fashion. It’s about live music and new film. This year 15 live musicians and DJs will rock the house down at the National Convention Centre Canberra. Just like the fashion itself, the sounds of FASHFEST are truly memorable.

Tickets are on sale now, starting at $49. FASHFEST 2017 presents six shows over three nights—28 to 30 September. For full programs and to buy your tickets, head to www.fashfest.com.au

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Kowtow – Auteur Coat Dreamscape

Down the Rabbit Hole with a Boy and Girl

When Alice in Wonderland popped down a large rabbit-hole, life was never the same. New and memorable adventures were had.

boy and girl 1The rabbit holds a special spot in the world of Anita and Carlo Krikowa. When starting boyandgirlco, the couple wondered aloud, on a trip to Sydney, whether their pallet furniture business would hit it big. As they did, they looked down and saw a white rabbit painted on the ground. Another time—on a tough day—Anita and Carlo decided to sweeten matters up by taking a break at a bakery. The staff member behind the counter introduced himself by saying ‘Hello. They call me The White Rabbit’.

So where is this story going?

Today boyandgirlco has grown in leaps and bounds, with many new service lines introduced, including furniture rental, custom furniture, commercial fitout services, workshops on how to build with pallets, and even an emerging jewellery range.

 

The first piece of jewellery is a rabbit brooch. The rabbit is also the symbol for boyandgirlco’s Lost and Found line of sustainable clothing, which raises money for women and children who have suffered economic abuse and need to begin a new chapter in their lives. The brooches are made from sustainably grown bamboo and laser cut by a supplier in Melbourne. “The rabbit is a quirky, loveable character,” says Anita. “The brooches are made of a light coloured wood with black etching for definition and they can be worn by men and women.”boy and girl 2

boyandgirlco now also sell an extended range of furniture, with 29 standard pieces available, most featuring recycled timber palettes. Custom pieces are also made to suit any style and size of space. “If you can imagine it, we can custom create it,” says Carlo. “Whether you only have approximate dimensions, a picture for inspiration or even just a rough idea in your head, we’ll help bring your idea to life.”

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Around Canberra you may also recognise the commercial palette work of this dynamic couple, including at The Barbershop–Canberra on Marcus Clarke Street, The Fix Cold Pressed Juice Shop in Fyshwick, the Cornerstone Café in Weston and Eight Stems, a relatively new florist at Kingston Foreshore.

It’s the workshops on how to build with pallets that has the boyandgirlco team trembling with excitement these days. The basic workshop teaches the ABCs of pallet furniture. You can also learn to build a planter box, one of the first items boyandgirlco sells and one of the most popular to this day. Or you can ramp it up a notch and learn how to build an Osprey Table. Sustainability is more than a business approach for the boyandgirlco team of six (more staff to start soon). It’s a philosophy and a lifestyle.

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boyandgirlco’s efforts have just been celebrated at the Actsmart Business Sustainability Awards. A record 62 nominations were submitted for the 10 awards, ranging from waste minimisation to innovation to leadership. Businesses across the region were recognised for their commitment to making a change for a more sustainable future.

boyandgirlco sell the rabbit brooches at markets and at Cardif Collective in Kingston. The Lost and Found clothing can also be ordered online.  http://iamlostandfound.com

Illuminating Canberra!

When you buy a piece from Illuminate, you’re buying a piece of Canberra. Not just because the fashion designer behind local label Zilpah tart creates all her pieces here, but because the patterns are based around photos of three of our much-loved national institutions.

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Radiance Dress – National Film and Sound Archive print

You must look closely at the patterns before it clicks, but that’s all part of the fun, says Yumi Morrissey, and Illuminate reflects what happens to the capital after dark.

The inspiration for Zilpah tart’s new autumn/winter 2017 collection came from an image Yumi took of the Torsional Wave at Questacon at Enlighten a few years back. She immediately saw a pattern in her head, using the electric blue coloured light that was projected onto the sculpture.

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Cross-front Dress in Questacon Lucent Blue print

Yumi manipulates her images on the computer to create a pattern, which is then digitally printed onto fabric. Patterns resulting from two other national institutions—the National Museum of Australia and the National Film and Sound Archives—are also part of Illuminate, with Yumi loving the bright orange entry wall at the museum and the vibrant rainbow colours projected onto the archives.

The garments Yumi has designed with her exclusive new patterns include her top sellers such as the T-shirt Dress and Cross Front Dress, but this time she has also introduced a line-up of skirts, tops and a spunky steel jacket made from metallic silver double knit stretch fabric. Her highly popular and easy-to-wear loop scarves are also available.

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Steel jacket with dress in National Museum of Australia print

Illuminate isn’t the first collection to celebrate Canberra’s national icons. Yumi made waves in 2015 when she launched the Warrior collection at FASHFEST, with patterns based around Parliament House. She’s also launched collections around images she’s captured of other aspects of our beautiful capital, including Civic Fountain, Balloon Spectacular, glorious sunsets, vibrant autumn leaves, cherry blossoms and more. Have some fun and check out the fabric prints section of Yumi’s website, which displays all original photos, resulting patterns and garments made with the patterns. It’s fascinating!

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Loop scarf in Coloured Light print

Zilpah tart has showcased at FASHFEST three times and is already thinking well ahead to 2017 where she’ll launch her spring/summer collection.

She’s also super busy getting ready to showcase Illuminate on the catwalk at the CARDIF Collective Fashion Alley show, to be held 8 April, Highgate Lane, Kingston. This charity event will also showcase autumn/winter collections by Hunter the Label, Fujinella, Hoon and Thunder Thighs.  For more information, including on tickets: www.cardifcollective.com.au

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National Film and Sound Archive image

Photo Credits: Model @tiza590, MUA @katiesaarikko, Photography Yumi Morrissey, Zilpah tart

Fashion in the Alley @ CARDIF

Autumn has graced us with its presence. This change of season is exciting for the way the leaves change to brilliant oranges, reds and yellows, but also because it’s a chance to layer up and change the way we dress.

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Zilpah Tart 2016 Collection

 

The first-ever CARDIF Collective Fashion Alley, to be held 8 April in Highgate Lane, Kingston, will celebrate the autumn/winter collections of five designers. The fashion show will style the service laneway into something magical, with the help of event experts Show Pony. Guests will be introduced to a new Canberra label by Bronwynne Jones, who designs for women who are perfectly pear shaped and proud of it. “Thunder Thighs is about fitting and flattering. If you love your shape, then focus on fit and flaunt it,” says Bronwynne, who has created a foundation wardrobe and pieces that add flair.

A new collection by Hoon will jazz up the runway with kid’s clothing. This up-cycled fashion label by artist Hanna Hoyne is delightful, colourful and unique. Hanna creates these special pieces from her design studio in CARDIF Collective.

While the fashion show focuses primarily on local designers, it also showcases the latest collection by Melbourne-based Fujinella, available in Canberra solely through CARDIF Collective. Fujinella focuses on monotones, making pieces easy to mix and match. They fit into any woman’s wardrobe and are delightful to wear.

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Zilpah Tart new 2017 collection: Illuminate, using National Museum of Australia print

Two favourite designers showcased at FASHFEST 2016, Zilpah Tart and Hunter the Label, are launching new and exciting season collections. Armed with her camera, Yumi Morrissey has over time captured images of three of our cultural icons, manipulating them on her computer and then producing fabric. The pieces in Zilpah Tart’s Illuminate collection feature the National Museum of Australia, National Film and Sound Archives and Torsional Wave at Questacon.

Local fashion designer, Sara Wurker, was inspired to create her new season collection by a trip to Japan. Sara’s Hunter the Label focuses on quality fabrics and wearable designs that embody unassuming elegance. The Norwegian Wood collection promises to make a true statement on the catwalk.

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Hunter the Label

Guests will also see shared segments showcasing pieces by many more designers who retail through CARDIF Collective.

The CARDIF Collective Fashion Alley is a charity event with proceeds from a live charity auction (Richard Luton of Luton Properties the auctioneer) going to the Heart Foundation. Proceeds from the silent auction will support domestic violence through the Lost and Found initiative by boyandgirlco.

A free art exhibition will also be held, with works by artists who create out of M16 Artspace.

 

Tickets for the CARDIF Collective Fashion Alley are on sale now. General entry tickets are $35. Gallery tickets are $50, VIP singles $70 and VIP tables are $250 for four and $350 for six. www.cardifcollective.com.au

Corr Blimey! Designer jeans made in Canberra!

Truly … if there are two things women hate buying it’s a new swimsuit or a new pair of jeans—and I’m not sure which one is worse … but let’s take a look at jeans. First up there’s the colour—too light, too dark, too washed; then the fabric—too heavy, too stiff, too skinny; the length—full, capri, three-quarter; the ‘rise’—low, high, medium, and don’t get me started on the cut … I’m stressed already and we haven’t even made it to the change room!

But now here’s something different. Local independent designer Corr Blimey has designed a new line of women’s jeans from fabric sourced in Australia and made in Canberra. And not only that, but designer Louisa de Smet will work with you to make sure the jeans are a perfect fit!

Corr Blimey Strasse jeans

Corr Blimey Strasse jeans

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