Tag Archives: Canberra Fashion Designers

From City to Beach …

Yumi’s fashion is a Shore thing!

Magical, pretty and feminine are three words that reflect the mood of this gorgeous Shoreline collection by fashion designer Yumi Morrissey. Yumi is well known for creating her own fabric patterns with photos she’s taken in Canberra and the region, including cultural institutions, parks and scenery, and popular tourist events including Floriade and Enlighten. But for her 2018 spring-summer collection, Yumi has soared high flying a drone to capture stunning shots of the ocean.

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Drone image Mossy Point, NSW

Purchasing the drone proved to be a wise investment and Yumi is ecstatic about the results. She’s settled on three breathtaking images taken off clifftops near Broulee, South Coast, and at Forrester’s Beach, Central Coast.

“I love photography as much as I do fashion and thought about the endless possibilities of using a drone when planning this new season’s collection,” says Yumi. “It was challenging and time consuming to get the right shots that would work to form each pattern, but I love the results. The turquoise blues and emerald greens are beautiful spring-summer colours, and the shapes of the rocks, shoreline and sandy beaches are intriguing.”

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Shoreline Loop Scarf. Model: Talea Hasko-Stewart, MUA: Steph Church, Photography: Yumi Morrissey, Zilpah tart

Because there is so much detail in each image, Yumi used each as a full picture, repeating it three times to form the prints. Yumi incorporated sheer fabrics into the collection because it reminds her of sea foam. The ruffles on other pieces remind her of waves. “I’ve also incorporated solid colours conscious that some customers don’t feel comfortable wearing a busy pattern from top to bottom,” says Yumi. “With the solids, I’ve used print fabric to form interesting accents, such as a delicate frill at the top or bottom.”

It took a great deal of time and effort to create the collection, but Yumi says the results are well worth the travel to locate where to fly, the willingness to wait for the weather to cooperate, and the patience to get the best shots.

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Mossy Point drone image ready for print

Shoreline includes Yumi’s best-selling designs—which is no surprise since Zilpah tart fans would be in an uproar with anything less. Yumi has a close relationship with many of her loyal customers who are keen to buy local. The last 12 months or so have been huge for Yumi. In addition to selling online through the label’s website, Zilpah tart is now retailing in The Collective Store, Wynnum, Queensland, and Design a Space, Manchester Lane, Melbourne.

Yumi also sells a small selection of garments in the Tienda Canberra Collective, Fyshwick Markets, loop scarves and bags at The Parliament Shop and loop scarves at the Canberra Visitors Centre. Her main retail outlet in Canberra is Cardif Collective, Westfield Woden.

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Mist skirt from Shoreline collection. Model: Talea Hasko-Stewart, MUA: Steph Church, Photography: Yumi Morrissey, Zilpah tart

 

Shoreline will launch at Westfield Woden, CARDIF Collective, Friday 7 September, 6pm to 8pm (with champagne and nibbles), and Yumi will be on hand to answer questions about the new collection, and images of the coast and a look book will be displayed.

To see more of Yumi’s designs visit her website at Zilpah tart.

Feature image (top): Yumi wearing Shoreline collection dress. Image by Sarah Hill.

Zilpah tart goes Corporate

She’s known for her bright, colourful prints created digitally from photos she takes in Canberra and surrounds. So what’s the deal behind the corporate range in solid blacks, navy blues and royal blues just launched by local fashion designer Yumi Morrissey?

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Zilpah tart’s new corporate line in black, navy, and royal blue.

“A friend asked me to make her favourite Zilpah tart print dress in plain navy for work,” says Yumi. “She loves the style, shape and ease-of-wear of the Balloons dress she bought from me but works in a conservative office and thought a solid colour would be more appropriate. She discussed it with other female friends who agreed so I seized the opportunity to design a new corporate range for professional women.” And the range began attracting attention the moment it popped up on Zilpah tart’s website and social media platforms.

Yumi is staying true to her aesthetic—dresses that look fabulous; are flattering to the female silhouette and are comfortable. She’s also using the quality polyester jersey fabric so popular in her other collections because it doesn’t crease or crinkle or need ironing. It washes easily, dries quickly and is fabulous for those who travel.

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Heidi in royal blue

This isn’t the first time Yumi has made the smart move of responding direct to customer suggestions. She took a limited number of orders for the black diamond dress she made to wear to FASHFEST 2017, when launching her spring/summer Garden Paradise collection on the catwalk. When she ran out of that fabric, she sourced a sparkly forest green fabric in Sydney. “The runs were limited but customers thought they were perfect for Christmas and the party season,” says Yumi.

The initial line-up of Zilpah tart’s new corporate range features four styles, each named after one of the women who encouraged Yumi to ‘go for it’—Ash, Heidi, Penne and Sarah. “They also modelled the dresses for me in the photo shoot, which was really fun,” says Yumi. “I chose the four styles because they’re best sellers for Zilpah tart, and all four are made specifically for work, but they can easily take you to after-work drinks or events or special occasions.”

Each style is available in black, navy and royal blue. Yumi has designed two V-neck lines, shapes she knows her customers like, and has included two variations for the bottom of the dresses; a full skirt and a more A-line shape.

She plans to monitor sales of the new corporate range and add additional styles over time. She’ll also change the colours to reflect the change of seasons.

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Yumi in Zilpah tart black diamond dress at Fashfest 2017. Photo by Doug Hall Studio Vitae

The corporate range is sold through the Gungahlin Collective and Zilpah tart’s website. Yumi is also hoping to also sell it out of the Design A Space, Manchester Lane, Melbourne, where she already stocks many of her colourful prints. “Let’s face it, Melbourne loves a bit of black,” she says, “and with my colourful patterns, I’ll be looking to sell in Sydney and Queensland starting this year.”

While sales of the corporate range continue, Yumi has been busy. She’s just come back from a fabric buying trip and is now busy designing her autumn/winter 2018 collection, which will feature coats made from black wool (with her bright prints as lining for added interest), dresses out of wool jersey and skirts out of a cotton satin.

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V-neck styles in navy blue

The new corporate range starts at $160, with four part-payments available through Afterpay on www.zilpahtart.com.au

FASHFEST versus HYPER REAL

The two escalators in the National Gallery of Australia foyer were transformed into towering runways as FASHFEST presented a fashion pop-up to build hype around the 2017 event with opening night this week, 28 September. One by one last Saturday, models posed at the top of an escalator and slowly glided down to the main foyer before walking before guests and stopping before the photographer’s scrum. Then it was slowly back up the second escalator.

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Megan Cannings Designs (black dress), Model: Mariè Strazdins, MUA: Lydia Curtis, Photo: Jack Mohr

By design, the fashion at the pop-up was eclectic. The first and last models appeared in showstopper gowns by De Challie Haute Couture—gowns never seen in public and soon to be sent to Paris Fashion Week. Exquisite beading and detailing is De Challie’s signature. These are hand-made gowns that dreams are made of. Award winning De Challie will showcase sophisticated, exquisite gowns made of the finest fabrics and meticulous detail on the FASHFEST catwalk on Friday night.

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De Challie Haute Couture, Model: Sarah O’Neill, MUA Alexandra Watson, Photo: Sparking Weddings

Other gowns were created by Megan Cannings Designs, a full electric blue layered skirt paired with a silver glittery top and a black ruffled outfit with sexy see-through elements. Megan’s designs embody the feminine form using soft, easy wearing fabrics. Megan is based in Sydney and this will be her second appearance at FASHFEST.

Two pieces of innovative bridal wear by Gabrielle Spencer Bridal popped up at the National Gallery of Australia, showing how the designer casts aside traditional ball gowns for pieces that are modern and refreshingly elegant. This is Gabrielle Spencer Bridal’s debut appearance at FASHFEST. Her aesthetic is influenced by bridal fashion of the 1920s to 1950s and Gabrielle uses luxurious fabrics, including pure silks, cashmere and French lace. At FASHFEST, she will collaborate with Christine Waring Milliner.

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Thunder Thighs, Model: Lamishi Dauda, MUA: Mikaela Thompson, Photo: Sparkling Weddings

Three pieces were presented at the pop-up by Bianca Pavlic The Label who makes a debut appearance at FASHFEST this year. She will appear on the catwalk twice, once in her own show and also in a segment curated by Raw Australia. Bianca’s creates unique, beautiful and feminine garments, all hand made in her Canberra home studio.

The shimmery silver number at the pop-up was designed by Yumi Morrissey of Zilpah tart. Yumi’s spring-summer 2017 collection features new necklines, some special occasion pieces and more. After FASHFEST, Yumi will sell her new collection at Floriade.

 

One of the most intriguing creations at the NGA was by Bronwynne Jones of Thunder Thighs, a new independent Canberra label who will debut at FASHFEST on opening night. Bringing back the bustle, Bronwynne’s hand-made garment was created with a recovered jacket and embellished with waste and recovered fabric. Ties and tie linings left over from the Infinity scarves Bronwynne makes were folded and twisted with other fabric scraps for a modern take on the bustle.

Karen Lee is a veteran of the FASHFEST catwalk. Her creation at the pop-up was used for pre-event publicity. It featured a black jacket she made from a garment that appeared at FASHFEST several years ago and a brilliant red oversized tulle skirt.

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L-R: Lamishi Dauda (Thunder Thighs); Sarah O’Neill (Bianca Pavlic The Label); Kelsi-Jane Hedges (De Challie Haute Couture); Mariè Strazdins (Zilpah tart); Toya Bakoles (Gabrielle Spencer Bridal); Samara Purnell (Bianca Pavlic The Label). Photo: Sparkling Weddings

The pop-up was also a prelude to the NGA’s upcoming summer blockbuster Hyper Real. The hair and makeup was as inspirational as the wonderful artworks in Hyper Real. Led by FASHFEST’s Director of Makeup, Diana Cheetham, the artists were given free rein to make masterpieces. Looks ranged from a princess look made of gold leaf and glitter, a Japanese inspired look and bold black line work.

FASHFEST opens this Thursday 28 September with Show 1 at 7am. The full program and tickets are available on their website. Opening 20 October, Hyper Real charts the evolution of hyperrealism since the early 1970s through a jaw-dropping display of renderings of the human form in sculpture, video, digital art, virtual reality and bio-art.

Beating the Drum for Fashion

If fashion doesn’t make you want to roll out of bed every morning, but music does, then think about immersing yourself in the FASHFEST experience this long weekend. More than 20 musicians and DJs bring their own sense of style to the stage, expressing and magnifying the garments designers have worked so hard to create. FASHFEST 2017 presents a top line-up with many highlights across many genres, including pop, hip hop, house, soul and more.

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Tony Rich – The Tony Rich Project

Let’s start with mega start The Tony Rich Project. Remember the hit single Nobody Knows? Well it’s that Tony Rich. Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, musician Tony Rich will hit the stage on Friday September 29, show 2, 9pm. Tony, born in Detroit, now calls Canberra home. He’s released six albums, authored hits for artists like Elton John and Michael Bolton, and toured with Prince, Sting, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Peter Gabriel, Sheryl Crow and others. Tony bolted out of the gates, winning a Grammy for his debut album Words.  His forthcoming album project, mixed here in Canberra, will be released at the end of October.

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Raio De Sol – photo by Adam Thomas

Ashley Feraude, FASHFEST’s Music Director, says another first for FASHFEST is Raio de Sol, a percussion ensemble that will play on closing night. “The band first rehearsed on a re-purposed drum kit cobbled together from pots, pans and other bits and pieces uncovered at the tip,’ says Ashley. ‘They’re an amazing community samba drumming band.”

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Soulitude – photo by Art Artelier

Also making a debut appearance is Canberra’s premier four-piece live soul, R&B and urban groove band, Soulitude, whose vocalists and musicians have performed with the likes Deltra Goodman.

Female musos are strong again this year. Happy Axe (AKA Emma Kelly) is making a debut appearance. Since graduating with a Bachelor of Music (Hons) from the ANU, Emma has performed at major festivals like Woodford. She uses violin, musical saw and vocals to create beautiful sounds. At FASHFEST, she’ll play violin alongside DJ Hamish Lardi (no stranger to FASHFEST fans).

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FASHFEST 2016 – photo by wearefoundau

Other new acts include DJ Andrea Corazzon, known for mixing smooth house music and nu-disco. Amy Ferreira will be on stage incorporating old classic house with disco. Seasoned and award-winning DJ Sandman will be on deck to ramp things up.

Favourites return, including the lively Kirklandd, who is on a roll after his debut performance at FASHFEST last year. He’ll perform his upcoming single, Faded, live at the event. And Ashley himself will play, under his alias Magnifik Feat NeonHoney. Ashley has produced two albums and recently received Best House Producer at the Music ACT Music Awards.

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FASHFEST 2016 – photo by Doug Hall Studio Vitae

Click here to see the full music line up for FASHFEST 2017. FASHFEST is only a few sleeps away. Tickets, starting from $49, are on sale now. FASHFEST will be held at the National Convention Centre Canberra from 28 to 30 September (two shows per night), with lively after parties at QT Canberra.

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FASHFEST Music Director – Ashley Feraude

Steal the Thunder!

Let’s start with the facts. Women come in all shapes and sizes. All shapes and sizes. The pear shape is just as beautiful as any other and no one knows this better than Bronwynne Jones, who founded her own label catering to this target market last year.

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Bronwynne Jones – owner and designer Thunder Thighs

Thunder Thighs is about the shape, not about the size”, says Bronwynne. “I design from size 8 up, but in a way that complements women who are naturally smaller at the top and curvier at the bottom.”

Bronwynne is currently full steam ahead, cutting, sewing, fitting and fussing with models to get her first full collection on the catwalk at FASHFEST 2017. She’s excited but admits it hasn’t been entirely easy. “The FASHFEST model casting was an open one, but the fashion industry tends not to focus on true pear-shaped women,” says Bronwynne. “Not many modelling agencies have pear-shaped models on their books either.”

 

And the name? Doesn’t it just draw unfair attention to the unique body shape Bronwynne designs for? “I’m actually calling it for what it is and am proud of it,” says Bronwynne. “My clients don’t necessarily have a problem with their shape. They have a problem with not being able to find attractive clothing that works well on their bodies. It’s frustrating, and I know because I have thunder thighs. I want to design for this group of women and who they are, not what the fashion industry says they should be.”

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Thunder Thighs at CARDIF Collective Fashion in the Alley in April 2017

A self-taught designer, Bronwynne focuses on fitting, flattering and the body positive. She designs foundation (essential) pieces and pieces that add flair and sells through CARDIF Collective in Kingston. “My tops fit the bust line well and swing or float over the bottom,” says Bronwynne. “Cigarette pants and skirts fit at the waist and hips, and fall from the thighs. Short tailored jackets with a swing, not straight, work a treat too.” Since opening her label, Bronwynne has been thrilled to sell to women of other shapes who are attracted to her designs. “Many women can wear swing tops, for example,” says Bronwynne. “It’s a fabulous style that stands the test of time.”

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Thunder Thighs at Fashion in the Alley

For the FASHFEST catwalk, Bronwynne has designed pants, tops and jackets, some with sculptural elements. She’ll also present her popular ‘shirt front back top’ which features the front and optional collar from a recovered men’s shirt. Customers can help design their own top by selecting from Bronwynne’s impressive collection of quality men’s shirts or by bringing in a shirt owned by a loved one. Bronwynne will also feature her attractive infinity scarves created out of men’s vintage silk ties on the catwalk.

The designer is showcasing solid black and white, mono prints, and shades of pinks and purples. Sheer fabric will also make a grand entrance as will hand-crafted headpieces with colour and flair.

“It’s been a steep learning curve getting ready for FASHFEST,” says Bronwynne. “There’s so much to consider beside the garments. Hair, makeup, props, shoes, and with only a couple of weeks to go—it’s full on.”

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Model Swan Ricco (size 8 – 10) wears Thunder Thighs at Fashion in the Alley

FASHFEST is on from 28 to 30 September, at the National Convention Centre Canberra, with after parties at QT Canberra. Thunder Thighs proudly makes its appearance at FASHFEST on opening night, 28 September show 2, 9pm. FASHFEST tickets are available from the FASHFEST website and start at $49.

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Getting ready to walk-the-walk at Fashion in the Alley

From Manuka to Milan

It’s a dream come true for any designer. Showcasing the garments they’ve poured their heart and soul into on the catwalk during the most prestigious fashion week in the world—Milan! And two FASHFEST designers have been selected to showcase their designs this year.

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Naomi Peris Bridal – FASHFEST 2016. Photo by wearefoundau

So it’s no wonder that Naomi Hogie, the designer behind Naomi Peris Bridal, is still pinching herself that she’ll soon be jetting off to Italy, as nervous as can be, to present her 2017 collection—Fairy Tale Princesses in the Amazon Jungle—to the international community. Then it’s back on the plane and straight into fittings for FASHFEST 2017, with Naomi’s stunning and unique designs sure to wow guests on closing night.

So how did it all happen?

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Naomi Peris. Photo by Sparkling Weddings Photography

Naomi has been designing for years, thrilling brides of all types and styles. Last year, she unveiled a full collection at her inaugural appearance at FASHFEST, with official event and media photographers going wild over her non-traditional bridal designs and how beautiful they looked on the models who graced the catwalk. Many of those images were pushed out through social media and some caught the eye of organisers of Milan Fashion Week.

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Naomi Peris Bridal – FASHFEST 2016. Photo by wearefoundau

Ryadal Chapman, of Oxford Fashion Studio, one of the organisers of Milan Fashion Week, was impressed. “All of our events are by invitation only. A team of five curators review 8,000 designers a year looking for original concepts who we feel press will respond to and people will love,” Ryadal said.

Naomi’s super excited about her latest collection. “I’ve really pushed my design aesthetic,” says the designer. “I decided that I didn’t want rules to restrict what I design. I’m using unconventional fabrics that are normally not used in bridal as well as garments that push the boundary of bridal design. It takes about six months to prepare for a new collection.”

 

Also approached to participate in Milan Fashion Week, after her 2016 FASHFEST appearance, was Megan Cannings of Megan Cannings Designs. Like Naomi, Megan wasn’t initially sure if the invite was a scam. It was real.

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Megan Cannings Designs – FASHFEST 2016. Image by LFWMagazine

Megan will be writing organisers about possibilities for 2018. This year would have been challenging given the designer had lost her home, sewing machine, sewing equipment, patterns and thousands of dollars of fabric, during Cyclone Debbie in March when her small miner’s cottage in the Whitsundays was destroyed.

Megan’s life seemed impossible to piece back together, but after weeks of cleaning up and backed by sheer determination, the designer got new equipment and moved to Sydney where she’s working on her latest collection. At FASHFEST, she’ll present feminine gowns, chiffon kimonos, dressers and other stunning work.

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Megan Cannings Designs – FASHFEST 2016. Photo by LFWMagazine

“I can’t wait to come back to Canberra,” says Megan. “The FASHFEST team is so professional and supportive and that includes hair, makeup and all the other organisers. My collection last year was so well received. It was so rewarding.”

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Megan Cannings (r) at FASHFEST 2016. Photo by Studio Vitae Doug Hall

Tickets for FASHFEST 2017, to be held again at the National Convention Centre Canberra, are on sale now through www.fashfest.com.au  The event runs from 28 September to 30 September, with two shows a night.

Naomi Peris Bridal will showcase on closing night, Show 1.

Megan Cannings Designs will showcase on closing night, Show 2.

Alice Sutton—a first Edition in Korea!

By the LFW team.

K-pop. Gangnam style. Streetwear. Unique fashion that has influenced the world. It’s all happening in Korea and it won’t be long before one of Canberra’s award-winning fashion designers is immersed in the exciting and pervasive fashion scene happening in Seoul.

Alice Sutton, of local, independent label Edition, has won a place in the new Emerging Designer Exchange Program, which sees three Aussie fashion designers and three Korean fashion designers get together to share knowledge, skills and ideas and boost their brands. Alice flies to Seoul in March.

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Alice Sutton in her studio

The program, being run by Queensland University of Technology and Seoul National University, is designed to connect designers with fashion industry professionals, designers, artists and manufacturers in both countries.

Alice is over the moon at the opportunity. She’s the only Canberra designer on board and can’t wait to dive in to the extensive program, which will see the designers attend Seoul Fashion Week, Christian Dior’s flagship store in Seoul (all five stories), workshops in Brisbane and Sydney Fashion Week in May. “It’s about sharing knowledge, skills and ideas,” says Alice. “It’s fabulous to connect with other designers, including from other cultures, and see how it influences my future design work.”

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Edition revealed their latest collection ‘Reveal’ at FASHFEST 2016. Photo by Studio Vitae

Melanie Finger, a fashion lecturer at QUT, is working with the Australia–Korea Foundation on the two-year program. “The judges were impressed by Alice’s sustainable focus, her motivation, her design process, unique Australian style and more,” says Melanie. “The competition was tough with the quality of applications from across the country high.”

Melanie says the program is designed to help participants ‘fast track their brands immeasurably, on both a national and international scale’ and so Alice will connect with Korean and Australian fashion industry professionals, designers, artists and manufacturers. ”It’s such a unique opportunity to think about taking Edition to Korea,” says Alice, “and an amazing chance to build international business connections and export knowledge.”

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Photographer Lauren Campbell. Hair and Makeup Hayley Boyle. Model Hannah Arnold

It’s been a busy few months for Alice, who launched her latest collection, Reveal, at FASHFEST 2016. Shortly after the event, Melanie contacted FASHFEST organisers and asked them to promote the exchange program to designers. FASHFEST did, and Alice was one they contacted. Her application was a standout, says Melanie. Narrowed down to one of the top seven applicants from across Australia, Alice was next interviewed and then waited for the big decision. The rest is history.

Alice’s aesthetic is unique and carefully considered and her garments are highly wearable and transcend fast-fashion trends. We can’t wait to see how she incorporates her Korean inspiration into her next collection. The possibilities are endless for such a talented designer who does Canberra proud at every turn.

Edition designs are available at Assemblage Project in Braddon.