Tag Archives: CARDIF Collective

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.

ZT Drone Mossy Point_NSW

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.”

thumbnail_Loop Scarf Sea Green print2

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.

ZT Drone 3_Mossy Point_NSW

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.

thumbnail_Mist Skirt7

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.

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.

Bronwynne TT CARDIF

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.”


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.”


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.”

TT CARDIF 4 Swan Ricco 8 - 10

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.


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

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.”

boy and girl 5

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.

boy and girl 3

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.

ZT_Radience Dress Film Sound Archive

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.

ZT Questacon Cross front dress in Lucent Blue print 1

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.

ZT_Steel Jacket

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!

ZT_Loop Scarf in Coloured Light print 1

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

CARDIF 2 Nat Museum Aus

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.


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.

CARDIF ZT Cross front dress in Museum

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.


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

Santa Claus is already in Town!

By the LFW team. It’s countdown to Christmas! Do yourself a big favour. Make a list. Check it twice. And get your shopping done early, far, far away from the madding crowds and before the summer heat settles in.

CARDIF Collective is hosting Christmas Cheers this Wednesday 7 December with drinks, nibbles, fashion, and gifts galore! Meet the designers and shop local—Santa won’t mind.

In my Element fused glass

In my Element fused glass

CARDIF Collective stocks the creative work of more than 35 designers and makers, the largest number housed in one store in the inner South, if not Canberra. The range includes men’s, women’s and kid’s fashion, jewellery, homewares, ceramics, fabrics and haberdashery.

Ear-rings by Tangs design

Ear-rings by Tangs design

Stocking stuffers are easy to source, including loop scarves by Zilpah Tart, made with exclusive fabric prints featuring photographs taken in Canberra, and loop scarves lovingly made of gorgeous men’s silk ties (all original) by Alchemy jewellery. And you can’t go wrong with men’s and women’s cool t-shirts by We will Multiply or I Heart Threads. Zilpah Tart also sells what designer Yumi Morrissey is calling The Perfect Christmas Dress in her bright red Vivid print. The t-shirt dress is Zilpah Tart’s best-selling design.

Yumi’s perfect Christmas dress— Photographer - Tracy Lee Photography; Model Ashley Perry - Devojka Models; HMUA - Hayley Boyle

Yumi’s perfect Christmas dress— Photo by Zilpah tart; Steph Church Makeup; Model: Rochelle Tiley

New lifestyle fashion by ethical and sustainable Pure Pod, from the collection launched at FASHFEST, has just arrived in-store as have new designs by Fujinella with pieces created from a monotone colour palette that will fit into any wardrobe. Jewellery lovers will find themselves in heaven. A new jewellery designer to CARDIF Collective is Aurelia Grigore-Reid, who creates with pieces with a range of materials including gemstones, pearls and Swarovski crystals. Connie Dimas creates jewellery with soft sophisticated shapes. New pieces are in store by Tangs Design, and they’re great value. Silver smithing and woodworking feature in Sarah Bourke’s jewellery—100 per cent handcrafted from Australian and exotic hardwoods. Seraglio Designs are timelessly elegant and sophisticated and come in amazing colours. Other jewellers include  Dint, Pip Keane Designs, Anne Masters and Classy Glass.



For the little ones in your life, you won’t go wrong with pieces by Kinderhoonz by designer Hannah Hoyne, who is also a sculptor and performance artist. Kiva made for fun sell functional, unisex, everyday wear for children from birth to five years. And an all-time fav, Wombat and Poss, is also instore.



CARDIF Collective’s line of homewares is growing and now includes fine products by Hart Ceramics and FRattempo,  macramé by Annette Boyd, and unique pieces by In My Element Glass Design (which also sells jewellery and cufflinks).

Pure Pod — Photo by Zilpah Tart; Steph Church Makeup; Model: Rochelle Riley

Pure Pod — Photographer – Tracy Lee Photography; Model Ashley Perry – Devojka Models; HMUA – Hayley Boyle

CARDIF Collective Christmas Cheers is on Wednesday 7 December, 6pm to 9pm. If you haven’t been to CARDIF Collective before, it’s easy to find. Get to the Cusack Centre, Green Square, Kingston and head up the stairs. You can’t miss it.

Autumn trees loop scarf by Zilpah tart

Autumn trees loop scarf by Zilpah tart

Dress Me Up!

Dress Me Up—Embrace your Style is a Canberra charity fashion and style event organised by creator and founder of Sash & Belle, Kristy McPhillips, and supports the Olivia Lambert Foundation for kids with aggressive forms of cancer.


The first Dress Me Up event was held in September 2014 and was extremely successful; raising over $2,500 for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, and all proceeds from this year’s event will go to the Olivia Lambert Foundation. Olivia Lambert was a gorgeous 8 year old who, in 2012, was sadly taken too by neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive childhood cancer. The Olivia Lambert Foundation was established to help lessen the financial burden on families with children who are suffering neuroblastoma or other aggressive forms of childhood cancer.

Carly Backpack

Carly Backpack

The event kicks off at 3pm at CARDIF Collective with canapes and bubbles, and time to view the new Sash & Belle Spring collection of handbags, backpacks, clutches, and totes. You will also get a first preview of Sash & Belle’s launch of the Timeless Collection available for wholesale clients, and be able to browse other local and regional designer products at CARDIF Collective. Next up is a styling session from Style Liberation who will take you through the maze of how to choose looks, colours, and styles that suit your position, personality, and lifestyle. Learn how to enhance your appearance and boost your confidence.

Kendal Clutch

Kendal Clutch

Life consultant Leanne Shea Langdown will also be on hand to show you how you can achieve your goals and live happy and healthy lives—learn to make changes, and do the things you always wanted to do! The session winds down around 5pm with more canapes, bubbles, mingling and shopping! Who doesn’t love that?

Dress Me Up—Embrace your Style fashion event is on Saturday 8 October at the CARDIF Collective in Kingston from 3pm – 6pm. Book your tickets here, have some fun, and help raise money for the Olivia Lambert Foundation.

Riley Tote

Riley Tote

All bags from Sash & Belle. Images courtesy Sash & Belle.

FASHFEST Designers in Profile—Zilpah tart

By Aine Dowling.

Over the last three years Zilpah tart has established itself as a well-known label in the Canberra region, and is recognised for its unusual and colourful prints that represent Canberra’s unique environment. Designer Yumi Morrissey uses Canberra themed fabrics which include the famous Parliament House dress, through to Canberra’s spring blossoms, and the bright and bold autumn colours of Vivid. Her latest collection, based on a slightly different Canberra theme, will be showcased at FASHFEST 2016.

Federal Member for Canberra, Gai Brodtmann, wearing Zilpah tart Parliament House panel dress

Federal Member for Canberra, Gai Brodtmann, wearing Zilpah tart Parliament House panel dress


Zilpah tart fashion is easily wearable, and recognisable! It’s designed for women who like to stand out in a crowd but be comfortable at the same time. Her designs have been worn by high-profile Canberra women including Federal Member MP Gai Brodtmann, and Senator Katie Gallagher, both of whom embraced the originality of the Canberra themed garments.




Yumi designs her own fabrics for her collections. She takes photographs around the Canberra region and manipulates the images using Photoshop to repeat the pattern, creating beautiful and intricate prints onto the soft feminine fabrics. “For my latest collection I had to travel a little further afield as I couldn’t get close enough to the images in Canberra,” says Yumi, “so I had to make a side trip to Crookwell and use images from there.” The images from Crookwell are only a part of the collection which also includes beautiful Canberra sunsets over the Brindabella ranges, and stunning images from a particularly well-known annual Spectacular event!

Vivid—autumn/winter collection 2016

Vivid red print - original photograph

Vivid red print – original photograph

Vivid red print fabric and dress

Vivid red print fabric and dress

Bloom—spring/summer collection 2015

Canberra spring blossoms in Bloom collection

Canberra spring blossoms in Bloom collection

Parliament Kaleidoscope—autumn collection 2015

Parliament Kaleidoscope print panel dress

Parliament Kaleidoscope print panel dress

And what’s in store for spring 2016? Here’s a sneak peek—can you guess what Spectacular event this is?

One of Zilpah tart's new print fabrics for FASHFEST 2016

One of Zilpah tart’s new print fabrics for FASHFEST 2016

Zilpah tart is available online at their website or from CARDIF Collective, The Parliament Shop, and Canberra Handmade Market.

Zilpah tart collection FASHFEST 2015

Zilpah tart collection FASHFEST 2015 – photo by LFW

Zilpah tart will be showcasing her latest collection at FASHFEST 2016 on Friday 30 September Show Two at 8.30pm at the National Convention Centre. Tickets on sale now!

Images courtesy Zilpah tart except where indicated.

Buy tickets now

It’s Vivid!

Colour your World VIVID, by Wendy Johnson

Vivid is a word that describes perfectly the stunning colours of the leaves gracing the capital during autumn. And it’s a word that inspired Yumi Morrissey, the fashion designer behind Canberra’s independent label, Zilpah Tart, to get behind the lens of her camera to capture picture-perfect images she could use to design three new lines of fabric.

Vivid dress - also available in plain black

Vivid dress – also available in plain black

Vivid features a print with bright golden leaves Yumi discovered on trees in Yarralumla’s English Gardens. Another print features bold red leaves the designer discovered on trees while meandering through Diddams Close Park, Lake Ginninderra. And the third print—of a full tree image—was created around a shot Yumi took while in John Knight Memorial Park, also in Ginninderra.

Zilpah Tart’s three most popular styles of dresses are made in all three prints. For the colder weather (fast approaching) Yumi has adjusted her designs so some dresses and tops have long sleeves and she’s launching a new line of cape and outerwear.

Flared black cape - also available in red

Flared black cape – also available in red

Vivid loop scarves, which can be worn however your heart desires, are also part of the collection. “They’re light weight and an accessory in their own right,’ says the designer. “We wear a lot of solids in winter in the colder weather here in Canberra. These scarves easily add beautiful pops of colour.”

Vivid Loop scarf

Vivid Loop scarf

The first time Yumi used her own photos to design her own fabrics representing special spots of Canberra was for the collection she launched at FashFest 2015. One pattern featured Australia’s very own Parliament House and a second the Civic Fountain. It was such a success that Yumi found herself wandering about with her camera in spring, capturing pretty blossoms at Tulip Top Gardens and Lennox Gardens for her Bloom Collection.

With Vivid, Yumi has manipulated the background colour of her photos, changing the blue sky to a grey scale, to form a colour palette that’s easier to wear in autumn and winter. “The grey is also a stunning contrast to the bright leaves on the autumn trees,” says Yumi.

l-r: Lava dress, T-shirt dress, Cowl neck dress

l-r: Lava dress, T-shirt dress, Cowl neck dress

Vivid garments and scarves will be available at Cardif Collective, from Thursday 31 March (second level, Cusack Centre, Green Square, Kingston). Cardif Collective has the largest collection of independent, Australian fashion labels in the inner south. The Vivid collection also includes a gorgeous pencil skirt, and cowl neck top. Check out the full collection at www.zilpahtart.com.au

Vivid cross-front dress

Vivid cross-front dress


Zilpah Tart products are also available online. Some, like Yumi’s handbags, cushions and scarves featuring the Parliament House pattern, are also sold through the gift shop, Parliament House.

Photography: Zilpah Tart

Make-up: Steph Church

Model: Rochelle Riley

CARDIF—there’s a new kid in town!

Wendy Johnson checks out CARDIF, and CARDIF Collective, a brand new initiative for Canberra designers.

Chris in the studio - photo by Martin Ollman

Chris in the studio – photo by Martin Ollman

When Chris Lloyd was young she knew creative veins ran through her body. She was fascinated by design and never hesitated to create fashion for herself, family and friends. She loved being surrounded by fabric, thread and scissors and her soul was always satisfied by the sweet sounds of her sewing machine.

Although passionate, Chris’s dream to be a designer was put on hold as she pursued a professional career in the public service and as an independent contractor. Such is life.

But after 20 long years, Chris has hauled her sewing machine out of storage and is starting her own fashion label—Minimum. If that isn’t exciting enough, Chris, and her husband David Traylen, have started CARDIF, Canberra and Region Designers in Fashion, which will open officially in early 2016.

Fashion fun at CARDIF - Photo by Martin Ollman

Fashion fun at CARDIF – Photo by Martin Ollman

CARDIF is occupying an amazingly large space overlooking Green Square, Kingston, and providing centrally located, light-filled studio and retail space to selected fashion designers to help them realise their aspirations. It’s fitting that CARDIF is in Kingston, one of Canberra’s first commercial centres. It occupies 685m² space on Level 1 of the Cusack Centre.

“In looking for space for Minimum I quickly realised that rent can be super expensive,” says Chris. “But more than that, it can be lonely working on your own and creatives need to be inspired, share, learn and connect. It’s all important to the creative process.”

When Chris and David stumbled across the space they decided to take the plunge knowing that a lot of blood, sweat and tears would be needed to transform it, especially since it had sat empty for eons. Twelve individual studios will be available, as will a common area including two large cutting tables, storage, racking, a lounge and kitchen facilities. A pattern maker and machinist will be on site and available to designers on a fee-for-service basis.

Fireworks hat by Cynthia Jones-Bryson. Photo by designer, model Alice Anderson

Fireworks hat by Cynthia Jones-Bryson. Photo provided by designer, model Alice Anderson

CARDIF, a not-for-profit, also runs CARDIF Collective, the retail side of the operation. The designers occupying studios will sell to the public through the collective, as will other members of CARDIF.

Although there’s still a massive amount of work needed to finish the space, CARDIF Collective is hosting its first pop-up celebrating Christmas and giving visitors a chance to say hello, so from 12 to 22 December, close to 30 creatives will have Australian jewellery, fashion, millinery, accessories, homewares, accessories, and more, on show and for sale. “It’s a bit of a test run so not all the creatives involved in the pop-up shop are official members of CARDIF, but that’s not a worry at this stage,” says Chris. “The aim is to give visitors a chance to see the space and say hello.”

Designer Edwina Woods - photo by Martin Ollman

Designer Edwina Woods – photo by Martin Ollman

Several designers have already signed up to CARDIF studio space. Edwina Woods has already moved in, soon to be followed by Chris with her label Minimum and Cynthia Jones-Bryson, who has just won the coveted Crown Oakes Day Invitation Only Myer Millinery Award for her headpiece inspired by fireworks.

“CARDIF will become a centre of excellence and support fashion designers to grow and develop,” says Chris. “The idea is to provide affordable, long-term creative and retail space for designers, both established and emerging, who have a desire to make their brand commercially accessible and who want to connect direct with customers.”

Internal space at CARDIF Collective - photo by Martin Ollman

Internal space at CARDIF Collective – photo by Martin Ollman

Workspaces range in size from approximately 10 m2 up to 28 m2.  Design studios can be rented by one designer or shared. A second call for applications will take place early in 2016 (designers can express interest at any time by email).


For more information on the CARDIF Collective Christmas pop-up—times and a list of designers—head to www.cardifcollective.com.au and for more information on CARDIF, visit www.cardifact.com.au