Tag Archives: Corr Blimey

Broken and Damaged Objects get New Life

When Fiona Glover was born, her mum wore a new cotton and silk kimono in the hospital. The quality garment was made to last and for many years Fiona’s mum wore it time and again. By Wendy Johnson

Cotton and Silk kimono

Beautiful cotton and silk kimono

Twelve years ago, when her mum passed, Fiona found the kimono and wore it herself until she had her first child. With the fabric now nearly 40 years old, however, the garment is too fragile to continue to wear. Many people would have just chucked the kimono, despite its beauty, and it would have lived its last days in landfill. But Fiona couldn’t part with it; the kimono held too many wonderful memories.

So what did Fiona do with the treasured garment? She submitted to Object Therapy, a research and design project that challenges us to rethink the way we consume and to re-evaluate the value of broken objects.

Fiona Glover with the kimoni cushion cover

Fiona Glover with the kimono cushion cover

Object Therapy sent the kimono to local fashion designer Louisa de Smet, who is on sabbatical teaching fashion in Wales, to see if it could undergo ‘therapy’. The end result is a stunning cushion cover, with the kimono treated as tenderly by Louisa as Fiona was by her mum. It’s been lovingly repaired by hand and transformed into a new object with a new lease on life.

The kimono is one of 30 broken or damaged objects that have been creatively repaired by a designer or artist as part of Object Therapy, and they’ll all feature in the exhibition opening today (14 October) at Hotel Hotel.

Corr Blimey - Louisa and Steve

Corr Blimey – Louisa and Steve

Louisa and her partner, Steve Wright, who is also on sabbatical teaching at the University of South Wales in Cardiff, own and operate Corr Blimey. The couple were moved by Fiona’s story and thought long and hard about how to transform the kimono. “Given its history, we wanted to treat it with a great deal of sensitivity,” says Louisa. “We repaired any damage in a visible or invisible way and then created the cushion cover without cutting the fabric. We kept it intact which means it can be returned to its original state at any time.”

Fiona was stunned when presented with the final result, describing the cushion cover as beautiful and marvelling at how it would also be enjoyed now by her children, who never had the chance to meet their grandmother.

The Object Therapy project is a perfect fit for Corr Blimey, with designers Louisa and Steve true advocates of sustainability and zero waste design. Their philosophy holds true with the new fashion collection they’ve just launched, called Memories of Cloth. The collection comprises eight pieces, with each crafted using three pre-loved, machine-knitted jumpers. Each jumper had lost its value to the original owner, either because of a rip, hole or stain, or because the aesthetic was no longer ‘on trend’. Louisa—without tearing apart any of the three jumpers—combined them to create anew.

From Memories of Cloth by Corr Blimey. Photo by Corr Blimey; model Claire Ritchie

From Memories of Cloth by Corr Blimey. Photo by Corr Blimey; model Claire Ritchie

The process was challenging, but energising. “Each jumper was unpicked to varying degrees, and as much of the seam thread used to hand sew them back together into a new garment and style,” says the designer. “I reconstructed them around a mannequin to produce a 360⁰ visual exploration for the viewer.”

The end result is eight modern, eye-catching garments each featuring a new aesthetic. They’re all sculptural and testament to Corr Blimey’s unique design approach, as evidenced by the three collections Louisa and Steve launched in previous years at FASHFEST. They were missed at the event this year, but it’s reassuring to know their connection to the capital remains strong.

Object Therapy runs at Hotel Hotel to 30 October, and is free entry to the public.


Fashion lovers are buzzing with the new collections launched at FASHFEST this year, and although bump out had already begun yesterday for Canberra’s biggest fashion show ever, 18 designers were still at it on DAY FIVE. While the catwalk experience is the pinnacle in the fashion world, many Canberra designers are inspired by the direct experience with customers that DAY FIVE offers.

By Wendy Johnson

Corr Blimey night 4

Louisa de Smet, from Corr Blimey, says it’s integral to what she does as a designer. “We love meeting customers direct,” says Louisa. “It gives us an opportunity to understand their needs, refine our designs, and push boundaries with them. Canberra is a sophisticated market in many ways, which makes it all the more rewarding.”

The designers set up in ‘market style’ for DAY FIVE. For customers this was a valuable chance to meet designers to advise on style, colour and fabric, try on garments, get measured up, place orders if stock is not available in your size and, overall, indulge in the wonderful world of fashion.

BMdesigns headwear

BMdesigns headwear

Barb Mickelson, from BMDesigns, for example, spoke about her new Heaven and Earth collection, including how she hand-dyed fabrics, including with rust. And she can help customers experiment with her amazing hats. So too can Jade Sargent, the designer behind Sovata, who specialises in a total hatted look. Jade’s collection popped with colour on the catwalk.



DAY FIVE was also the only chance customers had to speak with New Zealand’s Melanie Child, who was at FASHFEST for the first time this year. Melanie specialises in producing high-end, upcycled clothing, reusing one item to create another or higher quality or value than the original.

Upcycled by Melanie Child

Upcycled by Melanie Child

And it’s was a great opportunity to talk to contemporary jeweller Tanja von Behrens, who collaborated with two fashion designers on the runway. Tanja has designed her new line of graphic jewellery around Canberra’s streets and some of the capital’s icons. She uses 100 per cent recycled sterling silver, copper and brass to create her works, manufacturing by hand as much as possible.TanjaVonBehrens_1

The Design Institute of Australia also attended Day Five to award The Graduate Designer of the Year. The prize is a membership in the Institute, which represents all design disciplines, and a mentorship by the ACT Chapter.

DAY FIVE was held at the National Convention Centre and with free entry and live music by the Director of Music for FASHFEST, Ashley Feraude, has become an integral part of the FASHFEST experience.

Designers participating in DAY Five are all featured on the FASHFEST website. They are, in alphabetical order:


Corr Blimey


Illusory Cog

Little Jane Lane

Luke Chiswell


Melanie Child




More information: http://fashfest.com.au/day-five/

FASHFEST Finale—What a Night!

Night 4 at FASHFEST was a true finale in every sense—with not only individual designers and their collections on display, but a final parade of all designers over the four nights. Spectacular! Lots more monochrome with a touch of bohemia thrown in from Boho Bird, and some interesting men’s wear from Cameron & James, and Corr Blimey.

By Aine Dowling. Photos by LFW.

Boho Bird night 4

Boho Bird is part of Birdsnest in Cooma and includes our fave label Belle Bird as well as That Bird Label and Birdkeepers. All garments are easy to wear, comfortable and perfect for the Australian lifestyle, and we’ve certainly got our eye on a couple of pieces for our next tropical trip! This is Boho Bird’s debut appearance at FASHFEST.

Cameron & James2Menswear by Cameron & James of Melbourne focusses on trendy, cutting edge clothing for young men who appreciate comfort and are not afraid to take it to the edge with style. The label is also 100 per cent accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia, so you can also take pride in the fact that you’re helping the environment. This is their debut appearance at FASHFEST.

CIT All Stars2                          CIT All Stars1

CIT All Stars features six graduates from the Canberra Institute of Technology who showcased their designs this year. The All Stars show demonstrates the diversity and innovation, and not to mention talent, of the individual graduates. CIT is FASHFEST’s official education partner.

Karen Lee - Assemblage Project night 4This is Assemblage Project—Karen Lee’s third year at FASHFEST and is famous for her easy to wear, no zips, no darts, garments. Karen’s simple yet sophisticated lines are for women of all ages, shapes, sizes and culture who can transform the garment to suit their personal style. All garments are designed and cut in Canberra with manufacture in Canberra, Melbourne, and Albury.

Corr Blimey night 4Corr Blimey is one of Canberra’s most well-known and independent labels and is ‘street sculpture’ at its best! Corr Blimey is a sustainable (minimum waste) designer for both men and women who look to take the lead in life and fashion. All garments are designed and made in Canberra and this is their third year at FASHFEST.

Music on the night from Chanel Cole, Cris Lucas, Kayo Marbulis, and Mondecreen all under the direction of amazingly talented FASHFEST Director of Music, Ashley Feraude (Magnifik).

Ashley Feraude (Magnifik) FASHFEST Musical Director

Ashley Feraude (Magnifik) FASHFEST Musical Director

Designers from previous nights who also put in appearance at the finale, and added more colour to the monochrome, included Sovata, and The Prodigal Daughter.

Sovata (R) - showcased her collection on Night 3

Sovata (R) – showcased her full collection on Night 3

The Prodigal Daughter from Night 2

The Prodigal Daughter from Night 2

And finally, we had to include this from BM Designs on Night 2 because it’s just so bloody awesome! Next Melbourne Cup anyone?BM Designs4

Hustle&Scout – Bigger and Better!

The Market; the Bling; the Newbies, and the Favourites!

By Wendy Johnson

When Hustle&Scout hit the capital, it did so with a bang. And ever since that packed-out inaugural event, Canberrans have flocked to the Twilight Market to, well, hustle and scout for fabulously designed and, more often than not, hand-made clothing, jewellery and more.

HS Flyer

The next market, 11 April, is the third that founder Tegan McAuley will hold at the expanded premises in Fairbairn and it promises to be the biggest and most entertaining. Planning is also underway, as if Tegan isn’t busy enough, for the first Hustle&Scout in Hobart, to be held at the gorgeous Long Gallery and Sidespace Gallery, Salamanca Arts Centre during the weekend of 20 and 21 June.

But back to Canberra soil. All up 63 designers will showcase their wares at Hustle&Scout. This includes 21 new stall holders, some Canberra-based and some from interstate, and five designers who will launch new collections on the runway at FASHFEST.

Designer: The Prodigal Daughter

Designer: The Prodigal Daughter

Read on to find more about The Market, the Bling, the Newbies, and the Favourites! Continue reading

WHO IS … ?

WHO IS exhibition

by Wendy Johnson (for LFW)

When Louisa de Smet was invited to incorporate furniture design into her fashion design, she didn’t skip a beat. Louisa, the local fashion designer behind the label Corr Blimey, understands the intrinsic value of quality design, no matter what the discipline. And she was even more intrigued by the invitation because of the connection to Germany. So let’s take a step back and put all of this together for you.

Designcraft, which sells a wide range of authentic Australian and international furniture—mostly top-notch lines available exclusively through their massive showroom in Hume—loves the idea of cross-pollinating local business and international brands.

Scaffold dress and Walter Knoll chair

One of their iconic lines of furniture is Walter Knoll, based in Germany and celebrating 150 years in business in 2015. Designcraft also knew of Louisa, who has visited Berlin with her partner Steven Wright several times, each time inspired by what they saw on a deep level—architecture, colours, culture and quirkiness of so many of the hidden gems they stumbled across while wandering the city’s streets. Why not bring the two together brands together and see what could transpire, thought Bob Fenderson, Managing Director of Designcraft.

Continue reading