Q & A with Fashion Designer Erin Clare Bridal

E 01.jpg

MM: Can you introduce your brand and yourself in a few sentences?

Erin Clare Bridal operates out of our studio on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. Erin Clare designs celebrate the feminine, featuring exquisite fabrics, textures and attention to detail. They are created by our handpicked team of ateliers. Our gowns are highly sought after and distributed throughout Australia and to brides around the world. Each dress is a work of art.

MM: Can you describe your creative process?

Creating new gowns is always really exciting for me. I usually start with the feeling I am wanting to convey. It is all about drape, texture, and detail when selecting fabrics. Once selected then the fun really begins. I love challenging myself and asking the question: “how can this be better?”.
Sometimes I really fall in love with a fabric first and design around how I feel the fabric would work best. The design evolves spontaneously. A combination of thoughts, feelings and experience. Developing a concept drawing to a pattern which evolves into a beautiful gown is incredibly rewarding. it's like bringing a dream into reality.

MM: Where do you find inspiration in your day-to-day life?

I am inspired by movement and the celebration of the female form. Bringing a dream to life gives me immense joy.


MM: What kind of questions do you ask yourself when you begin creating a collection?

I continually ask myself: “How can I improve on this idea?”.


MM: How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

I have become more confident in exploring a variety of fabrics and construction techniques that break with traditional bridal norms.


MM: How do you find working as a designer in Australia? Has the culture/surroundings affected your design aesthetic? Do you feel connected to your home?

We live in a beautiful country with pristine beaches and an immense sense of freedom. We live a refined yet relaxed lifestyle. I think this flows through our design aesthetic.


MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?

My incredible Granny “Joan” ignited the first spark. As a small child, I would play with her fabric offcuts. My mum taught me to knit and crochet and they both encouraged me to do sewing classes. As a teen, I would create clothes for myself and my friends.

E 10.jpg

MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?

Creative drawing has always been a way of expressing my ideas. I had the constant frustration of following bought patterns and not being able to make what I imagined. When I went to study Fashion Design and learned the incredible art of pattern making, I was like a bird set free. Learning to manipulate fabrics and create exactly what I saw in my head was life- changing.

MM: What is your favourite part of being a designer? What drives you to design?

Meeting so many different women from so many walks of life and the joy of creating their wedding gown is an incredible honour. I love bringing dreams and ideas into reality.


MM: What is the inspiration behind your S/S19 collection to be showcased at Vancouver Fashion Week?

Our collection is a celebration of the female form using movement and light.

Find Erin on Instagram here or on her website here.

E 11.jpg

Q & A with Fashion Designer Lena Kasparian

 We talk with Lena Kasparian ahead of her Vancouver Fashion Week showcase.

VHDSC6918A.jpeg

MM: Can you introduce your brand and yourself in a few sentences?

My name is Lena Kasparian, I am a Fashion Designer and creative director of the brand. Lena Kasparian the black label is a brand that specialises in 'after 5' looks for men and women. I design cocktail, evening dresses, bridal gowns, and mens suits.

MM: Can you describe your creative process?

Well it all starts with an idea, then I draw up some concepts, which usually snowball into another idea. We get the technical sketches drawn up, then we select fabrics and materials to create the look and start sample production. From 1 design we create many looks and a collection comes to life.

MM: Where do you find inspiration in your day-to-day life?

Imagination is the key, I crave inspiration from old Hollywood movies, vintage glam; the way women and men use to dress in the 50’s was pure chic! A creative mind can grab inspiration from all aspects of life, thats what makes it so special.

MM: What kind of questions do you ask yourself when you begin creating a collection?

As a designer and a business woman I must consider all aspects of creating; the collection must flow and have purpose, where would the garment be worn, who will buy it, why would they buy it. The aesthetics and the structure of the piece must make sense and be visibly sound and beautiful without losing its integrity.

MM: How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

Developing skill takes time and as you grow and experience more you start to embrace the process, the evolution of fashion always evolves but the substance always maintains itself and you create signature looks which always play part in each collection and mine is consistent. I believe simplicity is always more elegant, and classic shapes will never go out of style.

MM: How do you find working as a designer in Australia? Has the culture/surroundings affected your design aesthetic? Do you feel connected to your home?

I don’t see myself designing for Australia but designing for an international market as we all crave glamour. Being Australian of an Armenian heritage gives me great understanding of my personal identity. Living in a multicultural country makes me feel connected to the whole world.

MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?

My family has been in the rag trade for over a decade and still are. Working in fashion retail gave me insight of the industry and working with stylists taught me a lot about myself and my natural ability to create looks. People noticed my flare for design and gave me the encouragement to start my own label.

MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?

I'm self taught. Experience working in the jewellery and fashion trade gave me insight of the business aspect of the industry, and I learnt as I went along. Being hands on and doing the majority of the work myself was the best way.

MM: What is your favourite part of being a designer? What drives you to design?

When you have a passion brewing inside you then you will push yourself and challenge your abilities. It doesn’t matter if you fail, as long as you gave it a go. I love creating looks and making people feel beautiful, the idea of drawing a dress and then zipping it onto someones back gives me a thrill. It's the beauty of being a designer, bringing a creation to life.

MM: What is the inspiration behind your S/S19 collection to be showcased at Vancouver Fashion Week?

The collection is inspired by every day people who want to feel alive, confident, and sexy. I wanted to design garments using different textures and fabrics, such as velvet, fur, sequins and silks and to keep the collection flowing with a colour palette of black and fuchsia. My after 5 collection will suit all seasons keeping in mind a broad international spectrum, and it will appeal to all age groups with its versatile looks.

Thank you so much Lena for giving us an insight into your brand. We are very much looking forward to seeing the after 5 collection on the Vancouver Fashion Week runway this September!

@lenakasparian

Q & A with Fashion Designer Kan by Paulina Hernandez

We talk with Mexican designer Paulina Hernandez ahead of her Vancouver Fashion Week showcase

18318177_10158486172475161_659611361_o (1).jpg

MM: Can you introduce your brand and yourself in a few sentences?

Kan is tradition and design, taking you on a magic journey through the essence of the wonderful world of ethnic cultures and their unique regions. Inviting you to take in the authentic Cosmo-vision that all the Mexican ethnic groups have, and enjoying at the same time real quality and design. We take major inspiration from the enchanting seduction of them.

A bit about myself - I’m a 26 year old fashion designer that loves her country and the beach and took these two inspirations to create Kan.

MM: Can you describe your creative process?

Creative Process: this is one of the parts that I love the most! It all starts by night- thats when I get ideas for the designs and start investigating the images that we are going to use (the colours etc).

Once we have the designs and colours in our minds and on paper we take it to the computer, we do all the designs and prints that each piece will have. After this we import the fabrics from Colombia in white and start to create what I like to call 'the puzzle for printing'. After this they cut everything by hand and start the manufacture process, to create the finished printed swimwear. 

For the embroidered pieces the process is a little bit different -first we do every design and manufacture them and then I go with the Wirrarikas and together start playing with colours and shapes, and decide what will look better for each piece. It can be bikinis, Kimonos, ponchos etc and they will create all the embroidered pieces that you see by hand. Making the process such a beautiful one, artisanal, and most of all unique!

MM: Where do you find inspiration in your day-to-day life?

My inspiration from day to day life comes from my country with its colours, its people, its culture. 

You have to see Mexico to see all the love and life that we have here and I really think that's all the inspiration that you need to have fun, love, and create.

MM: What kind of questions do you ask yourself when you begin creating a collection?

What do I want people to know about Mexico?- what will make me different from the rest and how I can make unique pieces that show the parts of my country that I want people to get to know with unique and high-quality designs?

MM: How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

So much! The designs started in 2016 but the label came out to the public in February 2017, so it has been such an exciting journey and kind of fast, sometimes I can’t believe how far it has come in less than 2 years. We started with swimwear, now we have embroidered pieces of swimwear by the Wirrarikas, and this year we started with embroidered and unique clothing by the Wirrarikas (huicholes) too taking the brand to new places. We are very excited about this new part in our label. 

FullSizeRender 2.jpg

MM: How do you find working as a designer in Mexico? Has the culture/surroundings affected your design aesthetic? Do you feel connected to your home?

Honestly it has been a magic journey! When I first started I was afraid that the label wouldn’t get any recognition, because fashion design here in México is kind of new but people and the reception has been unbelievable and I am so grateful for that.

And for the culture part -the surroundings is what I love the most about my country. Mexico is such a rich country; it's culture, colours, textures, and people gives me tons of design ideas.

Right now we are working with the Wirrarikas (huicholes) and all our images are from their religion. They make the embroidered pieces so I have really gotten to know a totally different part of my country and our culture, opening my heart and mind to new adventures and surroundings. I haven’t felt more close to home than I feel now. 

usada2-2.JPG

MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?

Since I was very young I have loved fashion but I think that what woke up the most interest in me is all the stories that you can tell in one piece of clothing; all the history, culture, feelings, atmosphere of a time in just a single piece. I love how you can drive people to such different emotions and help them feel great. 

MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?

I studied Fashion Design here in Mexico at a School called Imaginarte in Guadalajara. I also took some courses in Barcelona and in New York city. I also had the wonderful opportunity to work for a great Mexican designer at New York Fashion Week for a couple of years.

The Globbers_Extra6.JPG

MM: What is your favourite part of being a designer? What drives you to design?

My favourite part is that I can be creative and everything in my imagination can be taken into reality. Also that I have had the opportunity to work and get to know beautiful and wonderful people, without being a designer I probably would never have met them!

What drives me to design is being able to share what's in my heart, my dreams, my passion in one piece, that will not only tell my story but many stories.

MM: What is the inspiration behind your S/S 19 collection to be showcased at Vancouver Fashion Week?

The Wirrarikas. And this collection wouldn’t exist without them! It was such a journey -from meeting them, getting to know so much more about them and their culture, and then being able to work with them has been such a blessing.

Thank you, Paulina for sharing your brand's story with us! We're looking forward to seeing your vibrant collection on the Vancouver Fashion Week runway in September!

Find Kan by Paulina on Instagram or on the website here.

FASHIONCLASH Festival- Show 2

Steven Vanderyt

Vancouver Fashion Week Award winner Steven Vanderyt's collection brings a new kind of seduction to the runway. The palette for OLD TOWN GIRLS  in black & white with red accent colour mirrors the Sin City comic that its inspired by. Silks, chiffons and wools are contrasted with leathers and latex.

ENCLOTHED COGNITION

A collaborative project from fashion designer Bregje Cox and visual artist Mark King, this is a fun menswear collection with a vibrant colour palette, and experiments in shape and scale. The Enclothed Cognition collection seeks to empower others by bringing awareness to the interplay between the clothes we wear, the built environment, and the human mind.

MUKASHI MUKASHI

Lithuanian label MUKASHI MUKASHI presented a conceptual collection 'Animus', which looks at the struggle to balance between remaining unique and fitting in with society. The crisp contrasts and oversized silhouettes stood out to us.

 

http://fashionclash.nl/

Photography by Team Peter Stigter

FASHIONCLASH Festival- Show 1

D.A.I.

We love the subtle use of print in this menswear collection by DuAsInfinity; the vibrant coloured patterns contrast beautifully with the pastel outer layers.

Rita Sá

Vancouver Fashion Week Award winner Rita Sá wowed the crowd with a bold blue unisex collection. The monochrome palette pushes emphasis on clever pattern cutting and textured layers. The collection 'Glass Ceiling' explores the world of hypocrisy of the individuals who believe that it is better to be a false somebody than a true nobody.

Amy Ollett

Amy Ollett's enveloping forms create new shapes and silhouettes. Collection 'MOVERE' combines her training as a dancer and choreographer with design, exploring the interface between dance, fashion, movement and design and is informed by the properties of fabric.

 

Stay tuned for more of our reports from the FASHIONCLASH Festival...

http://fashionclash.nl/

Photography by Team Peter Stigter

FASHIONCLASH- MAFAD Academy Showcase

As part of the Fashion Clash festival, the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design presented their graduate show. We were blown away by the incredible talent of these young designers.

Here are our favourites:

Jessie Witters

We're into the tropical feel to the collection SWEET ASPHYXIA, inspired by wild overgrown nature. The exotic colour palette accentuates the feminine silhouettes.

Nathan Klein

This contemporary menswear collection by Indonesian designer Nathan Klein presents a new meaning for masculinity in fashion. We love the deep forest green colour and matching set look.

Pia Walter

Outdoor-inspired collection 'AWE' is about balancing our technology-filled lives with experiences in nature, merging elements from camping-equipment and army clothing with sportswear and digital prints. One of the pieces can be zipped out into a tent-like structure! The collection is a cool cross between nature and technology.

Laura Van der Spoel

We love the incredibly creative use of texture in this line. With a focus on experimentations in materials, Laura has created a modern and artistic vision.

Nienke Creemers

The goal of Creemers grad collection 'UNPICKING COTTON' is a form of protest against the exploitation used in the fashion industry for hundreds of years, and as a protest against herself as a designer. Powerful words expressed on a colour popping palette.

Nieke Verkennis

Verkennis' girlish colour palette, and focus on creative textures creates an array of visual intrigue. We love the playful feel.

 

Through these incredibly creative grad collections we can see a growing trend in work with social relevance, looking at making the world more ethically responsible. A strong focus on experimental textures also shows the student's passion for material techniques.

Stay tuned for more of our reports from the FASHIONCLASH Festival...

http://fashionclash.nl/

Photography by Team Peter Stigter

Favourites from Ravensbourne at Graduate Fashion Week

Recently the Micro Macro team had the privilege of attending Graduate Fashion Week in London, the world's leading runway event celebrating the creativity of students and graduates within fashion. Showcasing the work of over 1,000 of the very best students and graduates from the most influential and inspiring universities around the world,  the event really represents the future of creative design talent. We continue to a look at some of our top picks in student's work. Today our focus is on Ravenbourne University London at Graduate Fashion Week...

Alexia K Amaning

IMG_5733.jpg

Alexia impressed me with a solid colour combination. The overall attitude of her design had a strong streetwear component, with large earrings and oversized accessories. The juxtaposition of this stylistic choice with pastel colours was a nice surprise, bringing something new to the streetwear aesthetic. 

Eleanor Maylin

IMG_5795.jpg

Like a breath of fresh air between the almost overwhelming array of brightly coloured collections, Eleanor Maylin came in just in time with smartly constructed garments in neutral nude tones. 

Stay tuned for more highlights from inspiring student's work at Graduate Fashion Week.

Images by @rosalindalcazarphotography.

Favourites from Kingston University at Graduate Fashion Week

Recently the Micro Macro team had the privilege of attending Graduate Fashion Week in London, the world's leading runway event celebrating the creativity of students and graduates within fashion. Showcasing the work of over 1,000 of the very best students and graduates from the most influential and inspiring universities around the world,  the event really represents the future of creative design talent. We continue to a look at some of our top picks in student's work. Today our focus is on Kingston University at Graduate Fashion Week...

Isobel Traynor

9C1A1062.jpg
9C1A1072.jpg

Isobel Traynor's work really made an impression on us. We love the simple colour palette and focus on textural manipulations.

Amie Hartland

9C1A1516.jpg

Amie Hartland's womenswear collection plays with both the feminine and the masculine. Flirty pleated skirts are contrasted with oversized denim jackets and elongated sleeve details. Amie's clothes show a lot of frayed edges.

Stay tuned for more highlights from inspiring student's work at Graduate Fashion Week.

Images by @rosalindalcazarphotography.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: Allie Howard

We talk to Australian designer Allie Howard ahead of her Vancouver Fashion Week showcase.

concept page 16.jpg

MM: What sparked your interest in fashion/textile design? 

Allie: I grew up around some incredibly talented creators and dressmakers who were always teaching me in one way or another, and I suppose it caught on. I was always sewing, knitting, drawing, and building. When I went to high school, I was given the opportunity to study textiles, and afforded an incredible teacher, who pushed and supported me to follow fashion after school. At school I did a lot of research around Alexander McQueen, and started to value fashion as more than simply dressing the body.

MM: Where do you find inspiration in your day-to-day life?

Allie: I find beauty in a lot of what happens around me, the simple things. I’ve also been lucky enough to travel to some incredible places, and I think I am influenced by all that I see and experience. The current collection is based on the phenomenon of shadows and reflections, and the beauty such things create.

concept page 13.jpg

 MM: Are you a hunter or a gatherer?

Allie: A hunter definitely. When I’m starting to design a new collection, I always start with sourcing both online for imagery and at fabric stores to see what inspires me and what I think I can work with. Imagery gives me the ability to be create, and having an idea of what is available around me allows me to be creative.

MM: Your work is very experimental with a focus on fabric manipulation. Are you always investigating something when you create? How do you use textiles to develop an idea?

Allie: My starting point is always based around creating a series of textiles which work collectively. I think there is something really amazing about creating your own fabrication, which is what I focus on as a designer. The pieces created this year have been a series of experiments, created by reinterpreting known textile techniques, to create innovative, textural pieces. Each piece has been meticulously manipulated, combining technology and hand-craftsmanship into innovative pieces. Surface textures take on the illusion of prints, which contradict their three-dimensional nature, disillusioning the perception of their true form. The collection aims to challenge the way that people perceive the fashion garment and how it exists in relationship to image, body, and space. Throughout the collection, textiles differ, however, they all work collectively to form each individual piece in the collection.

5Z0A3239.jpg

MM: What’s more important to you when creating a piece- colour, shape, or texture?

Allie: I feel like all of them are really important in my design philosophy, and they all have to work together cohesively. In my process, it seems texture and colour come together to influence shape.  

MM: Can you describe the creative process you undertook to create the 'Grid' collection?

Allie: My creative process always starts with imagery…sourcing, photographing, collaging and creating. This makes up the basis for my concept and leads me into a creative investigation into fabrications. Before even exploring shapes, I look to textiles, creating many variations of one idea. Each textile that I create leads onto a new idea. I then work with each of the textiles, draping and collaging to envision how they would work on the body as a garment. Once I have collaged, and created variations using the textile, I begin to create toiles in like fabrications, making slight variations and even drastic changes to my design at this point. It is at this stage that I begin to envisage the piece, and decide whether it is going to be successful. At this stage I always make a lot of changes. Adding elements, placing textiles and making decisions on colour and scale. The final process for this collection has been creating the laser cutting files, and scanning patterns. It’s interesting to document the changes and evolutions that occur in the collection throughout the process, and how quickly designs can change.

Before even exploring shapes, I look to textiles, creating many variations of one idea.

MM: How are you renewing/developing the collection for your runway showcase at Vancouver Fashion Week?

Allie: I love to explore one idea to its absolute limit, and to showcase at Vancouver Fashion week has given me the perfect opportunity to do this. I have begun to explore beyond what I had already created both textile and shape wise. Originally the collection was a six look collection, and in pushing it to twelve looks, I have created unique textures and shapes as an extension of what has already been created. I have tried to create some more unusual pieces, and some unexpected combinations, and show pieces.

5Z0A4200.jpg

MM: How do you find living in Sydney as a creator?

Allie: Sydney is really unique. It feels quite young and up-and-coming with creatives who are making their mark on the world with a truly unique aesthetic. With this collection, I’ve been lucky enough to not send anything offshore, and have purchased all my fabrics from Australian companies. Throughout the process, I have worked with some incredible Sydney based laser cutters, leather specialists, and seamstresses to create the collection.

MM: You have recently graduated from the University of Technology Sydney. How has your work evolved through your time studying?

Allie: UTS provided me with the ability to be creative and go wild. Throughout the four years I was studying there, I was put out of my comfort zone a lot, but I feel it’s the reason I am where I am today. While the first three years were invaluable in what I learnt, it wasn’t till about half way through my final year that I really began to develop my aesthetic. I evolved from a person who loved fashion and textiles, to an emerging designer.

concept page 6.jpg

MM: What are your plans now you have graduated?

Allie: I feel my next step is to continue studying, and gain more international experience. I have always been interested in the business side of fashion, and am looking at applying for Masters in Europe and New York to explore this further alongside gaining some international industry experience in an internship. I would also love to work and collaborate with some new people, even creatives from different design disciplines.  

Thank you Allie for talking to Micro Macro about your experimental, textile-based design work. We're looking forward to your showcase at Vancouver Fashion Week in March!

https://www.allie-howard.com/