Sunday, 2 August 2015

Ne Me Quitte Pas

A few weekends ago, we attended the Brisbane French Festival. I particularly wanted to go because, along with the great food stalls and the wonderful atmosphere that comes from having all the people around you conversing in French, the Festival had invited  Parisian designers Jerome L'Huillier and Mette Pedersen to create a fashion show and answer questions. The fashion was lovely - lots of bright prints, which my husband loved!- but the most interesting part for me was the Q&A afterwards.

A young designer in the audience asked Jerome for tips about building a successful business and competing with big fashion houses with their enormous marketing budgets. His reply contained two ideas that I found interesting: firstly he believed that whilst, when he started out, talent and hard work was enough to ensure success, he no longer thought that was sufficient. Secondly, unless the public are prepared to support local designers and pay a fair price for their work, the market will contract and the only two options will be either fast, cheap fashion like H&M or the very expensive, high-end design houses like Dior.
                                                       T-shirt: Sportscraft
                                                       Shoes: Wittner
The talk really made me think about the value I place on my clothes and the necessity of being willing to support things that are important to me. And I do believe that fashion is important. Over the last few weeks, I have been exploring Australian designers and last week I bought this dress from the new-to-me Melbourne designer Alpha60.
I think this may be the perfect dress for a flat chest. It has an overlay that covers the chest and long pieces that can be either tied to emphasise the waistline or allowed to fall free and create flattering vertical lines. It is a wool blend and so will give me some much needed warmth - even though I live in a warm part of the world, I feel the cold and I anticipate this will be worn until the beginning of Summer. I am quite thrilled to have found another possibility for my clothing choices and I hope that Australian designers continue to receive support in their quest to provide us with interesting and unique fashion options.
Do you have any local designers that you especially enjoy and like to support?

Ne Me Quitte Pas by Nina Simone


  1. Wow, what a dress! I do know Alpha 60 but have never bought anything from them...yet. The dress is stunning. Interesting and unconventional but not too out there, if you know what I mean. I agree that it is important to support local designers and their business. I suppose the challenge is keeping the price point reasonable otherwise designers are really only aiming a particular part of the community?

    1. Thanks, Deborah. My observation is that there are a number of price points within the range of Australian designers but I think it is unavoidable that price will exclude a chunk of people. Jerome's point was more about conscious and values-driven consumption for those who can afford to spend money on fashion. I know we have talked about quality vs quantity and fast fashion churn before and hearing about the industry from the point of view of a producer really reinforced those ideas for me.

  2. Oh that is gorgeous. It's even more beautiful knowing it's a local-for-you designer. I agree with Jerome, we're losing that good strong middle ground of affordable, quality pieces.

    1. It's so hard in the global age. I think the big firms certainly have the edge with their advertising budgets! My nieces both create handmade pieces (homewares and baby clothes) and find it hard to connect with the people who value the time, effort and creativity involved in producing them.