Australian Fashion Week is happening in Sydney right now and it has reminded me of my one foray into that world. Three years ago I snapped the backstage preparations for Toni Maticevski‘s Spring/Summer 2011 show at Carriageworks. I then squeezed in amongst the dense pack of photographers to shoot the models strutting down the runway. I remember feeling quite overwhelmed and nervous yet forcing myself to play it cool and act like I knew exactly what I was doing. I’d love to do it again some time but I think I’d take a more photojournalistic approach. You know, try to find an angle, slow down, be in the moment, keenly observe and then *click*. Something a little more like what Tamara Dean captured here. Rachel and Hannah-Rose are covering this year’s event for Broadsheet and they’re going about it in a refreshingly level-headed way while still producing insightful and captivating words and images each day. Really, what else did I expect from these two wonder-girls?
While we’re on the subject of fashion, lately I’ve been thinking a lot about style and sustainability, quality and ethics. For the last two years I’ve tried to buy clothes while keeping the mantra ‘seek style over trends’ in mind and I’ve been paying more and more attention to fabrics and where garments are made. Dan’s big on buying clothes that are both designed and made in the same country (eg. designed and made in Australia or Denmark or Sweden etc.) as he’s found it’s usually synonymous with care and quality. The more I look into it, the more I tend to agree. The other day I read the following quote from the PR Director of Australian label bassike, Jacqueline Perrett, and it really resonated with me: “There is a conscious step away from decided displays of luxury of the obvious and excessive kind, and no longer are the clothes wearing us. We’ve returned to a pared-back, understated luxury with a focus on integrity and longevity, and with greater regard for the product we’re buying ; where it came from, how and where it was made, and the philosophies of the brands we’re buying into.” And just yesterday I read this post on the slow and careful curation of a wardrobe and the process of developing personal style.
I know things are tough for designers these days, but recently I was very disappointed to discover that one of my favourite labels has stopped making its clothes in New Zealand and has cut right back on quality fabrics like silk, linen, wool and cotton while sticking with the same price point. Thankfully, another one of my favourite labels, twenty-seven names, has not gone down that path. I refuse to pay $300+ for 100% rayon or viscose.
Of course, from time to time, I still compromise and give in to my desire for something ‘on trend’ and affordable, but from now on I’m going to try my best to be a more conscious consumer and reject the collection of uncohesive and poor quality pieces. I’m aiming to buy less but choose well: I want to spend my dollars on garments that I’ll still be wearing and loving in 10 years time.