Student Feature: Ashlyn Farenden

Ashlyn Farenden ashlynRMIT Student Ashlyn Farenden is currently in her fourth and final year of fashion design (honours). I met Ashlyn back when we both studied Fashion Textile Merchandising at Kangan, from there she went on to RMIT. Ashlyn has always been very determined to make her way in the industry, continuously passionate and motivated. I interviewed her to see where’s she at now! As well check out her video of her latest collection

Tell us about your time at RMIT. What you’ve learnt and experienced during your studies?

I have enjoyed my time in the course so far and I am about to enter my fourth and final year (honours), which is going to be a lot of work. As well I will be applying to have my collection shown at Fashion Week.

From the course I have gained a few industry-based internships. Such as working for Myer and Nixi Killick. Feedback from these companies was that I was chosen due to my experience and study. They appreciated that I had completed the Fashion Textile Merchandising course (and it also gave me an advantage). The kangan course was more business based. But now i am developing a design background with the BA design (Fashion) at RMIT

 

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You’ve just completed your latest collection. Tell us about your theme? Do you eventually want to create a brand?

In relation to designing a brand in the future. I feel that I see myself within a different place in the fashion industry. Although I love design and have really taken to it since starting the course I feel that a more business based career with design elements such as Product development or Buying would be more what I am aiming towards.

My most recent collection is Cerebral Camouflage. Was created around the idea of dual reality. The way in which we see ourselves is not the way others perceive us to be.

I created layered garments so that you could see each piece being worn. Resembling layers of her personality.

What inspired you to create this collection?

We were given a platform to work off by the designers Boudicca (UK-based) and the statements. I chose to research and look further into was ‘Fragmented Souls’ and ‘Neo geographic’

 I then developed these two statements together instead of researching them individually and progressed to the ‘cerebral camouflage’ and ‘dual reality’ concept.

ashlynfive Does your personal style reflect on your designs?

My style when designing is different to how I am as a person. I personally enjoy black, white or grey and usually a simple tailored silhouette.

 However when I am designing (my most recent collection not included) I am usually very sport wear based. You can always see hints of sports wear in my collections, whether it is the fabric choice or the silhouette.I think that is because I enjoy casual dressing and how something can be put together effortlessly.

Your dream job in the fashion industry?

Something I am still deciding upon as I answer this question, but I think it would have to be something within buying or product development. I would ideally like to work for myself; I have a few ideas in the pipeline for that. But I think to gain experience and a handle on the industry I would begin working for someone else.

ashlynoneYour favourite internship since studying?

Favourite internship? I don’t think I could just pick one. Purely because they have all been different and given me different tools that I could apply to my work with and taught me different things along the way.

What fashion designers do you look up to?

Designers I look up to and work I admire would have to be people like Alexander McQueen. I saw his designs at the MET exhibition in New York – 2011, titled ‘Savage Beauty’.

 He definitely designs in a different way to the way in which I design; however I enjoy how he was always telling a story with each collection. He likes to narrate with his work, which is something I also do, especially when doing my folio.

Advice to future students?

It’s hard work but if you’re dedicated and you really want it then at the end of the day it’s going to be worth it. It’s always nice to see all those endless nights and hard work pays off in such a visual way.

 Special thanks to Ashlyn xx Good luck with your final year! 

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Dream Monstar: Ella

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Ella is the fashion designer and founder of Australian womens street wear label DREAMMONSTAR. I had met Ella a couple of years back and was an admirer of her brand. I was instantly intrigued by her collection when I first came across the label at a Neverland store. Dream Monstar is not only designed but created right here in Australia. Her brand is stylish and fashion forward; Dream Monstar is well-known for their muscle tops, street luxe style and neoprene swimwear collections. Her playful and statement designs would complete any savvy fashionistas wardrobe. Ella is now not only simply sold in Australia, but has succeeded to stock her brand in America. Such as online NASTY GAL and Kourtney Kardashian store – DASH boutique just to name a few.

” Dream Monstar is for both dreamers and monstars, and each collection reflects this. We are dreamers with a soft, feminine side, but we are also monstars, rock inspired groupies. The choice is yours, join us in the clouds or down on the wild side.” ella two

Ella how did you get into fashion tell us your story.

I have always been obsessed with everything design – from fashion to print media, art and architecture. I’ve subscribed to Vogue, Harpers and ELLE USA since I was young and would pour over the pages for hours. I still have all issues archived at home.. I started designing swimwear before I worked on Dream Monstar. My husband designs / owns a number of menswear labels and when we met I realised it was the perfect time to start my dream and create my own label. Dream Monstar was born. 

What is your label about? How many years did it take for your brand to make the scene?

Dream Monstar is started as a street wear label for every girl, the ‘dream’ girl who likes more feminine pieces and the ‘monstar’ girl who’s a little edgier.

I was really lucky and launched Dream Monstar as social media was making waves. The label’s social media profile grew fast and with that the brand awareness was strengthened. We then showed at the trade shows in the US, found an LA showroom and sold to Nasty Gal, Dolls Kill and the Kardashian’s DASH stores across the US.

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You create day/sleepwear, swimwear and candles tells us a little bit about the progress of each when sourcing to selecting your materials to achieve the final product?


For our fashion and swimwear collections I am inspired by travel, editorial shoots, blogs, fashion sites and runway collections. It’s a long process from sourcing inspiration to receiving samples, shooting our look book and then retailing our product. Each season is completely different, that’s what keeps things fresh.

 

What is your favourite part about being a fashion designer?


Honestly – the whole process. Sourcing inspiration online is totally addictive, planning and shooting look books and campaigns is also extremely creatively fulfilling. Taking a garment from an idea t hrough to a finished product is such a rewarding feeling. I live for travel – it truly ensures constant evolution and a fresh approach to the process.

DM_AUTUMN-15_-COLLECTION Who’s your inspiration/ fashion designers who you look up to?

On an international level, I am always inspired by Karl Lagerfeld / Chanel, Olivier Rousteing and his Balmain collections, also labels Emilio Pucci, Saint Laurent and Isabel Marant. Also the glamour of the 70s and the history of LA life.

What gives you inspiration for each collection you create, do you go on fashion trips to gain inspiration?

Inspiration can come from many mediums – from a print created in a landscape to interior styling and runway collections.  For our collections we undertake intensive research online and also go on vacation for true inspiration. I love getting over to the US for inspiration – almost every aspect of our trips there bring inspiration.

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  Collection: The High Life

What’s your current achievement with the brand that you are most proud of?

Our stockists in the US are pretty damn cool – we loved seeing Dream Monstar on Nasty Gal and also on Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian. Particularly knowing they had chosen to wear our label, we don’t pay people to wear our pieces. 

And lastly, any advice to people who want to get into the industry!

It can definitely be a really difficult industry to succeed in, need to have a creative eye, fresh concepts, financial backing and a super strong work ethic and determination to make it. Never give up and remember, everything happens for a reason.

Special thanks to Ella xx

Check out all the collections Ella has created HERE Instagram: Website: www.dreammonstar.com.au ellaphoto

Millicent Elizabeth : Tiffany Stuckey


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Not to long ago, I became acquainted with Tiffany at the Adelaide fashion festival. We then spoke about her personal brand and from there she explained about what she did. Her brand Millicent Elizabeth is dedicated to providing classical styles for the busy modern woman.

Millicent Elizabeth is a premium Australia clothing label. Made by hand in Australia with the use of superb natural fibers. It is a unique label in a world of mass-market fashion, as garment production is limited to just 100 garments per style. It offers clients a unique opportunity to own these limited designs as once they sell out to be collectable styles.

Tiffany has built her brand on the principle of clean modern understated elegance. Her range is clean cut and exquisitely classic. This is a powerful range and classical that will never go out of fashion and very useful for everyone’s wardrobe.

“Our philosophy is based on the fundamentals that less is more harmonised with smart design which enhances the wearers natural beauty.”

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What made you create Millicent Elizabeth Tell us your story and your brand name.

 My brand names comes from my two middle names which are named after my great-grandmothers. I started Millicent Elizabeth because I felt frustrated as a shopper and couldn’t find a modern minimalist women’s wear brand, in luxurious fabrics.


How did you get started in the industry?
I started off in Merchandising


Have you always wanted to be a fashion designer?
No, I tried a few things before fashion, jewelry design and found it took too long to get tot the end result, I’m pretty impatient, after I design something I want to see it in the flesh straight away to see if works or not.

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Where did you study fashion?
TAFE SA

How do you go about sourcing your products?
I don’t source, I design, pattern make and sew it all together myself. Proudly Australian designed and made!

How long is the process of a Season collection?
it takes at least 2-3 months to put a collection together, source fabrics, designing and fitting.


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What is the feeling like seeing your collection on runway?
It was a phenomenal feeling, it takes your breath away, make all the blood sweat and tears worth it.


Where is the final product made?
In my studio, in the Mill (artist hub)


What is your favorite part about being a fashion designer?

Seeing your designs on customer, make them feel beautiful confident and make the piece their own.

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How and what gives your inspiration for each collection?
my designs are very architectonic, so I look at architecture, art, interior design and film


Who is your target market?

25- 40 year old women who love design and who love the design detail, it’s the all in the detail. I find a lot of my clients are in the design field themselves architects and interior designers.

How would you describe your personal style? Does it reflect into your designs?

I’m very minimalistic, I don’t like over embellishment, for me less is more, black is certainly my favorite colour. I love fabric but I chose texture over print.

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What’s your current achievement with the brand that you are most proud of?

Coming runner-up at this year Emerging Designer Award at the Adelaide Fashion Festival

Who’s your inspiration/ fashion designers who you look up to?
Alexander Wang for Balenciaga, he was the one to bring back-packs in an elegant way.


And lastly, any advice to people who want to get into the industry!
My advice is learn as much as possible from others, as people are your greatest source of information.

If you want to start a label, embodied your brand you are your greatest advertisement.

Special thanks to Tiffany xx

Website
Instagram: @millicentelizabethlabel

Foxlane Collective

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www.foxlanecollective.com

melphototwoWho is Melissa Dilger?
Born out of the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia.

The Arty designer of Foxlane Collective, renowned for her luxurious singular accessory pieces. Countless years of experience in the industry ventured into a domain where the world was soon to be her oyster. Talented and persistent, the designer has carved her DNA towards this driven passion and has reaped a mile stone of rewards. Creating unique trends of each season.
Melissa shares with us her fashion expertise advice in the world of accessories

“Handbags are like best friend you can never have too many”

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How did you get started in all this?

I kind of fell into accessories and never looked back.This started with landing an assistant buying job with Equip, followed by designer at Urban Originals and my last job in the workforce for MINKPINK.

What is your label about?
‘Foxlane Collective’ is about offering on trend leather bags at great price point so you can update each season!

What made you create this label? Tell us your story?
I had worked in accessory design for ten years. After having my little girl I decided it was time to put in the hard yards and do it myself! photooneWhat’s a usual day in the office? 

It’s varied, depending on what is happening at that time. I Start at 10am with emails, then anything from designing, chatting to China, following up with our customers, accounts or photo shoot planning. I have a few small breaks during the day and evening, but this all goes on until around 10.30pm.
Did you study fashion? If not, what did you study?
I studied fashion design at East Sydney Tafe.

What is your favorite part about being a fashion designer?

Seeing people walking around with your designs. Priceless!

photo7 How did you select the materials you used?
I do sourcing trips every three months, so I can source materials for the following seasons range.

How many in your team at Foxlane Collective ?
Myself, my husband who runs warehouse, my accountant and my lovely mum who is a jack of all 
trades!

How did you get to where you are now with your label?
With the experience and contacts I have made over the years

photosixxxHow and what gives your inspiration for each collection? Do you go on any fashion trips to gain inspiration?
I’m on social media a ton, which gives me so much inspiration. I also do sourcing trips every three months.

Who is your target market? 

We have such a broad market as our styles appeal to many different groups, but our main market would be women aged 20-35.

Where is the final product made?
We have factories around the globe, but majority come out of Hong Kong and China.

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What’s your current achievement with the brand that you are most proud of?

My current achievement is that I am still around with no need to stop after one and a half years.
 

How many years did it take for your idea to hit reality?

I always wanted to do something for myself, though I didn’t know what, but bit the bullet and got it up and running in a few months. 
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Before creating your brand did you work for another label?

Most recently MINKPINK.
 
 

Who’s your inspiration and fashion designers who you look up to?

 Love Wang, Phillip Lim, Celine, Chloe, but this changes each season depending on who’s collections I’m feeling into!

And lastly, any advice to people who want to get into the industry!

I’m glad I waited until I had the contacts and experience before jumping into my own label. I don’t think I would have made it if I didn’t do that.

Annnddddd….. as much as I wish I could be designing and doing all the fun stuff every day, the reality is that I spend most of my time doing the boring things like book keeping!!!! 
 
photo78Special Thanks to Melissa Dilger xx

Website: www.foxlanecollective.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/foxlanecollective

Instagram: FOXLANECOLLECTIVE