Quick Questions with the 2019 TAFE FDS Innovators

After a successfully chic runway presentation at Carriageworks last week for MBFWA ‘19, the six brilliant minds behind the TAFE FDS The Innovators show answered our burning questions to let us into the world of their designs.


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JINNA NAM OF JINAY THE LABEL

What made you pursue design?

Since I was a little girl, I was always picky about what I wear - my mum told me I’ve always picked the most colourful and unusual clothes. When I look at other designers that influenced me such as MARNI and TATANAKA I’ve always been dreamt about making my own colourful clothes.

What or who are the main influences on your designs?

As a huge vintage lover, I want to create garments that are as precious to someone as their vintage pieces; garments that are desirable and timeless yet modern. I was able to achieve this with vintage silhouettes, a bold colour palette, contemporary prints and textures.

As an FDS innovator, what are you bringing to the table of future designers?

I think if you push boundaries and challenge yourself you can make things that are better than you’ve expected. I’ve dreamt about getting into Fashion Week since my first year at FDS, and I had many doubts and insecurities preparing for the show, but ultimately I see myself, a new designer JINAY, clearly reflected in this collection. I never knew clashing different colours would work so well. I want future designers to be more bright and colourful!


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MIA OF MI’AN’MAR THE LABEL

What made you pursue design?

I wanted to do something in the fashion world because I love the way it lets you express your art and creativity. Also, I’m inspired by people who aren’t afraid to push the boundaries with how they dress and wear things that most people would find too bold. My grandma Marie has always influenced me in the way she lives every day to be seen and stand out.

What's your vision for the fashion world of the future?

My vision for the fashion world is to take away the boundaries with gender and dressing. I want everyone to feel completely comfortable dressing in whatever they want, free of judgement.

As an FDS innovator, what are you bringing to the table of future designers?

I’m bringing quirkiness and sense of youth through my eccentric and colourful prints and boundary-pushing styles.


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KATE INESON OF INESON THE LABEL

What made you pursue design?

I began sewing and creating garments at a very young age; but after finishing high school I had a lot of self-doubt about being able to have a career in the very competitive fashion industry. After a very unfulfilling period of my life working in corporate event management I decided to trust my intuition and 'take the plunge' to pursue my lifelong passion for design.

What or who are the main influences on your designs?

My design process is an exploration of traditional and contemporary pattern-making methods and the communications of self expression through dress. I merge and expand upon this to create an experimental approach to garment making which yields the innovative silhouettes that define my work.

How has the growing industry concern for improved sustainability influenced your designs?

I create slow fashion pieces that are created with the 'end use' in mind. They are not trend-focused and are created to the highest standards of quality and are items that are designed for all ages so that they can be enjoyed for many years.


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GEORGE HABIBEH OF GEORGE HABIBEH COUTURE

What or who are the main influences on your designs?

In anything I create or any collection I design, it is always built from the foundational support of a theme, narrative or emotion that I feel. My signature remains present through all, but what inspired me is the thought - it could be death, birth, water, passion, fairy tales ... Fashion isn’t just clothing; it is a medium through which to channel messages and emotion.

How does it feel to present your designs on a huge stage like MBFWA?

Very humbling. It wasn’t luck, it was determination, hard work and the support of all my teachers, family and friends. This is an experience of a lifetime and I am very blessed to have been awarded such an opportunity.

What's your vision for the fashion world of the future?

Australian fashion is growing, has a lot of potential, but is also in need of uniqueness and fashion that isn’t solely based on selling. Personally I find that Australian fashion is becoming very commercialised and streamlined in order to sell, but what is happening in the process is the loss of passion and innovation. Designers could be a hit for a year or two, yet down the road they’re garments lose the edge that got them there in the first place. But the future is bright, every year we are turning out thousands of bright, innovative and more motivated designers, who all have a piece to say and expressing this all through their clothing.


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VALESKA DOMINGUEZ OF VALESKA

What or who are the main influences on your designs?

I wanted to create a quintessentially Australian brand that was sustainable and biodegradable, so I used only Australian Merino Wool, silk, organic linen and recycled fish-net lycra. Aesthetically I looked to our national icon, The Sydney Opera House, as my inspiration for colour. I used not only the outside shells as a highlight, but also the interiors: the rich purple stairs in the northern foyer as a starting point for linear fabric manipulation; the Jörn Utzon tapestry in the Function Hall with its mint greens and soft mauves; and finished with brass detailing.

How has the growing industry concern for improved sustainability influenced your designs?

Greatly! I don’t see a future for fashion without the emerging designers taking hold of the reigns and insisting on only sustainable, biodegradable, organic and recycled fibres. There is no longer a place for wasteful designing. As custodians of a changing industry, we have a duty to only offer the consumer fashion that will last for generations and not leave a footprint on our planet.

What's your vision for the fashion world of the future?

Investment pieces, slow fashion, sustainable and biodegradable…and making it COOL to wear your clothes for years by changing it up with accessories and alterations. Buy less, wear more!


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SARAH MOORE OF MANON

What made you pursue design?

I began my career in nutrition after studying health science straight out of school, however I felt that something was missing from my life. After a period of reflection I decided follow my passion for beautiful, interesting and unusual fashion and become a fashion designer.

What or who are the main influences on your designs?

My design aesthetic is drawn mainly from visual imagery and refined through explorations into different periods of history, artistic movements, music and psychoanalysis.

As an FDS innovator, what are you bringing to the table of future designers?

I aim to create garments that are 'forever wearables' that can be kept and passed down for years. Mainly, I hope to inspire others to distort notions of gender and societal norms through garments that are versatile and distinctive in order to challenge, provoke and confront consumers.