Friday, September 3, 2010
Our own encyclopedia of fashion – New Zealand Fashion Design has a just-released cross-Tasman rival. Fashion – Australian & New Zealand Designers is a new book chronicling the most important Australasian designers. Written by journalist Mitchell Oakley Smith, in 350-odd pages it covers around 70 labels, in A to Z format – from Akira to Zimmermann. Kiwis present include Cybele, Jimmy D, Karen Walker, Kate Sylvester, Nom*D, WORLD and Zambesi. As part of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, Mitchell Oakley Smith held court at a discussion group about the state of Australian Fashion with guests from three Melbourne based labels – Yeojin Bae, MATERIALBYPRODUCT and Dhini.
According to Yeojin Bae, the biggest problem facing local designers is the season difference – when it's Summer at home, it's Winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Her advice to young designers – make sure you can deliver on time. "Deliveries have to be absolutely on time. I try to make sure that stores don't even notice I'm from the other side of the world." Her other secret to success, was getting stocked in department stores. "Department stores give financial stability to fashion companies. They have the buying power to put in big orders and they pay on time."
Photo: Katherine Lowe
Fashion – Australian & New Zealand Designers is available now for $AUD75 (I was lucky enough to get my copy autographed last night). Kiwis will be seeing a lot more of Mitchell Oakley Smith later this month – he's a guest of honour at New Zealand Fashion Week. If you ask nicely, no doubt he'll sign your book too.
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