Official Day 4 of Fashion Week, and another complete day of shows would lie ahead of me. What was particularly exciting about the line-up: Carley Rose The Label, showing at the Raffles International Showcase.
Carley and I had been in conversation for at least a week now (because all good things happen in late fashion), organising both an interview and a dressing collaboration. When you read Carley’s answers below, keep in mind that these questions were asked just before Fashion Week. That being said, I have no doubt that she’s just as enthusiastic now, about MBFW and its prospects, as she was prior to her show a few days back.
The Raffles International Showcase celebrates the work of the youngest and the freshest on the market, sourced straight out of Raffles College of Design and Commerce. Raffles College is one of the most renowned regional fashion and commerce institutions. And for this sake, it’s no surprise it produces some extraordinary talent.
I was particularly taken by Carley’s label (prior to MBFW, even) for several alternate reasons. Firstly, she prides herself on production of a very ethical and sustainable nature. What’s more, all her garments are made right here in Australia. With the combination of the two (locally-made production and the use of sustainable materials), she’s looking to reverse the influence of fast-fashion. She’s here to slow it down. And trust me, slow fashion looks far better than it sounds.
Slow fashion is about attention to detail. It’s about assessing the impacts of your creations — and ensuring that they bring good not just to the person destined to wear it, but to the environment that will one day adorn it too. Carley cares that her garments look great on both.
In addition to the environmental aspect of her label, I loved Carley’s experimental use of colour. To the Raffles showcase, I was dressed in her Autumn/Winter 2018 collection, Urban Orchard. Not only are the colours absolutely warm and autumnal, they’re also that little bit daring and quirky. You’ve got a lot of faded emerald green, mustard yellow and a very burgundy red too.
Carley plays a lot with shapes, and even more, with comfort. Day 4 of Fashion Week, and I have felt my absolute best yet in the Kenzie Weave Print Dress (did I select this piece because it was titled Kenzie? Maybe, maybe not). You would not believe how soft this is. It hugs your figure in a way that only Mums can hug, you know? Excuse my passion, but this piece is bloody gorgeous, and I’m absolutely obsessed with the colouring. If you’ve got golden brown hair like mine, this dress acts as the perfect compliment.
While Carley’s 2018 collection centred around palazzo pants and godet skirts, Carly has taken on a more delicate femininity for 2019. Having previously found warmth in linen, she now finds beauty in the most sensational of elegant gowns and evening dresses.
Of course, Carley stays true to herself by experimenting with colour as well as the layering of textures. The result is reminiscent of a magic, underwater escape. It’s as if King Neptune hosted a party — and the winner of best-dressed is the woman who feels most beautiful in herself.
Enjoy reading my interview with Carley below, where she expands on the concept behind her collection, as well as her anticipation for MBFW. As for me, I’m off to enjoy the final day of Fashion Week!
1. Can you give me a brief summary of what inspired and continues to inspire your label?
I’m usually inspired by a particular aspect of nature, which seems like a never-ending source for inspiration! For my last Resort collection, I looked at our Great Barrier Reef. This year for RS19, I explored the concept of Australia’s mining history and our natural minerals. The new collection is called SEMI-PRECIOUS.
2. Describe the type of person who wears your clothes.
She’s a woman who loves dressing up but needs to feel comfortable. She’s got a really cool, effortless sense of style. She really cares about the environment as well as social issues. She’s a bit of an activist when it comes to what she’s really passionate about, whether it’s veganism or human trafficking or poverty. She is a fierce woman who’s got shit to do — and she needs to look great doing it!
3. What defines success to you?
If I can make a living doing what I love, have people around me who love and support me, and make some small difference in the world, then in my mind that’s success right there.
4. What’s a moment or an achievement that’s made you particularly proud so far in your journey?
I’ve got to say that showing at MBFWA with the Raffles International Showcase for the first time last year was an amazing experience. I learned so much from that — things I’ve been able to apply to my approach this year so I’m that much more ready and I know what to expect. I can’t wait for this week’s show. I’m sure it will become my new proudest moment!
5. What are you looking forward to most about MBFWA?
Showing my new collection, of course! I love having the opportunity to have my work presented on such an amazing platform. I’m really looking forward to hearing feedback about RS19 SEMI-PRECIOUS. I’ll also be keeping my eye out for the replays for the Innovators show and collections from Romance Was Born, Ginger & Smart and Bianca Spender to name just a few.
6. Can you briefly detail the prep involved for you?
I’ve been working on this new collection for the past 5 months, starting with an idea and some sketches. Next, I started to liaison with my beading and embroidery factory in New Delhi. This way, they could figure out the embellishment concepts while I refined and pattern-made my designs. The last month or so has been spent cutting fabrics, sewing, adding final touches and putting together a photoshoot. There’s a lot of work that goes in! But I absolutely love it. Seeing what I sketched out become its final form is kind of like magic.
7. Finally, when do you feel your most confident?
I think I have two answers to that: the first is when I’m working on my designs; doing what I’m best at and just feeling really boss. The other would have to be a night-out at some live music gig or an indie nightclub — after getting all dressed up with my girls and belting out bangers from the 2000’s. Trust me, knowing all (or most of) the words to System Of a Down’s Chop Suey will guarantee you a confidence boost!
Photography by Anzu Prenter