Home' Scoop : Scoop 50 Summer 2009 Contents SCOOP SUMMER 2009 143
It's been said and oft repeated: Perth is one
of the most isolated cities in the world.
This statement is generally followed by a
scowl, or a lament regarding international
travel, but when it comes to creativity, it's
one little statement that allows us to flourish.
Being a-kind-of-expensive-and-lengthy plane
trip away from Europe and the US has left us with
a lot less in the way of influences, our seclusion
enabling the designers to forge their own way, in
their own distinct fashion that leaves the rest of the
country (and the world) wanting more.
Jacqui Brown is one woman who certainly
wants more. Launching online boutique Fash-
ionWA.com earlier this year, Jacqui and her
business partner Chelsey act as a launch pad for
emerging Western Australian designers, and as far
as Miss Brown is concerned -- well, let's just say
you're unlikely to meet anyone as passionate about
WA fashion as she.
"To me, wearing a WA label means I have cho-
sen to put the money I earn back into this great
industry and will only help improve what's already
beginning to be recognized as an original state of
fashion. Due to our lifestyle and the opportunities
by the government and other support groups, WA
designers are creating unique clothing, which is
being picked up by media all over the world. The
designs are fresh and so different to what is on sale
by mass produced labels and outlets over east and
Support from advocates like Jacqui and govern-
ment grants from The Department of Culture
and the Arts have aided what is undoubtedly a
cut-throat industry, where straying to the east coast
and overseas is extremely tempting, and where
favour changes with the seasons.
To commemorate Scoop's fat 50 (everyone says
we don't look a day over 40), we're celebrating of
just some of the big names that have paved the
way for the new, the tip of the iceberg of talent in
the West: those who made the decision to stay at
It's going to come as no surprise to any reader
-- long term or not -- that we're fairly big and quite
enthusiastic fans of the work of Aurelio Costarella.
There's no blaming us; the way this man
manipulates a piece of silk is nothing less than
artwork. The cascades of ruffles and carefully
selected appliqué is feminine without being sicken-
ingly girly, his detail intricate and the sight of his
couture at his North Perth store Post Emporium
will make your heart ache with longing.
Certain unengaged and unattached staff
members have perused his racks time and time
again, selecting any frock that comes to hand, be
it aubergine or slate grey, saying "Oh, I'd just get
married in this" and holding it against ourselves,
when in actuality we just want to get married to it.
In truth, we've been singing Ray's praises since
we were knee high. In 1998 (our first anniversary
edition, how sweet) we were already writing retro-
spectives about him.
Back then it was all about Milk, his label with
Adelaide designer Gladys Sym Choom.
A venture into a range with an accessible price
point without compromising on style, Milk gener-
ated rave reviews when it showed at Mercedes Aus-
tralian Fashion Week that year, being picked up not
only by Myer/Grace Brothers, but also by Barney's
in New York -- his first foray into the international
scene, which he was only too keen to develop.
We might be a long way away from... well... just about anything really, but when it comes to
fashion, our isolation has bred beauty and creativity that places us in the centre of the universe.
text rachael ciccarelli « images aaron bunch, rob simeon, penny lane
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