HIGHLANDS CREATIVES // Local Fashion Labels
HIGHLANDS CREATIVES // Uncover and support local fashion labels
When you think fashion design and manufacture, cities like Paris, Milan and New York naturally spring to mind…but what about villages like Bundanoon, Bowral and Welby? In this two-part series, we put a spotlight on four talented locals who are bucking the fast and disposable fashion trends by designing and making beautiful and sustainable fashion, right here in the Southern Highlands.
ROAM THE LABEL
Designer & maker: Dakota Doyle
Besides a stint in New York where she studied design, Dakota has lived in the Southern Highlands her whole life. She has always dreamed of starting her own fashion label and joining the slow fashion movement, so after feeling a sense of immediacy and urgency to sew, last November she made a dress and then the whole first collection followed quickly from there.
Dakota is the designer and sole maker of her collection that she describes as “beloved wardrobe staples for the modern minimalist.” Linen is her fabric of choice; “It’s a high-quality textile that ages with its wearer, melding, folding and draping to the body which takes the design on a path of its own. I love that,” she said.
She met her soulmate here in the Southern Highlands and finds it an ideal place to base her business. “It’s close to Sydney and its discerning residents fuel the creative culture here, making support possible.”
In the next 12 months Dakota plans to introduce a small, handmade knitwear capsule collection for Winter and her website launch is not far away. Her designs have already gained attention, securing her a buyer in Byron Bay.
“I really want to keep making everything myself, so of course I want growth, but I never want to sacrifice the quality I’m so proud of in my craftsmanship.”
Price range: $49-$180.
'WASHED' THE LABEL
Designer and maker: Michele Foggo
Michele’s career in fashion began in the 1980’s and has continued in various forms ever since. “It was an exciting time to start in the industry. It was the dawning of the Avantgarde trend in design, the era of the punk revolution and it was all about being individual,” she said.
The Foggo family have lived in the Southern Highlands for nearly 30 years and currently have a pop-up shop in Bowral. Lord Watson is full to the brim with eclectic home décor and Michele’s one-of-a-kind garments.
“Upcycling is an important element of my clothing designs. These days most clothes have a real throw away philosophy. I only work with natural fibres and I have a huge stash of beautiful vintage fabrics to draw on. My clothing is made to tell a story; where it came from and where it can go,” she said.
“I choose the label name ‘Washed’ for my fashion pieces due to the need to wash and line dry the vintage fabrics I work with. I love that my creations leave the studio with the fresh smell of the country air.”
Michele is currently designing and planning to make wedding dresses from white, 100% cotton businessman’s shirts.
Price range: from $150
Keep an eye on The Fold’s feed for Part 2 of this ‘Movers and Makers’ series where two more local fashion designers and makers will be in the spotlight.
Are you a local designer and maker? We’d love to hear about what you do!
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