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Digital Exposed Seminar

Wondering what “checking in” is all about? Wondering why people and not birds are tweeting? Do you know that your business needs to sell online but don’t know the first thing about it?

Digital Exposed is a seminar…

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MBFWA day 1…

via Vogue Australia.

Romance Was Born collaboration with Marvel comics was an explosive burst of colour and pop culture to kick off MBFWA in celebratory style. The twitterverse was in hypermode with the fashpack posting runway imagery and backstage shots of models in larger than life brows and bright neon orange hair by Oscar Oscar Salons, Paloma Garcia.

Australian icon, Kirrily Johnston continued the excitement with her bohemian gypset inspired collection featuring florals and oversized crystal neck pieces with bright pink geode earrings and head scarves.

via Vogue Australia

See more of MBFWA Day 1 at Harpers Bazaar including Gail Sorronda and Gary Bigeni HERE.

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A reflection of the bohemian Australian spirit…

With an underlying philosophy that states all pieces are `created in Pure Love & Light with the Pure Intent to bring Love, Protection and Empowerment to all who wear it’, you know you must be onto something special. Love from Venus is an inspiring jewellery label that has a heady dose of magic thrown in. Using the raw energy of semi-precious stones, the label truly reflects the quintessential Australian Spirit of a relaxed bohemian yet sophisticated lifestyle.

The concept peaked our interest so we touched base with Love from Venus director, Georgia Hatzis to gain insight into the spiritual purpose of the brand; how the energy involved in creating each piece contributes to the overall success of the brand; and the craftsmanship behind each design.

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A fission of art and fashion…

Zebra bow style

Bay & Fyfe is an Australian based creative concept label. “We collaborate with artists to create beautiful pieces of art inspired fashion.” The label has just launched it’s first collaboration with Australian born DJ turned artist, Daimon Downey. Downey was part of ARIA winning music group Sneaky Sound System, before he picked up the paint brush full time.

“We were drawn to his impressive talent with mix media and use of off-beat colour palettes,” says creative director, Frith Hucks. “His art and sculptures are proudly displayed in many homes around the world. Now his art is taking centre stage for our collection of limited edition silk scarves.”

The collection entitled ‘Pastel Zoo’ features 4 icon prints, screen printed onto silk luxe. Each scarf is over a metre in size and their versatility make it a must for any fashion-forward woman who loves finding unique pieces.

The label has already developed quite a celebrity following with the likes of Miranda Kerr and sisters Kylie and Dannii Minogue all proud supporters of the label. The collection is designed in Australia and screen printed on to 100% silk luxe.

We took five with Bay & Fyfe founder, Frith Hucks from her Sydney base to discover the story behind the name; how the collaboration with Daimon came about; and her personal background working in fashion throughout Europe.

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When politics and fashion collide…

The devastating effect the Labor government has had on the Australian fashion industry…

Thiis is an opinion piece written by Phoebes Garland co-owner of Garland & Garland Fashion, with Robert Garland who was described by Ragtrader as a “veteran rag trader” with over 30 years experience in the fashion industry. While Phoebes Garland was described as a “Power Agent” by Assia Benmedjdoub, editor of Ragtrader. Between the two of them, Phoebes & Robert Garland have over 50 years sales experience in fashion, publishing and advertising. Garland & Garland Fashion is a leading fashion agency based in Sydney and they are regularly sought for comment from various media on the latest business fashion topics and issues.

If the Liberal party needs to pick up some votes, they would probably gain quite a significant amount from the rag trade at the moment. With the Gillard government just recently passing an uncompromising amendment bill, under the Fair Work Amendment (Textile, Clothing and Footwear Industry) 2011, which has effectively banned outworkers working from home, as well as several other provisions which includes outworkers being paid superannuation, leave entitlements, and also insisting they must have a minimum of 20 hours a week to be paid from manufacturers.

This has pretty much put a nail in the coffin to whatever small manufacturing is left in Australia. And we should know, as not one of our labels our agency represents is Australian made anymore. And, aside from Cue, the majority of the Australian made manufacturing in textiles is very small indeed. We are definitely no longer talking large corporations anymore. Whilst in the interest of ‘protecting workers’, the Gillard government in conjunction with the TCFUA, has effectively managed to do the complete opposite. Our concern is whether the question of protecting workers rights is the real issue here? I think we also need to look at why the unions are instigating this, considering it’s timely that the union membership is down 50%. It begs to question, is this merely a way of gaining union membership by ensuring workers are working in a controlled union endorsed environment? Some would say Labor, has always been controlled by the unions.

CUE are manufactured in Australia

The other side of the coin is that small designers, pattern makers and any small manufacturing in the garment industry in Australia simply cannot afford to pay these entitlements. Nor decipher the red-tape rules, which have been enforced with textile manufacturing in Australia, without the fear of hefty fines. Where does the responsibility stop and start for ethical manufacturing in Australia? It’s such a grey area and so difficult to adhere to, regardless of manufacturers wanting ethical working conditions for their makers.

The Australian fashion industry has had a notoriously bad relationship with the Labor governments, mainly with Bob Hawke and John Button, effectively ending manufacturing in Australia, courtesy of the Button Plan, which resulted in the large volume of garment manufacturing being sent off shore.
Simply, the government wanted to sell minerals, oil and gas to China and what could we take from China in return? Answer = Clothing. Hence the protection offered by import tariffs was eradicated and the massive invasion of “landfill” garments began. Now there is barely a heartbeat to the fashion industry in this country.

Let us not also forget the recent changes the Gillard government’s new AWARD wages on Sundays and public holidays, which are also having a devastating, effect on retailers. Not to mention the effect the impending Carbon Tax is having on consumer confidence to spending, which in turn is impacting retailers enormously.

Whilst back on the subject of makers, with most of the larger corporations manufacturing offshore, there is still a question of an impact of the jobs of 40,000 makers and workers in Australia, which is what is at stake. Essentially, in a twist of irony, this bill has threated their livelihood.

Dominic Beirne, Managing Director of Australian Fashion Partners gave this insight into his thoughts on the issue.

“No doubt some of you will have seen my comments on my facebook, linked in and twitter profiles as well as Save the Australian Fashion Industry Facebook page.

I think it is imperative that as an industry we understand what the political realities are we are facing. Very few of us want to exploit our workers, they are all that stands between our ongoing success and industrial oblivion.

There is one side of politics that will not let us work with our business partners and the latest changes they have made to the Fair Work Act (FWA) and federal award means that our flexibility and respectful working relationships are history.

The TCF industry did not engage in political sniping in the 2007 election. We didn’t enthusiastically support the coalition Work Choices policies. Perhaps we should have, well not really because they weren’t that great. The policy however did give the ability and authority to individuals to negotiate with employers their conditions of employment. It recognised that some people want to contract, some people want to be part of a union and that some people just want to get on with things in their own way.

As an industry we have had one more nail put into our coffin. It is time that we started becoming activists for our own survival. Write, call visit and email your coalition Senators and Members of Parliament. Tell them what is happening to your business. Let them know how many of us there are and what is happening to our industry. Get them to help and VOTE FOR THEM.

There is essentially only one way to eliminate the despicable, anti-competitive and discriminatory amendments to the FWA. We must remove the ALP and their minority party and independent hangers on from government. Elect the coalition of Liberal and National parties to be our representatives and voices in parliament. Get some balance back.”

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