Friday, May 24, 2013

The Retail Debate

Thanks to the power of social networking it is becoming easier to understand peoples thoughts and feelings on a range of issues affecting all of us on a day to day basis. Whether it is a matter of peoples views of political policy, animal cruelty, climate change or even their approach to shopping, if you post a statement or question on Facebook, be prepared to embrace the opinions of your friends and their friends, and even their friends of friends.

Earlier today a friend of mine was having a Facebook vent about her dislike of shopping in standard retail stores, her reason being that every other person out there has access to exactly the same clothing, and you run a giant risk of seeing every other person wearing exactly the same thing you are! (A justified rant I think, and a good point to raise). So with this status gracing the news feeds of all her friends, naturally a plethora of opinions came flooding in like a crowd entering a Peter Alexander store on Boxing Day.
Everything was thrown out there from "who cares" to "make it yourself" to "just change the accessories" but really, my friend had a valid point, and anybody who cares about their fashionable appearance would have a similar fear when shopping in any Target, Myer, Valley Girl etc. Although the fashion market is over saturated with choice, it's so easy to end up just another face in a sea of mass produced same-ness. Yes there are a lot of clothing stores to choose from, but since what is considered "fashion-forward" is decided for you by buyers of said retail chains, how on earth do you find something that will make you stand out, if all you have to pick from is the same every where you go?

So what's the solution? Hire a stylist with a quirky sense of direction, to ensure you always look a little different to the rest of the fashion pack? Dress in costume every day to ensure you stand out? Buy op-shop? Boycott fashion all together and just wear black everyday (I think this may be called emo and was big in the early 2000's). Well I suppose there is no real way to determine what will make you stand out, but my suggestion was a simple one, and one I feel very strongly about.

Buy pieces from emerging designers!

It seems so simple and yet people still don't think to do it. There are so many young talented designers out there producing amazing clothes that you could be wearing right now! Obviously I'm pretty partial to this idea as I am myself an emerging designer and I love hearing people say, "Ohh I've never seen this before I love it", but not everyone thinks to shop with this kind of mantra.
Rather than just shamelessly promoting my own brand I thought I'd share with you a few of my other favourite young designers, who I believe produce great work, and who people need to start thinking of next time they want something that's a little less ordinary, and a lot more exciting!

One of the most talented ladies around remixing new and vintage materials to create the most beautiful little dresses would have to be Jaye from Fabled and True. Her beautiful styles can be picked from the pack as you can see her attention to detail can be seen through her perfect pattern matches and fine tailoring. Her love of vintage shines through her designs and I love that she puts so much effort into creating her gorgeous pieces.
Fabled and True
Another favourite of mine would have to be Damsel in this Dress, Gold Coast designer Melina Hollway is an absolute inspiration to me as she is a self taught seamstress and her whimsical dresses are unlike anything you will see in any retail store! I'm due to do a shoot with one of her stunning garments in the next month too, so make sure you check back to see first hand how gorgeous her pieces are, I can NOT wait to see what she has in store for me!
Damsel in this Dress
Heading into the classic day dress, I simply can't go past a Dickybird Dress! An absolute fave of mine (I already have a few of her dresses and I plan to get a few more in the coming months). Her adorable pieces are just divine for a picnic with your lady friends or a sweet date night with a boy who looks like Zac Effron. Kristen hand makes her little garments and in just a few short years her brand has exploded with popularity, everyone deserves to have a little Dickybird (or three) in their wardrobe!
My Dickybird Dresses!

If you're on the hunt for cute and quirky you can't go past Neverland by Tink, I discovered her through Instagram and I love seeing her adorable pieces pop up in my news feed. Her pieces are too cute to boot and perfect for festivals and adventure dates. I love the fact that her pieces are handmade and usually a limited release or one of a kind.
Neverland by Tink
I love that these brands all focus on handmade and one of a kind, just as I do, and I think that's something that is becoming increasingly rare. Speaking of handmade, if you want to check out my latest pyjama collection you can view it here!

Well I could go on all day but perhaps I'll just do a little blog on a few designers here and there as I discover them, but honestly guys, there is no excuse for buying retail if you don't want to. We are sooo lucky to have so many talented designers in our backyards, so you aren't forced to buy run of the mill if it's not what you want in your wardrobe. Look outside the Myer box and you'll find a world of whimsy and difference! Happy Shopping All! xx