DEVOTION & DESIGN: ON SET WITH KORTNI PORTIA – By Samantha Haran

Devotion.
Sometimes defined as love, sometimes loyalty. Sometimes, it’s worship.
Either way, it is powerful.
Decadent.
Indulgent.
The fitting name for local designer Kortni Portia’s new luxury collection.

In the early days of February, I spent a Saturday on shoot with Kortni and her team. In my business as a fashion creative consultant, I have been working on-and-off with Kortni since the early days of her brand, and seize any opportunity to be involved with her creative process. She’s incredible to watch. A true artist, with a background in fashion styling and a spiritual mind, she radiates the kind of energy you would expect to encounter on the set of a Vogue shoot, or backstage at Paris Fashion Week.

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The day began with a beautiful morning drive from inner city Brisbane to the shoot location – Kortni’s own gorgeous home in Little Mountain, Caloundra. I caught a lift with Natalie Skoric, talented freelance photographer based in Brisbane. Both Kortni and I have had the pleasure of working with Nat before and we never cease to re-book. We love her style, her talent, her eye for detail and the vibrance she brings to the set. When we arrived on set, Natalie, Kortni and I began re-arranging Kortni’s living room. The couches and rugs were pushed out of the way and Natalie and I set up her photography equipment, including a white background. The focus of the shoot was product photography. That is, simple, gorgeous photos that could be used on Kortni’s new e-commerce store, in preparation for her debut at the Melbourne Trades Show later that month (click here to see the final pictures on her website).

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When the model and makeup artist arrived, it was time to begin shooting. The model quickly changed into the first look and stepped into our makeshift-studio. Sunlight filtered through the window, creating the perfect glow. As we worked through the styling and outfits, Kortni shared insight into her process with the collection. Over the past few weeks she had spent enormous amounts of time in the studio, putting everything together by hand.

“It’s crazy to see it all come to life,” she mused.

And it indeed it was. The collection was breathtaking – her best to date. A palette of luxurious blacks, blues and reds. A gorgeous array of materials. A new focus on the shape of the garments. Heavier fabrics than Kortni had ever used before.

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Kortni’s lookbook describes the inspiration behind the phenomenal collection:

“Devotion A/W 19 collection is inspired by a trans-formative [sic] point of time in ones [sic] life. A moment of realization and awakening to inner strength and personal determination. ‘Devotion’ represents a women [sic] who embraces her sexuality, power and elegance. A women [sic] who knows what she wants out of life and is whole heartedly [sic] devoted to achieving it.

This collection provides a range of balanced sophistication for the fashion conscious woman on the go. Relaxed effortless styles, cocktail dresses with structured clean lines, bedazzled appliqué’s [sic] and floral lace.

Many styles feature in a variety of color [sic] and style options. All materials are hand selected by the designer from local and international wholesalers ensuring originality, durability and quality.”

As the lookbook describes, it really is a stunning collection. Decadent, luxurious, rich – a true manifestation of the concept of devotion..

You can purchase Kortni’s Devotion collection now on her website, as of the 10th of March 2019.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: 
Samantha Haran is the founder of her namesake freelance fashion creative consultancy agency, and current Ambassador for Fashion Industry Database (FID). She attends events and networks with local companies on behalf of FID, and assists the database behind-the-scenes with social media and blogging.

DIRECTORY:
https://fashionindustrydatabase.com/directory/kortni-portia.

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Ri Fashion Studio – Finally, I’m having my old cardigan repaired! By Mathilde Bach Stougaard

We live in a buy-and-get–rid-of society so what happens with getting something repaired? Is it really cheaper and easier to buy something new rather than having it fixed by an alterationist?

I decided to find out and I must admit I have had a hole in the sleeve on my cardigan for much longer than I should have. I didn’t stop wearing it though (except sometimes…). It was still valuable for me, however my plan was to buy a new cardigan but now, I don’t have to quite yet (and this one has lasted me for years – only place I could find it browsing in the city at that time was David Jones, yes).

Perhaps I should start asking, why didn’t I get it fixed a long time ago? That’s a good question and while I can find a few excuses, it probably came down to it not being visible enough for me to do something about it quickly – however, I always felt annoyed that I hadn’t found the time for doing it when putting it on.

So, finally I really wanted to take it to an alterationist and I wanted to go to a small place rather than a big chain. I don’t live too far from Indooroopilly Shopping Centre in Brisbane so I decided to check out the options there. There is a place called LookSmart Alterations with around 20 different locations and then there is also place called Ri Fashion Studio, which I have passed several times whereas the other one is a bit hidden, I think. Anyway, I decided to give Ri Fashion a go, and even LookSmart Alterations has a good online appearance while Ri Fashion Studio could probably improve on that front in various ways, I decided to still give them a go.

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Photo credit: Ri Fashion Studio

I rocked up wearing my cardigan and was met with a smiling and friendly staff member, who quickly consulted with a colleague about my options. I wanted to add an edgy detail on all the borders but that wasn’t recommended, as that would be tricky to do. A couple of times I didn’t understand what was being said as they did consult in a different language but as long as they explained it to me in English afterwards, I didn’t mind. I was in doubt if they understood my requests fully though at first but at the end I felt confident that they understood me.

So we decided to make the sleeves a bit shorter, move the original sleeve edge up and that way would also cover the hole. And who would had thought, we then suddenly realised the other sleeve was slightly broken on the edge but nothing major though. I decided to get it all fixed up.

Quickly I put it on, decided the length and was told to pick it up around a week later.

When picking it up, I was met by a different staff member who was also friendly and helpful. As I had already paid for the service ($35) when I handed it in, it was just a quick in and out this time.

I got home but then realised that the sleeves weren’t sewed the same way for some reason. One was stretchy and the other one was stiff. That was no good, so I decided to take it in again. It is a woollen cardigan and it’s a bit stretchy so having no stretch in one sleeve didn’t work well and I guess it should have been the same for both sleeves no matter how it was done.

This time I was also meet by the friendly staff and there weren’t any problems. The lady at the counter accepted the return as she understood the issue.

The next pick up went well and I checked the cardigan while in the store (which I should have done the first time) before going home. After a wash I checked again and it is all good now.

I have always washed my woollen cardigan in the washing machine on the wool setting and on cold wash. Ideally, I should hand wash or hang it out but I like it to be washed properly compared with my hand washing – but it does mean that is has shrunken over the years but I don’t mind as long as it still looks okay (not like turning into a baby cardigan if it has been washed on warm). And it seems to keep the size now and has for a long time.

The cardi is repaired and sleeve looking good!

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Flay lay by Mathilde Bach Stougaard

Even though the cardigan wasn’t done properly the first time, I would probably go back as the service was good and they quickly made up for their mistake. I will try another alterationist in Brisbane in the future as part of blogging about my experiences but I would still choose Ri Fashion over another big chain to support small businesses.

If you have ever used them, please feel free to write a review on their FID profile. I also want to add that the first time I visited them, another customer started talking to me about how good they were and that she always used them for everything (they do more than just alterations, anything from alterations to made to measure). I think I was just a bit unlucky with my first visit but only a second visit can tell, right? I did mention I wanted to write a blog the first time I visited, which the lady there was happy about…

I was planning to get a new cardigan and had already been browsing online to know about my options but that’s’ for another time now. And I’m just saying, it’s not easy to find from a small or local business! Would love to hear from anyone who knows of other places…

If you are looking for one, you might find my research useful before making a purchase.

I was mainly looking for one with round or v-neck, middle length, buttons and semi or long sleeves – did a quick search and found the following, see links below.

Psst, this is my favourite purely from the look! Next time I buy a cardigan, this is it – just need to try it on first…

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Photo credit: Scanlan Theodore

Recommendations from FID community
Scanlan Theodore
EKSEMPEL
By Malene Birger
Country Road

Google “Black Cardigan” / images / womens (also tried ‘shopping rather than images but looked like the same stuff more or less)
WoolOvers #1
WoolOvers #2
WoolOvers #3
Black Pepper

Instagram search
Miranda Murphy

MERAKI: A FABULOUS EVENING OF FASHION. By Samantha Haran

Last month, I was lucky enough to attend The Meraki Fashion Show as Ambassador for Fashion Industry Database (FID). Held at The Met in Brisbane, the decadent runway show had the electric feel of an Alexander Wang New York runway – dark lighting, loud music, free-flowing champagne and elite guests, all dressed to the nines.

Designer Q

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We arrived early to a gorgeous red carpet setting along Wickham Street. After embracing the opportunity to grab a few photos, we spent the rest of the lead-up to the show in the exclusive VIP area. Here, there were drinks flowing and gorgeous cakes and treats embellished with Luxe Agncy, the promoters of the event (and yes, it’s agncy) and What’s Hot TV production and events. This was a lovely opportunity to meet, socialize and network with influencers and creatives in the local Brisbane fashion community.

Bec McMillan


Before long, it was time for the Meraki show to begin. ‘Meraki’ is a Greek word used to describe doing something ‘with soul, creativity or love’ – when you put ‘something of yourself’ into what you’re doing. And that is exactly what was delivered. The celebrity MC of the night, Bec McMillan, brought an incredible energy to the show; pumping up the crowd throughout the night. The designs were gorgeous, the crowd was enlivened; but most importantly, the message behind the show was beautiful. Meraki set out to improve representation for people with disabilities in an industry where that almost ceases to exist; to ‘bring visibility to disability’. The show featured models with disabilities, including award-winning writer, presenter and consultant Lisa Cox. The evening wrapped up with an auction of pieces and other gifts, with all proceeds going to charity in support of Red Nose Australia in honour of Jayce Michael McMillan, son of Bec McMillan. All in all, it was an incredible presentation, and a night to remember.

Keep scrolling to see some of my favourite looks from the show…

AUTHOR’S NOTE: 
Samantha Haran is the founder of her namesake freelance fashion creative consultancy agency, and current Ambassador for Fashion Industry Database (FID). She attends events and networks with local companies on behalf of FID, and assists the database behind-the-scenes with social media and blogging.

BOWERBIRD COLLECTIONS: Spring 2018 Dusk Collection Launch – by Samantha Haran

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At the turn of a windy street-style path on Enoggera Terrace, Paddington, is a beautiful little store. With furnished wooden doors. And an electric blue header-board. A header-board that reads Bowerbird Collections.

It was a Saturday afternoon when I first visited wondered up this path, to the tune of my Google Maps voice. Where was I going? The launch of Ellie and Peta Sweatman’s anticipated Dusk Collection . I had not much prior knowledge of the brand, and no idea what to expect.

As I reached the entrance, I was greeted by a sea of bubbly faces and invigorated conversation. Champagne, cheese and chat were being passed around a crowd of vibrantly-dressed attendees – I gave my name and entered the scene.

And what a scene it was!

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The store was something like a vibrant pocket of quirky goodness in otherwise ordinary street. The interior was decked out in bold impressionistic oil paintings, eccentric home decor and beautiful florals. Vivid and wonderful, immediately intriguing. Complete with vintage wooden floors, and distractingly delicious food platters.

It was not long before the show began. Everyone gathered around the make-shift runway, excited to see the designs. And they were not at all disappointed! The collection featured loose-fitting pieces that seamlessly cascade off the body. These were printed with bright, vibrant patterns – many of which were prints of Ellie Sweatman’s very own paintings that decorated the venue. Upbeat music filled the room and the models gracefully circled the room, showing off the collection. In addition to the printed pieces, there was a range of simple, block-coloured items as well – perfect for mixing and matching.

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Ellie and Peta closed the show with a beautiful vote of thanks, surprising each attendee with gift to take home, as well as a chance to purchase the collection items immediately.

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It was a beautiful and intimate evening and I would like to thank Ellie and Peta so much for allowing me to come along and share in the experience.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:
Samantha Haran is the founder of her namesake freelance fashion creative consultancy agency, and current Ambassador for Fashion Industry Database (FID). She attends events and networks with local companies on behalf of FID, and assists the database behind-the-scenes with social media and blogging.

DIRECTORY:
https://fashionindustrydatabase.com/business-directory/bowerbird-collections

Why a Database? by Mathilde Bach Stougaard

Hello there,

My name is Mathilde and I’m the Founder and Creative Director of the Fashion Industry Database (also called FID).

Welcome – I would love to take you on a journey with me from the very beginning exploring how we, as consumers, can use a database to find what we are looking for when it comes to fashion (or clothing if that’s what you prefer to call it).

I find that there are so many options out there but still, I can’t find what I’m looking for in a simple straightforward way, which isn’t mainstream. Why? Perhaps because to be found in a search engine, fashion creatives needs to know about marketing, SEO and so on. I can imagine it would be exhausting for them but for me as a consumer, I also find it frustrating not to get the full range of options presented to me as many don’t pay to appear high up during a Google search.

If I’m looking for something specific, for example a woollen cardigan, I want to fairly quickly find out where I can buy one, whether it’s online or in a store – and also before purchasing, to know more about the maker, brand or business. To do that at present you have to do a lot of research and try to see through the marketing messages and all the white noise, which doesn’t exactly make the process any easier.

Therefore, this database (and we start with a directory) will be a place to search information about fashion makers, brands or businesses, which is how we categorise the fashion creatives at this point in time. Therefore I would like to take you on a journey to explore how you can use this database, benefit from following us and use the filtering system on our site.

I’m no fashionista but I do care about what I wear and I do believe there is a better way than what currently exists to be a consumer in the fashion world with all that it includes.

We will cover anything and everything fashion A-Z here – welcome to the FID blog!

Mathilde
xx