Arabella Ramsay has a unique way of interpreting our Australian sensibility into her clothing. It’s this very sentiment that has set the brand apart from the fast fashion and mass manufactured lines to capture the hearts of homegrown stylistas looking for a point of difference. This season Arabella has been busy juggling. On top of designing her new Autumn Winter collection, `The Apply of My Isle’, she had a wedding and beautiful baby girl.
We had a chat to the new mum about how Tourism Tasmania posters from the 70s inspired her A/W collection, working with her artist father Dougal Ramsay on fashion prints, and how exhibiting at Premiere this weekend will increase her exposure for the label’s return to wholesale.
What can you tell us about the new collection? Inspiration, fabrics, sourcing, trims, cuts etc?
Autumn winter collection “the apple of my isle” was inspired by a recent trip to Tasmania. I saw some old 70′s posters on Tourism Tasmania, the colours of the country, the landscape, the quirky buildings in Hobart it’s a little left of centre which I liked. The fabrics are wools, tweeds,cotton crochets, leathers, suede, shearling, cashmere, and `nanna’ knits.
The cuts are a little androgynous and tomboy with a 60′s quirk, mod dresses, tweed blazers and bright clashing hues.
Where did you shoot the campaign, how did this affect the story/mood?
The campaign was shot in country Victoria we wanted to achieve an earthy laid-back Australiana look.
Who was the model? Why did you choose her? How does she represent the Arabella Ramsay girl?
Her name is Tessa, she was very natural and fitted well into the clothes, she stood out among the paddocks but at the same time was at ease within the country environment.
It has been a big year for you, a wedding, baby and all in line with the fashion brand, how do you juggle everything?
With the help of a great team! We all lend a hand and really I couldn’t do it without the support of my employees,friends and family.
Have you found being a mum has inspired your collections? If so, how?
Yes definitely a lot of the prints were inspired by my little sweetheart.
Marlowe’s dresses (the dresses my mum made for me when I was little ) were used within the designs. She has also inspired me to be more creative and a lot more patient.
You are known for Australian sensibility and incorporating artistic prints on the clothing created by your artist father, Dougal Ramsay – is it important to you to have a homegrown aesthetic infused into the brand why?
Well this separates me from the rest I guess. Having some individuality and uniqueness makes the brand stand out, and it’s such a nice feeling collaborating with your dad. His illustrations are very unique and full of character he is such a creative soul and I admire his work. I also admire the Australian culture and my country upbringing and I like to bring this into the brand to tell a bit of a story.
How do you keep up with the fast pace of modern fashion? What is your secret?
I try not to keep up. You still need the balance as life isn’t all about fashion.
You are about to exhibit for the second time at Premiere – what do you hope to gain at the Melbourne event?
It’s tough out there especially for the small guys so we are looking for more stockists within Australia? Increasing sales is obviously the main reason but showing at Premiere for us is also all about creating more awareness of the brand and letting buyers know that the brand is accessible to them once again. When we started I was wholesaling and then moved into retail and was more focused on our own stores. Now we are wanting to get back into wholesale and Premiere is a great way for us to increase our exposure.
Is there any company news you’d like to share?
We are about to launch our online store and we are now stocked in the USA and UK.
See the entire AW range at this weekend’s Premiere boutique trade event for exclusive labels from August 28-30 at the Royal Exhibition Building.
To register, visit www.premiere.net.au