If you placed a map of Europe over Australia, the tip of the UK would start at Darwin, with southern Italy stretching to Adelaide. This comparison encapsulates the geographic limitations of the Australian market, translating to the international seasonal difference that plagues many local brands. As Australian designers refine their sales pitch for buyers in London, Paris and New York, I read that beachwear label Suboo is on the eve of launching a swim collection at Miami Fashion Week. Clever move, if resort is to be our saviour in synching with global seasons. Lately, I've been thinking that a locality issue has also arisen in the domestic market.
While the local market suffers from a relatively small population and geographic disparity between major cities, the immediacy of online platforms operates to link creative networks. Or at least, it should link us. One example of this disparity springs to mind: Shane Newton, the Perth-based Zsadar head designer who had to fly his entire MBFWA menswear collection over to Sydney in a shipping container. I believe that Newton did receive a grant from the WA government in this instance, however Australian fashion would benefit greatly from a united trade organisation such as the Council of Fashion Designers in America (CFDA).
Over the next week I'll be posting my visual and written documentation from my recent trip to Cairns, a tropical oasis where I had the opportunity to work with a local label in producing a small series of shots. For now, take a look at a great photographic blog that a friend recommended, entitled Winters Children (former Cairns residents by way of Melbourne/New Zealand/Germany/the world). The extensive travellers, Alicia and Josie have also collaborated with Colony Eyewear, an incredible shoot that is infinitely different to the project I worked on with Jessica (head designer for Colony) and PITCH earlier this year.