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A Chat with fashion designer Lisa Brown

After her success at QT Fashion Week and Awards, Ally sits down to chat with designer, Lisa Brown.

Lisa grew up in Maitland NSW and moved to the Gold Coast when she was 20. Happily married and proud mother to two girls aged 11 and 12, her family is her main priority, but is closely followed by her growing label.

You recently showed your A/W 2013 range at QT Fashion Week and Awards, were you happy with the outcome?
I had a great time showing at QT Fashion Week. I wish I had advertised on social media a little more, as my last show in Brisbane was a sell out and would have loved for that to have been the case this time.

Was that the first time you have showed the collection?
The collection has been released and is in stores but it was the first time it has been shown on the runway. I have held back a little as it has been a very busy few weeks, I have just finished working on my Summer 2014 collection and have began ordering fabrics for next Winter.

You sent some gorgeous evening dresses down the runway, are you focusing more on eveningwear these days?
There was a beautiful range of formal dresses in this collection, mixed with our usual lifestyle pieces. My lifestyle pieces are where my biggest sales are, however there is a growing demand for formal eveningwear and I am expanding my range to cater for that demand. I am excited about my plans to expand my collections to incorporate custom bridal and formal gowns.
What type of fabrics and styles are featured in this collection?
The AW collection featured draping knits in threaded, textured wool blends, gorgeous silk dresses with feather embellishments and Jodhpur inspired pants reminiscent of cowboy pants with stirrups. This style of pant were popular in an edgy black fabric in last season’s collection, so I reinterpreted them using a poly-suede fabric in more neutral tones to emulate the earthy feel in this collection.

For Summer 2014, I am creating a collection of relaxed lifestyle wear with resort influences as well as an increased range of formal eveningwear and will also make custom pieces for clients.

How would you describe the AW look?
The look for Autumn-Winter 2013 is bohemian and earthy with a Northern American Indian influence. I don’t like to restrict myself to one specific theme or print; I like to be more liberated- blending my inspiration with a bohemian style to create a series of looks and appeal to different markets.

What was the inspiration for the collection?
I saw a beautiful photograph of a gorgeous American Indian woman with lots of fringing and braids. It inspired me to work differently with fabrics, weaving and threading to create the luxurious and unique textures featured in the collection.

Your autumn winter collection photo shoot produced some amazing images- who did you collaborate with?
Aleece Young Photography (Brisbane). Buffalo Girl (Byron Bay) accessories. The shoot took place at a property in Currumbin. We actually left a beautiful belt and a couple of pairs of shoes behind and had to go back the next day to find them amongst the field of cattle!

Tell us about the accessories you used in the shoot?
The leather headpieces are from Byron Bay company Buffalo Girl. Terry Cronin creates stunning hand tooled leather accessories with beautiful stone embellishments. Their items have lots of fringing and embossed leather. I love the giant antler headpiece featured in the shoot- the headpiece also featured in an Angus Stone video clip!

How did a hobby creating individual pieces become such a successful fashion label?
I started sewing clothes for myself because I was so broke! I would create pieces for myself and then not wanting to waste any fabric, would create anything I could from the leftovers. The leftovers and mistakes would often result in the best pieces! I had a boutique owner across the road from where I was living ask if she could put one of my outfits- a silk top and skirt ensemble- in her store. After less than hour on the rack the woman called out across the road to me saying it had been sold already! From here everything just snowballed. I like to set myself small goals and once I achieves them I moves on to something bigger.

What has been your career highlight thus far?
Definitely winning the National Retail Awards in 2008. The bonus was that I won a car that we desperately needed- I still drive it around! Another career highlight was meeting Kate Hudson when she purchased one of my pieces whilst filming Fool’s Gold in Australia.

Lisa Brown is stocked in selected boutiques (including online boutiques) nationally. A detailed list of stockists can be found at www.lisa-brown.com.au

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