Canberra based fashion label Edition has been named as one of only three Australian labels to take part in a new program that will see the label, and it’s designer Alice Sutton, take part in Seoul Fashion Week in March as well as Sydney Fashion Week in May.
The Australia-Korea Foundation Emerging Designer Exchange Program is an initiative of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which aims to allow the successful designers to connect and collaborate internationally as well as immerse them in a culture they may not be familiar with. Each of the six participants, three from Australia and three from Korea, will have the opportunity to attend workshops, meet other industry professionals, designers, artists and manufactures as well as collaborate with one another in order to expand their businesses.
After presenting her latest collection ‘Reveal’ at FASHFEST last October, Alice, along with other local designers, were made aware of the program by the fashion festivals organisers. The program judges looked for commercial awareness, design style and process, and motivation, all of which Alice and her label possess.
Melanie Finger, a Fashion Lecturer at the Queensland university of technology in Brisbane is working with the Australia Korea Foundation (AKF) to facilitate the program. She said of Alice’s submission that the judges were particularly impressed by the sustainable focus of her label, her great design process, her maturity and authenticity, as well as her proven willingness to collaborate.
We sat down with Alice to find out more about this incredible opportunity.
Emma: What does being a part of the program mean to you?
Alice: This opportunity means everything! I am so excited to push myself and expand my label. To have the opportunity to learn from industry leaders means I will have the tools to make EDITION a successful label.
E: Tell us a little about your design process.
A: My design process developed while I was studying at CIT (Canberra Institute of Technology). I started exploring different zero waste, sustainable pattern making methods. By the time I graduated CIT I was creating garments using a pattern making method of zero waste where no fabric scraps were created from cutting. Over the past 5 years of my label I have used zero waste and minimal waste pattern making combined with sustainable fabrics to create EDITION collections. When creating a collection I usually start by finding fabric I love and then from there think about how the fabrics inspire me and what I want to achieve from the collection. My inspiration for what I am creating ranges from anything from a place that inspired me to an emotion. I am a very sensory person and am very inspired by what I am seeing – this is where my Korean experience will be amazing!
E: How important is sustainability to you and your process?
A: Sustainability is key to my process as it is how I pattern make and informs the fabric choices I make. I am always looking at ways I can make my process more sustainable. Every small step is a good step and sustainability always informs my process.
E: How would you like to see the broader fashion industry move forward on issues such as sustainability and ethical practice?
A: There are so many huge ethical and environmental issues associated with the fashion industry. It would be great for larger brands to think about these more in their practices and follow their supply chain. As consumers we can think more about what we are purchasing and only buy quality or second hand. By changing our consuming patterns that will make the industry have to change too.
E: You are quite open to collaboration. What is it about the collaborative process that you are drawn to?
A: Yes I love collaboration. It is the best way to create exciting and new ideas and products. I am drawn to the sharing of ideas and different approaches and opinions.
E: What do you hope to get out of the exchange program personally and for your label?
A: I am hoping from the exchange program I will be able to find new fabric suppliers, manufacturers and stockists. I really want to expand EDITION to be a great sustainable label that is a go to for beautiful women’s clothing.
See more from Edition’s most recent FASHFEST collection ‘Reveal’
Shop Edition at Assemblage Project