We first fell in love with Emma O’Rourke, the talented designer behind THE LABEL, at Canberra fashion festival Fashfest in 2015. The clean, minimalist designs replete with subtle, intelligent details were a breath of fresh air amongst the more avant-garde designs being shown. We sought her out afterwards to chat further with her about her design process (read our full interview with Emma here) and have kept our eye on her ever since. When we found out that Emma had been invited to show a collection at Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW), we were naturally very excited for her.
VFW is the fastest growing fashion week in the world and is the only industry event that actively seeks to showcase international award winning designers from over 25 global fashion capitals, now including Canberra. ‘I was contacted by VFW in April by their designer coordinator,’ Emma explains. ‘As they are looking for new and emerging talent, I think they spend a lot of time scouting far and wide. It must be a fantastic job!’
It is easy to see why VFW designer coordinators would have been drawn to Emma’s work. Not only are her designs innovative, she also places a strong emphasis on sustainability and ethical production. ‘My project is bigger than just the final product; THE LABEL is about design, concept, process and commitment to a cause and culture. My vision is to see a world that thrives on creativity without harm, and success without compromising on value.’
This opportunity will catapult THE LABEL on to the world stage as over 30,000 guests attend VFW, including industry professionals, buyers, international media, and VIPs. ‘For me, it is a very exciting opportunity and I see it as a challenge, not just from the design side. It’s about funding, logistics, timing, everything needs to be working together at once. Who doesn’t love a challenge! It means I will be able to push myself as well as see the talent from designers all around the world.’
An opportunity such as this, as amazing as it is, is a costly one, especially for an emerging designer. Emma and THE LABEL need your help to get to VFW. Not that you should need any incentive to support innovative and sustainable fashion, Emma is offering some special treats including prints of her original fashion illustrations (you will have seen her incredible work in some of our previous fashion week coverage). Every donation will help to cover the cost of her registration, accommodation, and flights as well as the purchase of sustainable Australian made fabric to produce her new collection.
Support Emma O’Rourke and help her get to VFW. Click here to make your donation.
Emma has already begun work on the collection she will show and we couldn’t resist asking for a hint of what is to come. ‘The collection this year will involve much more innovative fabrics. I want to show the audience that garments made from sustainable textiles don’t need to look or feel any less luxurious than other garments. I’m also looking to push myself with new silhouettes, textures and cuts. I have to do Canberra proud!’
VFW Spring/Summer 2017 season runs from September 19th to September 25th, 2016. Stay tuned for our coverage.