A Look At Global Fashion: Style From Down Under

Fashion Writer and owner of Isabella’s

RAISING AWARENESS: The TCC Signature Symphony recently announced the formation of a new community advisory board to help increase awareness of the arts and educational programs. Pictured from left are Dr. Tom McKeon, president & CEO Tulsa Community College; Andrea Chancellor, chair, Signature Symphony Advisory Board; and Larry Mocha, TCC Foundation trustee and Signature Symphony advisory board member.

What is your perception of Australian Fashion?… That’s just it. Most people don’t have one. How many labels have you read that say made in Australia? Some say it’s an oxymoron, the thought being the only fashion to come out of the Outback is surfwear. Everyone knows Australia has picture-perfect beaches, cute little animals and beautiful celebrities, but fresh new designers manufacturing boutique quality clothing? Just ask Kylie Minogue, Victoria Beckham, Sarah Jessica Parker or Kate Moss. Australian fashion has been photographed on these stars for years.

The journey to Europe and America remains the aim for many young designers who are flourishing in Australia. I recently received a phone call from Bryan Jenson, a former Tulsan, who is now a business development associate for the Australian Trade Commission. Its Bryan’s job to develop relationships that will contribute broadening the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement that came into effect on January 1, 2005. His aim this year? Fashion! There has never been a better time to focus on exporting to the USA, and luckily for Jenson the time for Australian fashion is here. Since the trend toward disposable fashion lies elsewhere, these Aussie threads can speak entirely for themselves. As someone interested in fashion with the goal of offering clients designer content at affordable prices, Jenson’s goal of debuting these designers in the U.S., particularly right here in Tulsa, interests me as well. Maybe I’ll take a page out of Sydney import Samantha Lynn’s book. She opened a store on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles that stocks only must-have designers from down under. We of the Never Never feature up and coming labels such as Nicola Finetti, Zambesi, Tina Kalivas and Toni Maticevski. These talented and often hard to find designers have created edgy, fresh but wearable fashions.

So it seems Aussie fashions are already crossing the waves and the globe. In January, Australian Week’s Designer Showcase called G’Day L.A. was held at the Hollywood Palladium exposing L.A. buyers and stylists to several new labels. The lines exhibited young contemporary, deconstructed and pin-up collections. Not only is there such a thing as Australian Fashion–it’s coming of age in the U.S.A. and possibly right here in Tulsa. Look for it and find something truly original.

Updated 06-27-2006

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