Canvas’ latest designer feature is a little more personal for those who work with the magzine. I was fortunate to meet Sara Phillips, fashion designer, during Australian Fashion Week earlier this year, just before the release of her eponymous collection, In Bloom. Fresh out of design school Sara displayed the kind of enthusiasm and skill which is bound to take her beyond the realm of “the next big thing”. Her youth and temperament make for an exciting designer and we are proud to present her latest collection for Autumn/Winter 2009, a concise range that will stamp her authority as a designer to watch.
CANVAS What were the ideas and inspirations behind your Autumn/Winter collection, Come Fly With Me? Are you driven by technique or fabric manipulation, and how do you translate these ideas to the collection?
SARA Come Fly With Me is based around the idea of flight and movement. Each piece in the collection embodies an element of flying: birds, wings, planes, and feathers are elements that help to make up the range. The core idea of flight is translated through the use of silhouettes and fabrics that lend themselves to movement. Batwing sleeves, the use of rouching to create wings; panels that extend into a birds wing span; fibres and textures that resemble feathers; and the abstract feather print commissioned for Sara Phillips that is unique to the label.
Who commissioned the artwork?
I commission the works. I have a brief of what the collection is going to be and then I work with a design studio to create a unique print for the range.
Do you think the collection and inspiration is sort of subconsciously symbolic of the label’s progression?
I think that the theme of the range is totally subconscious of how the label and I have progressed. You are naturally drawn to various themes and ideas in different stages of your life. When I was working on my last summer season I was submerged in vintage florals, old films and nostalgic items from my childhood.
This season I felt I was moving towards something older and more refreshed. Flying had a natural bond with me for this period of my life. I think designers will always be inspired by the elements and world around them. Their feelings and emotional state will always be reflected in a collection.
When did you think you wanted to become a designer? Has your family played a role in shaping your ambitions?
I grew up in the textile industry. My mother owns the largest leading textile design studio in Australia and works with many prominent designers. It has always been in my bones to design. I started my business whilst in college (studying at the Sydney Institute of Fashion Design). I never wanted to work for another designer after college, it’s not something I’d be happy doing.
My mother has been a huge support and has a strong belief that I am successful on my own merits and hard work and not because of who she is and what she has achieved.
You were supported in your first season by numerous boutiques around the country. How do you want Sara Phillips to grow this season?
The support that the label received from the media and boutiques after our first season gave us the courage to explore new possibilities and take risks. The collection has evolved this season, it is a far more sophisticated collection. As I grow and mature as a person and as a designer it is only natural for the label to evolve as well.