The theme running through my chat with Melbourne fashion designer Arabella Ramsay was definitely freedom of spirit. In her current SS10 collection, she follows a girl making the pilgrimage across the US, experiencing that first sense of freedom through her travels. The freedom continues as you walk into her ‘off the beaten track’ boutique at 1073 High Street, Armadale, where you will hear 70′s folk music and smell the fragrance of frangipani wafting through. A country girl at heart, Arabella’s aesthetic this season would look at home at a festival or country fair as much as it would walking in the streets of Melbourne or at the beach….
I love the idea of an American road trip inspiring your SS10 collection, This Side of The Blue. Did you make the pilgrimage across the US? How would you describe the look of the collection this season? I travelled there late last year and in early February this year. The collection visualises a girl on the quintessential American road trip. Melding prim rock rebel handwriting with Americana imaginings, the collection is a mélange of folk and iconic references with a sense of homeliness and handicraft that allude to a step back in time and less complicated life. Very much inspired by American ranches and my Mother’s love of amazing vintage quilts….
The SS10 collection is heavy on the details – florals, hand stitching and patchwork. Was this collection a particularly challenging one to produce because of the attention to detail required? There were a few pieces that were challenging, reworking the quilt denim dress for example (made from vintage wash jeans and american patchwork pieces)… But the others were about coming up with the fabric design elements – for instance the American quilt print, and about making the styles really good fits…and tying the collection all together.
Your store in Melbourne is always on my hit list. Do you have any plans to expand to other cities? We’re looking at options Sydney…we are due to open our first permanent Melbourne store October 1st in Flinders Lane which is so exciting! I wouldn’t mind looking into Brunswick also, and expanding abroad…
How did you become a fashion designer? Was it an ordered process or did it evolve? I suppose a lot of creativity comes from my family background and upbringing, I’ve always loved patterns and textiles and my Mum has always loved fashion… and after studying at RMIT and abroad it ultimately just morphed from a few accessories into the label!
Outside fashion and design, what do you enjoy doing? Enjoy heading back to the coast, Apollo Bay to relax!! Reading a good book is always on the top of my list.
What is your favourite local haunt? Café? Restaurant? Stores? Love Batch for coffee, Movida for eating and Flinders Lane for a stroll is quite good!
What was your last exciting purchase? New Italian boots we just got instore by Pantanetti… They are amazing!
For a fashion fix or a spot of inspiration, where do you turn? I love looking at old illustrations by my Dad, strolling round our country home and always a trip abroad anywhere is good for creative inspiration.
View the Arabella Ramsay SS10 collection in store now at 1073 High St, Armadale or visit the website for more details and lots of great shots of the collection.