Friday, 13 July 2012

Designer Spotlight: SOOT

I first discovered SOOT. at the PR Department showroom and was instantly drawn to the amazing use of pastels and the unexpected element that each garment possesses, whether it be hand sewn flowers on a panelled skirt or the mix of a psychedelic print and gingham. Then I found out the designer, Edwina Sinclair is in fact younger than me! I seriously couldn't believe someone that young could have accomplished so much, (she even has her own store!) 

Edwina is definitely one of the most inventive and exciting designers I have seen in a while... I am obsessed with all the fabrics she uses (as I am a huge fan of cotton!) and her designs are flattering, feminine, refreshing and unpredictable, definitely a winning combination in my eyes. 

Check out our interview with Edwina, as well as my favourite looks from her SS12/13 collection below :)

How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is really expressed through the aesthetic of my label. I design for girls just like me! I would describe it as a little quirky yet feminine with an edge.

Where are your favourite shopping destinations?
The SOOT. Concept Store of course! I really love shopping in Tokyo. I always head to this outrageously huge arcade full of unique designers where some are emerging and some are well     established. The creativity over there amazes me, not just in the stores but the street style is also fantastic!

My style crush?
Priscillas model Anja Konstantinova. Her look is so fresh and her   personal style is unique. She appears to effortlessly throw a street wear outfit together and the end result always looks so incredible.

What can't you live without in summer?
A great pair of sunglasses! I adore my pair of Ellery clear frames.

What inspired you to start SOOT?
My mum had a costume design business and when I was around 13 I took an interest and started to design with her. My interest continued to grow and really triggered my love for design.

Why did you choose the name 'SOOT'?
For my first collection I used a colour palette of only black, ivory and charcoal. I particularly love black textured fabric and the name evolved from there, with soot being the colour of chimney dirt! The label has evolved significantly and now includes bright and pastel colours with custom prints being a strong feature each season.

You've also opened, 'Soot. The Concept Store', how did that come about, and what is your criteria for the labels you choose to sell?
The SOOT. Concept store came about by chance! My Mum and I would drive past the already leased space and joke about how it would be a perfect ‘SOOT. store!’ At only 15 sq metres and in a great fashion precinct in Brisbane we thought that it would be perfect. Then early last year we drove by and there was a ‘for lease’ sign in the window and the next thing I know I have my own store! I did not plan to have my own store so soon but once the opportunity was there I took it and it has been great for the exposure of SOOT. I only stock emerging designers that do small production runs and are manufactured within Australia. The other two garment labels that I stock at the moment are emerging designers from Brisbane who also manufacture locally like I do. The jewellery and bag labels that I stock are also young, emerging designers.

What is the most rewarding thing about having your own label?
Seeing people wearing my garments and having girls loving my clothes and HAVING to have them! I love seeing how they add their own personal style to my clothing, how they team it with other garments and accessories and make it their own look. I also love collaborating with other creatives to come up with my unique custom prints. I have worked with emerging photographers, artists and even a tattoo artist to come up with unique SOOT. prints.

What has been your proudest moment since your launch?
Being invited to show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival in the emerging designer show in 2010 and 2011 was a highlight. Two of my looks were also on the runway for the closing highlight                          runway show that showcases the best looks from the Fashion Festival which was a very exciting moment.
Who is the woman you design for?
A girl like myself! Young, likes to socialize, is interested in all things creative and looks for the beauty in everything.

In 5 words, describe the Soot aesthetic.
Unique, Quirky, Wearable, Fresh with an Edge

What was your inspiration for your SS12/13 collection?
Throughout the last Brisbane summer I started learning to surf. It gave me a bit more of arelaxed mindset and I think this laid back mood is portrayed in the next collection. I again experimented with creating custom prints and wanted to deliver a more feminine collection. I have used a softer palette that is very different to the more vibrant prints of previous collections. I have again included acouple of ‘hero’ pieces as I know the SOOT. girl loves a bit of a statement garment.

How do you find inspiration for your collections?
Travel and my surroundings provide me with constant inspiration. Whether it is being immersed in a different culture overseas or a day at the beach here at home, I am constantly churning ideas through my head.

What is your favourite piece from the collection? Why?
I think the Malibu Overalls are my favourite. I think the SOOT. girl will love them for Summer as they are very cute with the flower texture adding a quirky twist!

What is your favourite trend for SS12/13?

Where do you see Soot in 5 years?
Gradually growing with more stockists nationally and internationally! I just want it to be a label people aspire to wear and love! I want the clothes to mean something to people!

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