During Sydney fashion week I was lucky enough to meet the very humble Susie Lau. You are probably aware of her blog, Style Bubble, which has grown to a massive readership of thirty-something-thousand a day. Since 2006, Suzie has guided designers, fashion students and consumers alike to a myriad of labels and trends. I thought it would be interesting to get her opinion on our recent fashion week and the global sustainable fashion movement..
Fashion has the ability to change the way I'm feeling. We all have to wear clothes of some sort (unless you live in a nudist colony!) so why not make it a tool of personal expression. I'm also drawn to the way it reflects social, economic and cultural change too. It's always interesting to see how something as 'superficial' as clothes reflect the bigger picture...
What were the highlights for you at Sydney Fashion Week?
I loved a lot of shows for different elements... I loved the sensuality of Therese Rawsthorne, the colours of Arnsdorf, the neon pleats in Magdalena Velevska. I loved the luxurious fantasy that Ellery's collection brought, the precise construction and amazing use of materials in Dion Lee and Josh Goot's Richter Gerhard-inspired prints. Overall, I thought Lover's collection was most accomplished in presentation and conception.
After keeping a close eye on the fashion scene for quite a while, can you see more sustainable and socially responsible labels emerging?
Yes definitely. I'm actually seeing more labels try to find ways of being socially responsible or sustainable in small ways whilst not trying to go the full hog as it is virtually impossible to be 100% ethical/organic from raw materials to production to finished product. Every little helps though and I think for labels, small and big it's worth investigating means of keeping things sustainable.
What's your take on ethical fashion?
We went through a phase of labels emerging with a big tag declaring themselves to be ORGANIC, ETHICAL etc with big capital letters without thinking of a desirable final product. Now that is changing and I think by thinking of product first, ethical/sustainability second, the clothes are much better.
Are there any designers you admire that integrate ethical aspects into their label?
I like what Suno are doing in that they're going at it from a socially responsible side, training up factories in Kenya to make their garments providing meaningful employment. The same goes for ASOS Africa's initiative. I like certain upcycling projects by Dr Noki, Victim and Andrea Crews. I also like discovering graduate projects who explore sustainability.... a shoe designer called Helen Furber is doing interesting things. I also like labels like Commuun and Bodkin as sustainable/organic labels with great design. Commuun were just recently nominated in the ANDAM prize too which I think is a great leap...
What's next for Susie bubble?
I'm working on a lot of consulting projects at the moment and doing a lot of freelance writing too but mainly keeping busy with the blog!