If you don’t already have an exquisite Isabelle Quinn piece in your wardrobe, it’s about time you changed that.
My key piece of fashion advice for the upcoming season would be to purchase pink velvet in one form or another. The eye-popping trend has been a European staple over the past few chilly months, and large frills and pleats are also big trends for the upcoming season.
And now it’s Australia’s turn to embrace winter street style. Stevie, the upcoming Autumn/Winter collection by Isabelle Quinn, would be the perfect way to start.
I took a few moments to get to know the young designer and find out more about what inspired her newest designs.
What inspired you to become a designer?
I kind of fell into it. Mum is an artist and knew how to sew so as a kid she always encouraged my creative side. If I [wanted] to dress up as anything, we would make it. I had a very creative childhood and [I’ve always] loved clothes and loved putting on runway shows in front of my family.
Throughout uni was when it really took off. On a tight budget, we would make outfits for events I had on the weekend and it grew from there. I started selling on Etsy and Instagram and in mid-2015 I started my online boutique, Isabelle Quinn.
I know that you love to travel! Which is the most memorable city that you've visited and how did it inspire you?
I do love travelling and one of the most exciting things is putting outfits together for my trips. When I went to Hawaii a few years ago, I made a matching pineapple set and had my heart [set] on getting a photo next to a food van. When I went to Europe, I was so thrilled about rugging up and wearing gloves, hats and huge coats because in Queensland you just can’t wear that stuff!
I think Paris or Florence would be the most inspiring. The romance, fashion and architecture. In Florence, I went to the Gucci museum that was mind-blowing. My next place I want to visit is the YSL garden in Morocco!
What was the last lesson that you learnt the hard way?
Rushing things. I think when you rush, you miss details and that’s when mistakes happen.
What's the most challenging aspect of what you do?
Timing! It’s a real challenge. There are honestly not enough hours in the day, no matter how organised you are!
What would you say is the toughest part about working in the fashion industry?Offering something that is different yet is still commercially viable – it is a balancing act.
If you could dress one person (past or present) in the world, who would it be and why?
Yoyo Cao – she’s just so cool!
Who is one icon (past or present) that you'd love to share a martini with?
If we had the pleasure of visiting your studio every day for a month, what would we hear you say the most?
“OMG, look at this outfit.”
We all have a hidden talent. What is yours?
Weirdly, I have very fast catching reflexes thanks to netball six days a week as a kid.
What's your favourite app and why?
Instagram, of course!
Grace Kelly or Brigitte Bardot?
Velvet or silky satin?
At the moment, velvet! Obsessed!
Early morning riser or night owl?
Early morning for sure!
If you’re not working on the label, what are you doing?
Exercising or socialising.
What was your dream job as a child?
A geologist. I had a pretty cool rock collection.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
Creativity is a spiral; you will go up and come down, but the next time you go up you go even higher and achieve even more. Sometimes you can be flat or blocked but it keeps rolling.
What was the inspiration behind the Stevie collection?
It’s a mix between ’90s and ’70s vibes. Stevie Nicks was an influence, cross Spice Girls with a bit of leopard loving!
What is your favourite trend that you think Queenslanders will be able to pull off this season?
I wish I could say fur coats because I’m loving them at the moment. But there [are only] about two minutes in our winter when we can wear them! So let’s say frills! Got to love them.
If you could only wear one jacket this winter, what would it be?
Leopard fur coat! Yes, yes, yes!