Fashfest is fast approaching and the anticipation is building, in less than a week the catwalk lights will be shining on a bunch of incredible designers, bringing together the creative community of Canberra. Fashfest is Canberra's annual premier fashion showcase, providing an exciting mix of talent over a 3 day runway event. This year is set to be bigger and better than ever, with an impressive caliber of emerging musicians, lighting technicians, models, hair and makeup teams and emerging and established designers. This year the collections will include a vast and varying range of shows, with labels from Canberra and a select few from interstate.
One such label is Fleur and Felix - a Sydney based accessory label debuting their first apparel collection since expanding on their accessory line. Fleur and Felix is known for their choker necklaces, eclectic range of jewellery and minimalist, raw aesthetic - one look through their Instagram promises their creative, conceptual edge will surely cross over from their accessories into their unisex apparel.
I can't wait to see Fleur and Felix hit the runway. I was lucky enough to borrow a few minutes with Bec and Jean-Baptiste to ask some questions and get a glimpse of what to expect from their runway debut...
What spurred the launch of your label, Fleur and Felix?
We [Bec and JB] have always been driven to create, together. Fleur and Felix is born from making a bunch of chokers and posting these on etsy. At this time, there was nothing around promoting these pieces, just a couple of photos on an iPhone 4. As we started receiving worldwide orders, we realised that we could actually sell what we made, which was a big revelation for us. From there we created our Instagram account, seriously got into photography and kept creating under the name Fleur and Felix.
How have you found the process of creating a label from scratch?
There was no real process in creating Fleur and Felix. It all felt very organic. We took one step at a time whenever we felt ready to do so. Being both involved form the beginning facilitated the inception and uptake of Fleur and Felix. From there we just kept re-investing into things we love to do and this is still where we are today.
What/who influences your designs, where do you draw inspiration?
This may sound cliché but we can be inspired by anything: architecture, cultures, history, arts, music… We focus on researching inspiration in our everyday life. Sometimes you just need to stop and look around. We may take a photo on our way to work and come back to it 2 months later to include it on our next moodboard. The rest involves lots or research and readings.
How have you found the build up to Fashfest?
Presenting a whole range of handmade clothing is something we always wanted to do - so going back to Bec’s hometown for Fashfest was the perfect opportunity. Preparing this collection was certainly one of our biggest challenges to date. It took some time for us to get in our zone and actually start making. We had so many ideas and wanted to do so much that we really had to focus that energy into figuring out what we wanted to achieve. Once this expectation was set, the creative process was very fulfilling and we cannot wait to see it live on the catwalk.
Which Designers/Artists/Creatives do you admire?
There are so many creatives we look up to! To name of few designers, Yves Saint Laurent, Slimane and Yohji Yamamoto are a great source of inspiration and we respect a lot their work and contribution to the industry. In other art forms, we are fans of Gainsbourg’s music, Basquiat’s art, Joseph Kessel,’s books and Hayao Miyazaki’s films.
Describe Fleur and Felix in one sentence....
Fleur and Felix creates apparel and jewellery through conceptual designs & compositions
How is it working as a partnership?
As partners in life, it just made sense for us to work in a business partnership. It makes it easier to cope with pressures and disappointments, while more fun to celebrate successes and achievements. When we are in the studio, we work together on every aspect of Fleur and Felix. Our partnership is about respecting each other’s ideas, being open minded and have a lot of fun along the way. We always make sure that no matter what we do, we’re enjoying every moment of working on Fleur and Felix.
What achievement or moment are you most proud of since beginning your journey with Fleur and Felix?
After a few months focusing on jewellery, we made the switch and decided to also start what we’ve always wanted to do: unisex apparel. What consecrated this switch and is, to date, the most proud moment for Fleur and Felix was to receive our first clothing labels. It marked the beginning of a new stage, right where we wanted to be.
What can we expect to see in your new collection when it is unveiled on the Runway?
At Fashfest, we’ll launch ‘Ukiyo, which roughly translates into ‘living in the moment’, a collection of handmade garments heavily influenced by a recent trip to Japan. Showcasing some aspects of that culture, the purpose of the collection is to highlight uncomplicated shapes, fabric and overall silhouette. Ukiyo puts unisex garments forward and while focusing on comfort, strives for captivating textile movements.
Being based in Sydney, what is your take on Canberra's developing Fashion industry?
We’re not that close (yet) to the fashion scene in Canberra. Initiatives like Fashfest are a great opportunity for us to discover more about it and we are looking forward to meet the next wave of designers from the capital.
After Fashfest, where to next?
We’re hungry for more travels, experiences and creations. Our plan is very vague at the moment but in the short term, we want to focus on our garments; improve our techniques and processes to make them commercially available. Hopefully you’ll be able to see some on our website soon!
If you still haven't purchased your Fashfest tickets, get to it! This fashion filled, fabulous event is not to be missed. Head over to www.fashfest.com.au to get your tickets now!