Where: Post Emporium, 23 View St, North Perth. T:9228 0373
Must see: The D'or skirt from the Summer 11/12 Illumina collection
Tell us a little about your label.
Since launching in 2000, the Aurelio Costarella Brand has built a strong following and loyal celebrity clientele. Worn and admired by international stars including Rihanna, Dita Von Teese, Naya Rivera, Nicole Scherzinger, Keri Hilson, Melissa George, Dannii Minogue and Tina Arena. Each thematic collection is an exploration, a journey that moves seamlessly from one season to the next. A focus on textile development, detailed cutting and quality craftsmanship sets the brand apart. In 2009 Australian Fashion Group International acknowledged the brands achievements with an International Achievement Award.
We hear you come from an architectural background. How has your experience in this field informed your approach to fashion design?
My architectural beginnings have given me a solid grounding in terms of aesthetic, colour, form. My ability very early on to imagine a 3D garment laid out flat as a plan/pattern was directly associated to my architecture practice. Much of my early work was draped or sculpted on a body in 3-Dimensional form. Architecture still inspires many of my collections.
What influences new collections?
The work of 1920's designers Madame Gres and Vionnet played an inspirational role in some of the shapes, draping and fabric manipulation in my latest collection.
What's your favourite piece from the latest collection?
Aurelio Costarella Summer 11/12 is titled Illumina - a journey into the ever-changing colours of nature, light and dark. The collection is a mixing of textures and colour; leather, printed silk, crystal jewels, ostrich and maribou feathers with a palette of cerise, corn, birch and black. The D'or skirt in this collection is a great example of all this with its pleated panels with jewel and feather detail.
How are Australian designers perceived overseas?
Australian designers are beginning to be recognised in international markets. As a creative nation we are still discovering our identity. We don't have the history of the Italian or French cultures in terms of design process and creative expertise but we are getting there.
Who or what inspires you? Who do you admire from here and abroad?
I am inspired by art, history, photography, music, light, architecture, nature. I look for beauty everywhere.
What have been your biggest challenges?
Isolation! Remaining WA based presents many challenges dealing with a global marketplace but this also breeds creativity. It fosters a strong work ethic and a desire to succeed.
What's Perth's best kept secret?
Songstress Julia Jenkin's makes the best Soy Latte at milkd (North Perth) and Mrs S (Maylands) creates the most wonderful sweet delights.
When Melissa Gordon was a child, her imagination was allowed to run wild - exploring the farm she lived on in plenty of space and experiencing countless adventures. A trader at heart, the little girl shared a stall with her mother at the local markets selling peanut slabs.
Born and raised in Perth, Wal started painting in 1996 and has exhibited in many cities, from New York to Broome to Hong Kong to Margaret River. He says the colours in his abstract expressionist paintings “select themselves”. Not surprisingly, his hometown of Perth is an inspirational place for Wal. “Perhaps because you need to fossick to get inspiration here, it becomes more potent – as opposed to the white-wash of constant inspiration found in those cities of the world we all adore,” he explains.
Imagine a small cafe nestled in a tree-lined neighbourhood street. The breakfast eggs are silky and the ever-flowing coffee seeps aroma into every corner. Now imagine this transformation as the sun goes down – the breakfast menu gets stowed away and a theatre curtain is drawn down creating an intimate, gastronomic kitchen. Suddenly, the bustling community coffee shop has turned into a dark and chic dining experience.
Almost 10 years young, Love In Tokyo is a visual feast of colour and texture, situated in the historical west end of Fremantle. With confessed bowerbird at the helm, Sheree Dornan creates a stunning edit of silk garments, scarfs and accessories from her eponymous label as well as handpicked pieces from local and national collections.
After studying commercial interior design and running a Japanese restaurant in Perth for over 11 years, Mark wanted to instill creativity into his world and make use of his childhood passion for art. He opened an art gallery in Mt Lawley in 2006, later moving to Northbridge. Walker strongly believes that "Perth needs (to act as) a platform of creativity for artists to showcase their work."
Shedwallahs’ quirky cross cultural name reflects the current zeitgeist of the Indian sub-continent. Proprietors Fran Welke and Mandy Rogers pioneered a different approach to retail over 8 years ago when they opened Shedwallah in the 1940’s saw toothed warehouse in Stack Street. It is now one of Fremantle’s’ iconic businesses and has inspired others to join this funky emerging community.
With a burning love for books, Jane Seaton left behind a long and successful career in medicine and medical sales to open Beaufort Street Books.
Describing itself as “sitting at an intersection of design, art and fashion,” Portal+ is an extraordinary fusion of independent art gallery and progressive retail space.
From growing up in dairy and sheep farm in Cowaramup to cutting his teeth in a five-star hotel and working at the Dorchester Hotel in London, and cultivating his passion for food through travels in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal when he was in his early 20s, Russell Blaikie’s career was certain from early on.
For Bree Taylor, bringing luxury into everyday life is a no brainer. “It is so important to make yourself feel important and pampered, and it doesn't have to be overly indulgent,” says the owner of Mt Lawley skincare and fragrance boutique, Mariposa.
For Chrissie Catling, a great retail experience is about sincere, personalised service. Her S2 store in North Perth's Angove Street has it in spades, but its flair is also in its discerning, luxurious fashion and wares; distinctive, clean design; and worldly-wise sensibility.
When Ryan Gregory and Carla Arevalo happened upon a warren of ramshackle basement offices in a stately heritage building for lease on Howard Street in the middle of Perth’s CBD, they didn’t need vision goggles to see the potential.
Who: Ursula Rose
What: Toast Cafe, 21/60 Royal St, East Perth. T: 9221 0771
Must Try: Toast every which way, corn fritters or polenta toast with mushrooms, soft Italian cheese & fresh parsley
Who: Desi Litis Where: Venn, 16 Queen St, Perth. T: 9321 8366
Desi Litis is part of the duo behind Perth's Venn, a one-time flour mill that is now home to a gallery, artists' studio, bar & cafe and design retail space. We chat with her about balancing acts, renovation stress and local inspiration.
Urban Walkabout talks to Perth's local talent, giving you an insight into the passionate people behind amazing businesses. We chat with Philia Kailis, owner of Test Tube Objects about form vs function, keeping our homes looking good and the inspiration found both locally and abroad.