En­cap­su­lat­ing a stel­lar ca­reer

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Fashion - By BELINDA CIPRIANO

PERTH’S fash­ion clique got an in­sight into the world of New Zealand fash­ion de­signer Karen Walker at the Ur­ban Cou­ture Western Aus­tralian Grad­u­ate Cap­sule Show­case on Thurs­day night.

The pe­tite de­signer, known for her ec­cen­tric and el­e­gant style, with an in­ter­na­tional fol­low­ing for her eye­wear, jew­ellery, bags and fra­grances, is this year’s event am­bas­sador.

Walker said she was ex­cited to be a part of the event, which in­cluded an in­stal­la­tion of her lat­est col­lec­tion Babou’s Re­venge and a fash­ion mas­ter­class at Edith Cowan Univer­sity, a high­light of her visit.

“It’s al­ways amaz­ing to see the young peo­ple com­ing into the in­dus­try,” she said.

“Their en­ergy and their en­thu­si­asm and a lit­tle bit of fear but a lot of love for what they’re do­ing; that’s been the high­light so far.”

Walker, with more than three decades in the in­dus­try, has de­signs in 38 dif­fer­ent coun­tries and at more than 1000 stores, in­clud­ing Bar­neys New York, Lib­erty Lon­don and Har­vey Ni­chols.

She has also dressed celebri­ties such as Alexa Chung, Lorde, Ri­hanna, Yoko Ono, Gigi Ha­did, Florence Welch and Lena Dunham, and ac­cord­ing to her, it was im­por­tant to fit into the global land­scape.

“That is with any busi­ness now, es­pe­cially in the fash­ion in­dus­try,” she said.

“You have to think about find­ing a niche and how that fits into the big­ger pic­ture also.

“One of the best pieces of ad­vice I re­ceived was don’t stand in a queue – make your own queue.”

Walker said she was hop­ing to be wowed by the young fash­ion de­sign­ers fea­tured in this year’s event and ended the evening with some sage ad­vice.

“I was struck by the three things: firstly, the num­ber of peo­ple in the room; the en­thu­si­asm in the room; and thirdly, the in­tel­li­gence in the room,” she said.

“All three are as im­por­tant as cre­ativ­ity in the in­dus­try.

“Don’t worry about rules, do it your own way.”

New Zealand de­signer Karen Walker.

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