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Blog posts tagged with 'behind the scenes'

Cruise/17

Behind The Cruise Collection/17

   

“What I love about living in Australia is our multicultural community and our passion for travel. This 2017 cruise collection and the Cosette signature print was designed with this in mind. 

When I chose the print it reminded me of the French flag and the words liberty, equality and fraternity continued to inspire the collection. The liberty and freedom to travel, the equality in accessibility to beautiful things and fraternity representing our incredible Brisbane community.

In each collection it’s important to have the right balance. The Japanese polished cotton and the cotton embroidery anglaise have given the collection strength and structure and the Cosette silk chiffon and silk-crepe de chine captures the softness and femininity.

There’s more in less.

Hope you enjoy our first collection of the year.”

 

- Julie T

Behind the love of fate

Meaning 'Love of One's Fate', Amor Fati is a Latin phrase that describes an attitude in which we can embrace everything that happens in life - and feel content with our reality. 

The concept has been used by philosophers such as Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius - and Friedrich Nietzsche, who wrote:

"I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negotiation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer."    

Filled with rich shades of saffron and turmeric, alongside modern digital prints, the collection was inspired by 10 days I spent ‘off the grid’ in a remote desert on the Indian/Pakistan border earlier this year.

In search of inspiration, focus and the creative magic one gets when travelling on your own and exposing yourself to the "NEW", I wanted to experience that feeling of trusting in the unknown , trusting in discovering somewhere new and meeting people from a culture totally different from my own, taking me completely out of my comfort zone and forcing me out of the lifestyle that most of us lead on a day to day basis; where little is left to chance. I chose a desert in the far west of Gujarat; landing in a tiny cessna plane, I was the only caucasian Australian woman there.

Living in clay huts with subsistence farmers and loomers, I spent the days learning about the region's rich textile, spice and jewel trade history. Fascinating, arid and isolated, the journey crystallised my inspiration for this collection. At one point when I was standing in the middle of the Indian desert my memory took me back to when I was 16 and climbing Uluru, there was a moment of timelessness - and total connection to something bigger. 

The prints featured in this collection are digital recreations of ancient rugs and artefacts that I traded with the herders who were living off the desert land - they are strikingly beautiful and my interperation of the journey I took through the desert and walked a path less travelled. Back in Brisbane I collaborated again with acclaimed artist Claudia Husband, who brought the traditional patterns, weaves and embroidery to life in the collection, via digital format. 

I took home a great respect of the role fate plays in our lives, and an appreciation of what can happen when fear is replaced by faith and trust - and knowing that we can be safe walking into the abyss. Amor faiti

Every year before the Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival, we photograph the collection that will appear on the runway. And so for this year's shoot, it was no surprise that our photographer, Sam Thies, chose to lead us across expansive countryside to a vast lakeside property to capture the campaign images with Dallys model Samantha Cannon. Breathtakingly beautiful and quintessentially Australian, the location was literally on the other side of the earth to where the seed of inspiration for this collection had been planted, but also somehow conveyed the sense of vastness, and completeness, that we have when we are connected to our surroundings.

I can't wait to share the collection at Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival in only a few weeks!  

Samantha Cannon, Liz Sharp and Sam Thies photo shoot Brisbane

Sam Thies photographer and Samantha Cannon Dallys models

Tengdahl fashion shoot Ines site set up

Sam Thies fashion photo shoot Sam Cannon Dallys models

Samantha Cannon model Dallys Tengdahl fashion shoot

Julie Tengdahl Brisbane fashion designer spring summer Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival collection

Ines Schumann (assistant), Julie Tengdahl (fashion designer), Liz Sharp (styling & PR), Samantha Cannon (model), Sam Thies (photographer)

Behind the scenes: MBFF preparation

shopping in brisbane Tengdahl

When the models hit the runway at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival next month for the launch of my S/S collection, freesoul, it will be the culmination of a 10-month process that has taken me literally around the world.

I first showed my label on the runway at the RAQ awards in 1996 and while I have streamlined the collection development process over the past two decades, the months leading up to MBFF always bring the sense of vulnerability and self-doubt that inevitably comes with being exposed on a creative level.

At this time every year, I reflect on my purpose as a designer: am I challenging myself? Am I doing my clients justice with this collection? Am I being innovative while staying true to my roots, my brand? It’s facing a fear of rejection or criticism; it leaves you open and exposed, but it makes you stronger.

Creativity doesn’t thrive in the comfort zone! I do my best work when I'm on the precipice - I have clarity and ideas seem to flow. 

Which is why, in the midst of the 2014 collection’s development, I went skydiving. The skydive was a birthday gift I received last year; something on my bucket list that I had put off, waiting for the right moment. As the plane climbed high above the beautiful northern NSW landscape, I didn’t experience any of the nerves or tension that I expected to feel, just pure adrenaline. Completely surrendering to the free fall, I felt suprisingly safe.

Julie Tengdahl skydiving

julie tengdahl fashion designers brisbane

It was a truly exhilarating experience, and it was interesting to notice how clear and creative I felt returning to the workroom the following Monday to put the finishing touches on the collection samples.

The collection development process began in my West End workroom in October 2013. Following a successful collaboration with acclaimed Brisbane artist Jacqui Conias in 2013, I wanted to interlace a limited edition range of bespoke prints into the 2014 collection, featuring digital reproductions of emerging artist Claudia Husband’s hypnotic prints. I was thrilled to have Claudia on board and we began looking at ways to integrate symbolism and her existing prints into fabric patterns earlier this year.

brisbane fashion designer textile claudia husband artist  fashion art collaboration claudia husband julie tengdahl

I set off on a global resourcing and ‘trend-gathering’ trip to Europe, while working with the world’s oldest lace mill – Sophie Hallette – to create a bespoke lace design exclusively for Tengdahl’s S/S collection. Three months later, I fulfilled a life long dream to have an Indian sabbatical, venturing off for four weeks of meditation, exploration and meetings with local artisans, learning about their ancient craft traditions and collecting beautiful hand loomed embroidery in vibrant colours.

australian fashion designer spring summer collection

Back in my workroom, and filled with experiences, observations and inspirations gathered on my travels, the collection’s direction began to crystallise. Its aesthetic is rich, sensual, exotic and a tapestry of cultures and design elements. It’s bold but earthy and more exuberant than my past two collections. And I love it!

MBFF spring summer photo shoot planning tengdahl australia

Meanwhile, Claudia returned with some beautiful textile print concepts, which we finalised and sent off to our Australian fabric manufacturer to have strike-offs created. Our talented pattern maker and seamstress Heather began to meticulously lift traditional embellishments and embroidery from the artisan fabrics I had collected on my travels, transferring them onto the luxury European fabrics that had arrived along with our new bespoke Sophie Hallette lace (which I have been wearing in our concept designs for a few months now and absolutely adore)! These elements combined to form the freesoul collection.

brisbane fashion label

As we near the date for our S/S photo shoot and MBFF model fittings, the collection is nearly completed and, once again, I am enchanted by the process that brought these designs from vague imaginings to beautiful, wearable pieces something which almost seems to happen of its own volition, as though I am both a bystander and active participant in its evolution.

samantha cannon julie tengdahl dallys models MBFF

Above: Julie briefs the face of her S/S14 collection, Samantha Cannon, on the collection ahead of the freesoul campaign shoot  

The response to my MBFF collections in recent years has been incredible, and I must admit to feeling the pressure of a high bar this year! But I am so proud of the creative integrity and melting-pot of local talents that have gone into creating it. And in that respect, it is already a success. Breathe…

SPRING/SUMMER 2013 INSPIRATION

tengdahl spring summer collection 2013 S/S13

This year I am excited to collaborate with artist Jacqui Conias to create a special series of bespoke luxury fabrics for my Spring/Summer collection. You can browse the full collection here. I wanted to share with you some insight into the process that goes on behind the scenes to create a fabric collection as it is quite a magic experience, seeing a physical object such as a painting, turned into a peice of fabric worn on someone's body!

Starting with a mood board, we begin with a series of inspirations and images to illustrate the ways the fabric will be used. My mood board is shown below (left), followed by Jacqui's collation of beautiful paintings and graphics (right), outlining the process of morphing a series of individual images into a pattern or graphic design, to be printed onto fabric. 

australian fashion designer julie tengdahl

The graphics included in the Spring/Summer collection are more than meets the eye; what appears to be a tiny dot on fabric from a distance is actually an intricately painted face. Jacqui turned key words (which had come to me while designing the collection) into geometric patterns such as the 12-pointed star, above.From a distance it appears as a shape, but up close the words are revealed as part of the structure. 

The artwork itself holds a special meaning for Jacqui. Each of portraits printed on the fabric was autioned off earlier this year to raise funds for the Royal Brisbane Women's and Children's Hospital's neonatal unit. The unit saved the life of Jacqui's daughter when she was born premature, and funds raised from this special series of artwork were used to fund the purchase of milk bank freezer for the unit.

Once the peices of art were rendered digital graphics and patterns, our fabric manufacturer created 'strike offs'. Strike offs are samples of the design on fabric, and helped us play with colour, size, intensity and pattern repeat combinations. Once the final round of strike offs were approved, the fabric was printed - for the S/S collection we used a combination of silks, cottons and georgette to layer the prints and contrast them with block colour.

Julie Tengdahl Jacqui Conias fashion designer artistFashion australia workroom tengdahl behind the scenes

I love the concept of garments giving art a second form, and second life, through fashion. Check out the final result of my collaboration with Jacqui on the catwalk at Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival or on facebook.

JT x