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What rejuvenates you?

Tengdahl spring summer fashion brisbane designer

We're back from holidays, refreshed and excited about the year that lies ahead! The Tengdahl team's festive break took us from sun-soaked backyard parties and scorched afternoons cooled by cocktails - through to strolling the Boulevard Saint Germain and skiing in France. Irrespective of what we did or where we were, we all agreed on one thing; holidays give us time to decompress and be open to inspiration. Sometimes it can be difficult to tap into our creativity and harness inspiration, with the 'admin' of life charging along at break neck speed! So during our holidays, we took time out to seek inspiration in everyday things, as well as the magnificent moments, to fuel our creative pursuits for the year ahead. Here's a little peek at the things we got up to over the break...

Tengdahl holiday wear luxury travel clothes


Paris inspires like no other city; for 20 years I've been coming here to relax, recharge and reset my sights on the next 12 months of creativity for Tengdahl. This year was extra special as I combined my annual trip with a family holiday. Even one of the most magical cities on earth seems all that more poignant when shared with loved ones, and as I soaked in the sights and my favourite back-street experiences with them, I saw this beautiful place through different eyes. Brett, Bridgette, Jemma and Anders and I then spent some time freshening up our skiing skills in Val-d'lsere.  Before I got on the plane to return home, I began sketching out the direction for our A/W2014 - can't wait to share it!   

Brisbane fashion designer Tengdahl


My memories of this summer will be filled with long days of dancing, cocktails and celebrations with family and friends. A particular highlight was catching up with some close friends for my dearest girlfriend's special birthday celebration. All three of us in this photo (top left) are wearing colour coordinated Tengdahl...of course! 

Australian designer fashion


I spent my holidays amongst a full house of loved ones, pets and renovations! I didn't have much down time these holidays, but it was surprisingly rejuvenating, just enjoying the luxury of unlimited time with the special people in my life. The photo in the top left shows me with my beloved mum (wearing my sequinned Tengdahl Christmas top!).My stepfather passed away last year and this was my mother's first Christmas without him; it made me more consciously appreciate how beautiful these cherished times are with family and friends.

What rejuvenated and inspired you during the festive break?  


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 


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