After spending her youth immersed in the fashion world through her mother’s textile design studio, Australian designer Sara Phillips starting her own business while still studying at the prestigious East Sydney Design Studio. Following her graduation, Sara worked for established Australian design houses Jayson Brundson and clothing label SABA, before officially launching her own womenswear brand in 2007. Her collections, which include a 2011 collaboration with Sportsgirl, are stitched with the same thread of exquisitely realised prints and a feminine aesthetic that have driven the success of her brand from day one.
Sara Phillips’ AW13 collection Oleander – named for the infamously beautiful, yet poisonous flower combines the designer’s penchant for the botanical with innovative digital techniques to explores the allure of the darkness and danger of the natural world.
The designer spoke with RESCU about her start in the industry and her recent collection. If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a fashion designer, this might be the inspiration you need to turn your dreams into reality. Read on for our interview;
1. You grew up in the fashion industry – did you always know you wanted to become a designer?
Initially, I was interested in studying fine arts. However as a designer, creating our fabric prints is almost like creating an artwork and we that’s exactly how we approach it.
2. Do you have any advice for budding fashion designers?
Work hard at college! I also think it’s invaluable to work for as many people as you can when you start your career to gain as much experience as possible.
3. We are in love with the A/W 2013 collection – can you tell us a little about the inspiration behind your designs?
We were inspired by underwater sea life and things that are beautiful yet poisonous in nature. We always like to play with the juxtaposition of fragility and beauty against power.
4. What’s in store for the future of Sara Phillips, the woman and the brand?
We are working on our second summer collections at the moment, it’s always exciting to work on something new.
5. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far as a designer?
I always find that producing a show is a great challenge, it’s always so much work but well worth it in the end.
6. And your biggest career highlight to date?
It’s hard to pick one…Gaining stockist Joyce in Hong Kong was an exciting moment for us, seeing our designs sitting alongside international designers like Christopher Kane and Mary Katrantzou is such a highlight.