Sunday, April 8, 2012

#rock #women #fashion #inspire #mamy #love #brisbane #parade #collection #A/W 2012 #fractured

A couple of months ago I got an email that got me excited.  Fashion Society Brisbane  invited me or should I say , my label Shirley Fracture Couture, along with three other Brisbane designers/labels, to be involved in a fashion parade.  But this was not just a parade like the ones we see every week(as lovely as some are), this was an event the likes of which Brisbane had not seen before or within memory at least.  And speaking of memory, Memory International were bringing Ruth Flowers aka Mamy Rock to The Met night club in Fortitude Valley & Fashion Society  were starting the event with a fashion parade.

I really wanted to be involved but at first didn't know how I could make it happen.  There were the logistics, the costs, the wouldn't be easy but could I do it?  'Shirleys' theme for 2012 is 'women who rock' as 'Shirley' does & Mamy Rock is a huge inspiration to me.  She is hugely popular the world over & is the words oldest DJ.  She began this career in later life after the death of her husband, deciding she didn't want to just sit at home alone & fade away & through her close relationship with her grandson. Find out more about her here

But....I was going to Melbourne for my nephews wedding & then on to Adelaide to catch up with friends & so wouldn't even be here....bad timing.  Plus the cost of the trip to Melbourne while trying to get my Autumn/Winter 2012 collection done.  Although I was flattered to be asked, after weighing it all up, I had to decline the gig.  But thank goodness the gorgeous Leila (who knew how much I wanted this) from Fashion Society wouldn't take no for an answer & came up with creative options & ideas  that allowed me, after a bit of re-arranging, to say a big fat yes.  Adelaide was out, I was coming straight back to Brisbane & arriving back the day before the show, I had to get everything ready weeks ahead of time before I left for Melbourne.  (Adelaide, I will see you later in the year.)
Luckily my work experience assistant had just started the fortnight before I was due to leave & was on hand to help me get everything organised & retain my sanity.  Was it all worth it, Hell Yes.  Was it perfect? It was perfectly what is was.  Was it a success?  All indications are positive.  Would I do it again? Absolutely.  I am so very impressed by Leila from Fashion Society & the effort she put in on my behalf & to make it possible for me to be involved.  It was her vision to take the opportunity to highlight & promote local Brisbane labels at this, Ruth Flowers very first gig in Australia in a way that R O C K E D.

The parade was kicked off by Dirty Mob, who were great & really started the night off with a bang.

Other labels featured were newbie Faith & Lola, Speak No Ink & Black Milk.  Of course I will say that Shirley Fracture Couture ruled the runway with it's inherent  theatricality & quirkiness.  The models really shone in their outfits & had a lot of fun with it.  The crowds reaction to 'Shirley' was fantastic & it was exciting to be amongst it all, the atmosphere was electric.  For my part, it was a bit of a retrospective as well  a preview of the latest collection for Autumn/Winter 2012, 'Fractured'.  Oh & my logo on the giant screen.........friken' awesome.

So not my usual Friday night these days.  The parade began at 11 pm then Mamy Rock was on after midnight & I now had a shoe full of beer from getting stuck in the middle of a fight on the stairs, the venue was absolutely packed.  I'm glad I was able to hang in there & this was helped in the end by security following me about with a chair ( I learnt from the Dresden Dolls gig to request seating as I can't stand around for hours on end anymore, as sad as that makes me, I have to face reality).

Then just after 2 am, when I was ensconced on one of the very comfy sofas in the VIP room the woman herself, Ruth Flowers/ Mamy Rock appeared amidst flashes from cameras & surrounded by the buzzing throng of her entourage.  It was like this before she went on also, people taking photos & interviews etc it seemed never ending & I wondered how she really felt about it all & indeed how she managed it all.  She was in the middle of a world tour, she had just celebrated her 69th birthday but I have to say, I think she has been 69 for a while now.  I now also think I know why she wears those big dark glasses but she is well practised at striking a pose.  

Yes this is her job & she is used to it but I however, am not & it is quite confronting to be surrounded by people & cameras flashing etc & I hate having my photo taken at the best of times, hence, I look a bit like  deer in the headlights. But it was so worth it, she grabbed my hand & cuddled in & I have to say, her hands are so soft & she is so cuddly you just want to cuddle her any way.  She asked me to stay sitting with her on the comfy sofa & I really wanted to but thought I would probably be lynched by those waiting to have their photo taken with her.  Anyway, that is the result of all that & I know there will be some really awful ones out there as I know I had stupid looks on my face & didn't know which camera & what direction I was supposed to be looking, hopefully they will be deleted.

My usual photographer Josie Richardson was there also so there will be a few more shots to come of the parade itself.  I look forward to seeing what she has captured.  Overall it was fucking brilliant & I really enjoyed doing a joint parade with other labels, all the pressure isn't on you.  In the beginning, it wasn't easy giving up creative control to someone else but I just had to take a deep breath & go with the flow. So far everything I've done, I've managed every stage from concept of the design in my head to styling & photographing a collection so, it was a good experience for me to learn about something new & to learn more about myself in the process. I would definitely do it again & I firmly believe Brisbane fashion needs to be presented more creatively like this & needs more confidence in itself & it's place in the world.

 It is certainly Shirley Fractures' raison d'etre to be bold, to be fearless.  'Fashion for the fearless....' for sure.   If you wear 'Shirley' you will be noticed & are the kind of person who dares to be different & is more interested in the aesthetics of fashion than what is 'in fashion'.  It usually works out that Shirley Fracture is ahead of the trends & is always in style as the designs are based on classic styles & traditions but with a twist.  It is not mass produced.  It is created by hand, custom made to suit the customers requirements for individuality, is limited edition & in these ways is truly 'couture'.

Well this has turned into an epic but I hope you enjoyed my little story.  Before I go, it is Shirley Fractures  birthday this month, it was a year ago the label was offiically launched & I'm looking for ideas of how to celebrate....any ideas or anything you want to see 'Shirley' doing, let me know.  Until next time....  SHIRLEY FRACTURE COUTURE ROCKS..loves women who ROCK, like Mamy Rock who as 'the worlds oldest DJ' is 'Still Rocking' & if you are reading this then YOU ROCK.    XX


  1. Congratulations Shirl! It sounds like it was a fantastic night, shoe full of beer & all. Wish I could have been there. Onwards & upwards! xoxo

    1. Thanks Debbie, Yes it was one of those nights I'll always remember that's for sure. xx