Calling all fashionistas! Celebrate local designers at the Young Australian Designers Markets, Paddington Town Hall
Who, what, wear? – On Saturday 15th Jan I visited the Young Australian Designers Markets (http://tinyurl.com/4o9lbp2) at Paddington Town Hall and interviewed 2 new rising stars of the Sydney fashion scene – Shereen Khan and Bekk McQueen. The markets run on the 2nd and 3rd Saturday of the month from 10am – 4:30pm. Entry is free.
Before meeting up with Shereen and Bekk (see profiles below) I explored the 20 or so stalls. Funky music filled the air as the DJ spun his magic overhead from the gallery – so you can bop while you shop ‘til you drop.
I felt surrounded by excited and very creative small business owners who have put a lot of love and care into their creations. You never know, you may pick up something from the future Collette or Akira. Get in now before can’t afford their couture lines gracing the runways – first stop Paddo Town Hall, next stop the runways of Paris and Milan!
Ladies – You can easily spend an hour or two looking through the many high quality clothes and accessories on offer to make you stand out from the crowd. I looked at gorgeous headbands and hair clips, scooped up a fabulously chain necklace dotted with kitsch parrots for $2, and fell in love with lots of pretty dresses, tops and blouses with stunning details.
Gents – Let’s face it, you will probably be forced to hold the shopping bags, get the coffees, and offer lots of flattering comments. Unfortunately there aren’t many options for you (or there weren’t on the day I attended). There was a t-shirt designer that stocked some unique prints that were reasonable. My friend’s boyf snapped up a few tees earlier during their visit and was very pleased with his purchases.
I’m hungrrryyy – There is a single coffee cart and small cake stall upstairs before you enter the hall. I had an excellent soy latte (so Sydney daaarling) and sampled a divine chocolate cake – for research purposes of course. There are plenty of nearby cafes and pubs for something more substantial.
Transport – Go to http://www.cityrail.com Paddington Town Hall is on the corner of Oatley Road and Oxford Street in Paddington. I caught the 378 bus from Bus Stand A at Central which heads to Bronte. Get off at Paddington RSL and cross the road.
Nearby – You may also like to cross the road, heading back towards the city, and check out the Fringe Bar (http://www.thefringe.com.au/). Every Saturday they run the Fringe Markets which are also free to enter. I chatted to Penny from Kaboodle Designs (www.kaboodledesigns.com.au) who designs lovely earrings, necklaces, and cosmetic purses and diaries covered in cutesy fabrics. You also may like to go to the iconic Paddington Markets (http://www.paddingtonmarkets.com.au/).
PROFILE – Shereen Khan, Designer – Sticks Designs and Canvas
With a background in film and television costuming and fashion styling, Shereen, launched her label Sticks Designs in April 2010. To date, there have been two collections of leggings featuring lovely lace patterns, pairs with studded or shiny cuffs, and my favourites – black stretchy leggings with a side seam trim of small gold squares that are a bit disco. In late 2010 Shereen launched a range of silk and lace tees with a 1980’s neckline that can seductively reveal one shoulder while remaining elegant. Think Flashdance slash 1960s mod.
Shereen is fast amassing fans including Master Chef darling, Marion, who has posed wearing a classic black lace tee (see Shereen’s Facebook page for a pic). “I create basic clothing using luxurious fabrics … I want people to feel relaxed yet elegant when wearing my designs”, Shereen noted.
All Sticks Designs are sketched and trialled in Shereen’s home studio at Waterloo then manufactured by a local tailor. Many pieces are limited releases constructed from fabrics sourced across Sydney on buying expeditions. Shereen’s looking forward to trip to India this year to snap up some great samples. A recent studio visit revealed samples of exquisite French lace, psychedelic stretch weaves, and navy silk with delicate white floral patterns.
in Jan 2011 Shereen launched her second label Canvas. If you email a high res photo of you or a loved one on their wedding day Shereen can create a gorgeous fashion illustration in water colour or ink. Brides will look like something straight off a Chanel or Valentino sketch pad. “I’ve had a 100% cry rate”, Shereen laughs, “clients burst into tears when I reveal their sketch”.
I’m sure Ms Bradshaw would approve. As memories fade and gravity takes its course, you will have an artistic work on your wall to show off to the grand kiddies – ‘see kids, granny was foxy in her day’. This is a perfect wedding gift for prospective grooms to give their brides.
Gimme, gimme – Where can I buy?
Contact Shereen via her website to locate limited retailers or to buy directly. An online shop is underway and check her fan page for future market dates.
Shereen’s favourite spots in Sydney:
“My favourite pastime is shopping for sure – on Oxford and William St (Paddington) and King St in Newtown.”
Favourite hangouts and eating spots are in the inner west particularly, Surry Hills.
PROFILE – Bekk McQueen, Designer – One Small Leap
Bekk first started researching, sketching and shoe making in June 2010. Today’s markets debuted the label she describes as “vintage inspired shoes with textured leather … comfortable and beautiful”. Only 100 pairs are released in Australia of each style, which add to their old world charm. All have pointed toes, solid brown glossy heels, and fine black laces that make you yearn for films from the 1940’s and 1950’s.
“I love trying on shoes at vintage stores yet was often disappointed when there weren’t any in my size”, Bekk notes excitedly, “which prompted me to hit Google – typing in ‘how to make shoes’ – before learning techniques from a local shoe maker”.
Fans remark on the elegant style and quality of each pair, and I’m sure Bekk’s collections will go from strength to strength as her label matures. Bekk designs are reminiscent of bygone days where footwear was classically designed, handmade and far removed from the fleeting fashion fads we see today.
My favourites were a tan pair modelled proudly by Shereen (Bekk returned the favour showing off one of Shereen’s white lace tee and leggings). If I wasn’t blessed with enormous size 11 clown feet I would have snapped up a pair on the spot.
Gimme, gimme – Where can I buy?
Buy through Bekk’s Facebook page or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org Bekk offers a special discounted market price if you pay her a visit at the markets.
Bekk’s favourite spots in Sydney:
She loves taking visitors on the Bondi to Coogee walk, including Sculpture by the Sea (http://sculpturebythesea.com/) and a meal in Bondi.
“A friend from Melbourne is still talking about a recent meal at Italian restaurant, La Fidisa (http://www.ladisfida.com.au/) in Haberfield”, gushes Bekk.