We’ve mentioned on the blog many times before just how talented our students are – today we’re featuring one of our first year students, Alessia Simpson.
Alessia joined the program this year, having already established herself as a fashion stylist first. She took a little time to satisfy our curiosity and chat to us about how she combines her textile studies with her styling work….
Image: portrait of Alessia by Peta Rudd
Tell me a little bit about your background – how did you come to textiles?
I studied creative subjects such as fashion, art and graphic design during years 11 and 12 and just knew that I wanted to pursue a career in design one day. I intended to study fashion design when I left school but realised I was more interested in creating fabrics and prints. I thought, why not combine all the different aspects of design I enjoy? Textile Design seemed like to perfect solution so packed my bags and left Canberra, excited to discover Textile Design at RMIT.
Are there particular artists or designers who you admire? What is it about them that you admire?
The designers and artists I particularly admire are Howard Arkley, Jeanne Detallante, Zandra Rhodes, Mary Katrantzou, Peter Pilotto, Romance Was Born and Gary Bigeni. All of their works are so rich in colour, detail and life. I admire their ability to create designs that have a surreal and quirky nature while maintaining a sense of sophistication.
How do you stay inspired?
Since moving to Melbourne I enjoy attending as many local fashion and art events as I can. There’s such a variety of talent and creativity out there! I especially love looking at the up and coming designers and I also find my 1st year peers really inspiring. Social media platforms like Instagram and blogs are also great sources of inspiration
|Image: styling by Alessia Simpson Photography- Shana Trajanoska|
How did you come to work as a stylist?
I first started styling a few years ago for a friend who was a photographer. I began styling with my own wardrobe and borrowed designer vintage pieces that a friend collected. As I posted the shoots on my facebook, more local photographers saw my work and began asking me to style their photoshoots. I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with some very talented people. A recent editorial I styled was featured in Fjorde Magazine this month which I was really excited about. I’m hoping to have more work published in the future.
|Image: behind the scenes with Alessia|
What does a typical working day involve?
As a stylist, a lot of networking with other creatives such as photographers, makeup/hair artist, models and editors is required. The photographer usually sends me through a concept board for a shoot to give me an idea of styling direction. I then begin sourcing garments and accessories, which involves contacting local designers and visiting boutiques. MANY hours are spent emailing, researching, travelling and steaming in preparation for a photoshoot. I love playing around with colour, textured fabrics and prints in my styling.
|Image: behind the scenes with Alessia – outfits ready for a photoshoot|
What is your career dream or goal when you graduate?
I would love to work for a company designing textiles for high-end fashion. It would be great to venture out on my own doing freelance work and create my own fashion label one day. Trend forecasting and analysis is something that really interests me so that would be that would be great to explore as well. I plan to continue styling and would love to maybe even work in editorial for a fashion publication. Traveling the world in an exciting career that I love would be the ultimate dream.
If you had a crystal ball what do you imagine for or wish for in your future in design?
I lived in Europe for a while when I was younger and plan to venture back there eventually. I always say to my friends “When I move to Paris…”. I’d love to work in many areas of fashion and textiles and hope to be successful in whichever field I end up in. I’m really excited about all of the new technological advances in textiles like 3D printing and specialty fabrics; I think there are great creations on the horizon. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me as a young designer in the fashion and textiles industry.