brisbane designer


Spotlight On: Arkie the Label

posted by Karlicca Culalic December 1, 2017 0 comments

Arkie Barton is a formidable fresh-face on the Brisbane design scene and undoubtedly a name to remember. The designs of her namesake label Arkie, enthused by inspirations from her Indigenous Australian heritage have already flourished runways of Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival and earlier this year at the National Reconciliation Week in West Africa. Most recently, you could find Arkie running rainbow illustration workshops to spearhead the dreamy Yayoi Kusama exhibition at GOMA. With a new collection in the works, we had a quick chat with Arkie about all things that inspire her multi-hued design aesthetic! From the cultural expression she has so strikingly emulated through fashion to trends she’s loving and loathing AND of course, how to rock a bold piece from her collection this summer…

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Brisbane Interior Designer : CG Design Studio

posted by Alice Duffield October 31, 2014 0 comments

Recently I sat down to chat with Chris from CG Design Studio, one of Brisbane’s newest interior design firms. Not only does Chris have an impeccable eye for styling and design but he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. He is slowly renovating his home room by room, but his ‘in-progress’ looks very different to your average reno. Chris and his partner Justin are slowly turning their home into a work of art. Have a read, get to know Chris and check out some of his gorgeous work.

chris reading the paper BT

 A: Tell us a little about your design and career journey pre-CG Designs…

C: When I finished school I studied Business and worked in retail management and merchandising. In my early 20’s I decided to study design as it was my first passion. I would spend hours as a child designing houses and visiting open homes with my parents.

In my final year of studying design I started working for Coop Creative. The firm was in its infancy then. The ten years I spent there really allowed me to hone my craft and develop a broad range of skills.

A: What are you excited about most now that you’re your own boss and have full creative control?

C: I have always had a lot of freedom to test and implement my design ideas. Right now, I look forward to working closely with my clients to give them a unique resolution. I don’t tend to do the same design over and over.

Having my own studio will also allow me to start to develop a furniture and home-wares range. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time so I’m really looking forward to the process.

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A: How would you sum up your personal design style in three words?

C: Crafted, Practical, Eclectic

A: We know you’re an interior designer but you’re also hold qualifications in building design. Can you tell us what that actually means?

C: It gives me more control over the environment, beyond colour, fabric and oddities. I can offer my clients a comprehensive service as a building designer. I can reconfigure and design structural elements of their homes. I have a lot of experience in renovations and extensions and with an interiors background I start from the inside and work my way out. This process ensures the areas that the clients interact with are liveable and practical to their needs.

For example, I often come across clients with beautiful new homes and impressive art collections but no walls on which to hang their collection. This needs to be considered at the beginning.

One new service I offer is attending open homes with clients to walk them through the potential concerns or opportunities they might have with their future home. To put it simply, I can do from foundations to cushions and everything in-between.

interior design bathroom BT

interior design kitchen BT

interior designer CG BT

A : Tell me about your absolute dream project you hope to achieve one day?

C: I have too many, I am constantly dreaming about projects and ideas. But here goes:

  1. I’ve been watching too much River Cottage and it has inspired me to want to buy a hobby farm and design and build a contemporary farm house.
  2. Doesn’t everyone have a dream of renovating a villa in the South of France?
  3. Working with a fashion house to design their flagship stores and retail presence. I think it would be a really interesting creative collaboration.
  4. Getting off dry land and detailing the interior of a supa yacht that would be fun.
  5. I’d like to expand my design vision to develop a furniture and home-ware range.

A: What has been the achievement in your career that you’re most proud of?

C: Whilst at coop I was lucky to be heavily involved in the design on the Spicer’s Balfour Hotel in New Farm. It was a complex project architecturally and I learnt a lot. The finished project is a successful example of relaxed luxury and the project won numerous awards in Australia and Internationally.

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A: What do you do in your spare time when you’re not working your bum off to get CG Design off the ground?

C: At the moment I’m really enjoying my garden and trying to get it established. I spend hours researching plants. I am also slowly renovating my own home, I like to get on the tools and have learnt a few new skills; I’ve gotten pretty good at tiling.

interior design outdoors BT

Some more of Chris’ portfolio of work:

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CG Design Studio

 Find Chris on Facebook


Yesterday Morning by Eliza McCabe

posted by Teagan West March 12, 2014 0 comments


If you too have been sweltering in your denim shorts and not-so-light shirts these last few weeks as the Queensland summer continues to kick on well into March, then you’ll love the new collection, titled Yesterday Morning, by Eliza McCabe.

The Brisbane designer, who always designs for the Queensland summer, has just launched her late summer 14’ collection that was showcased at the recent RAW artist exhibition in Brisbane, and boy is it magnificent. Full of silky pieces, loose silhouettes, matching sets and pyjama-like vibes, the new collection captures the essence of summer and everything you need to stay comfortably fashionable when the temperature rises.


We caught up with Eliza to chat about the new collection and its effortlessly chic pieces that will take you from home to brunch and out for cocktails over and over again.

Brisbane Threads: What was your inspiration for the late SS14 collection Yesterday Morning?

Eliza McCabe: I wanted to make a late spring/summer collection that really encapsulated the season ‘spring’. An outfit for your Sunday morning brunch by the river, which had a relaxed sleepwear feel about it.

BT: Why did you call the new collection Yesterday Morning? Is there a story behind it?

EM: Mondayitis? You’ll want to time travel back to yesterday morning – Sunday!

BT: Describe the girl who wears Yesterday Morning.

EM: Sleek, chic and admires simplicity in her chaotic life.

BT: What inspired your use of pyjama-like silhouettes and the colour palette?

EM: I was sitting out in my summer flower garden hang-out pad on a Sunday morning in my pj’s and thought ‘I want to stay in these all day’. So I designed just that! The colour palette is what I believe spring is.


BT: The collection resonates with the Queensland summer and has a resort feel, was this intentional?

EM: I would describe my ranges as ‘resort ready-to-wear’. I imagine a Queensland bayside girl wearing the pieces. I always design for the Queensland weather. 

BT: What makes Yesterday Morning different to your previous collections?

EM: The colour mix. I wouldn’t normally put orange and green together! Eww!


BT: Where and when can we get our hands on the new collection?

EMelizamccabe.com has links to my ASOS Marketplace boutique.

You can see the full collection here and decide which trans-seasonal silk pieces you are going to add to your wardrobe.



Interview: Kaylene of Lillian Nai

posted by Danielle Lewis October 23, 2013 0 comments

Lillian Nai is the footwear label of Brisbane designer Kaylene Clifford, who founded the brand after identifying a lack of boutique shoemakers offering fashionable shoes that fit the top and bottom spectrum of the size chart. Kaylene, a European size 43 quickly realised that the only companies offering a range of sizes that catered to her weren’t providing a fashion focused option and from there, Lillian Nai was born. When I first saw the designs I fell in love with the gorgeous soft leather and modern romantic styles… so I just had to steal some time with this fabulous designer… Kaylene was more than happy to share here story… and here it is for you to enjoy…

BT – You’ve said that you were inspired to create great shoes when you were unable to find what you wanted in your size; do you think designers need to branch out more from the perceived “average” sizes?

KC – I think designers need to be aware that as much as there are the “average” sizes, there will be always be people outside of that who are looking for something that meets their style. As I’ve experienced myself, I look for items to show my personality through my clothing and footwear that are classic – which is why I believe Lillian Nai will cater well for everyone.

BT – What are you favourite shoes to wear?

KC –  Being tall I love a classic ballet flat so the Rustic Deity in nude is perfect to dress up or down and also incredibly comfortable.

BT – What can we look forward to in the latest season collection?

KC –  “Take Me To The Sky” is the first collection for Lillian Nai and is focused on the saying the ‘Sky is the Limit’. This collection is centred on classic footwear whilst building the foundation blocks to take me to the sky. I’ve designed this collection on memories of summer that are dear to me. Whether it is colours that pop out or outfits I think the prefect shoe would go with, I wanted to create a collection that not only covered the much loved styles but also complimented women’s individuality and be versatile for the Australian summer. The Summer Daze shoe comprises of a beautiful leather lilac shade which resembles the Jacaranda trees that bloom in Brisbane. Perfect for the afternoon Saturday picnic, the Romantic Days leather tan wedge with a wooden heel is a great addition for either casual or dressier dates or just to help make you feel more beautiful. One style that is a bit of a twist is the Gypsy Sun Dance backless ankle boot in navy leather and tan leather straps which provide the right amount of edge for a night out. I’ve ensured all the shoe styles will suit women who want that simple and comfortable shoe but that is classic and is the perfectfinishing touch for their outfit.

BT – Do you have a particular signature design?

KC –  I would say my signature style is classic with a mix of bohemian and a slight touch of edge.

BT – When you choose your favourite shoes, do you prefer style to comfort or should they go hand in hand?

KC –  I believe you should always dress to impress but not over the top. I’m a minimalist so a maxi dress or jeans and a tee are my uniform, this allows me to dress it up with a pair of heels or for a casual look ballet flats whilst still looking polished. So I would say it definitely depends on the occasion, but comfort should not be sacrificed by style and vice versa, it should be well balanced. I believe I have been able to achieve this throughout my collection.

BT – As a new business, what are you most looking forward to in the launch of your label?

KC –  I’m looking forward to everyone seeing the shoes! It’s definitely the excitement of the work I’ve put into the label, everyone seeing the finish product and women being able to wear and enjoy my designs.

BT – What’s your favourite look for summer? What shoes will you match it with?

KC –  I love dresses during summer so a maxi or a sun dress is my favourite look. Depending on the occasion I wear my Rustic Deity ballet flats or the Wisps of Sunlight sandals – flirty, fun and classy.

BT – The Queensland climate is varied all year, are you excited to be able to design for such variety, do you have a favourite season to design for?

KC –  I’m very excited to be able to design a variety of styles to suit the climates not just in Queensland but also Australia.

I lived in Cairns for ten years so being able to experience cooler weather and wear boots has been very exciting for me and just experience more than two seasons (wet and dry)! My favourite season is autumn so I do enjoy designing ankle boots and shoes I feel would be great for the cooler months. The Gypsy Sun Dance ankle boot is ideal for the transitional seasons.

BT – Describe your design process.

KC – My design process is spread over a few weeks to create a collection. In that time I’m very aware of what’s going on around me, the story I want to tell through the collection and mood boards are created. Once I’ve picked the styles and colours it’s off to the manufacturers they create a sample for me and it’s ready for the look book.

BT – What would you be doing if you weren’t designing shoes?

KC – I studied Tourism Management at university, but have been working with the State Government for the last 18 months. I was lucky enough to follow my passion and fulfil my dream of designing shoes so I am extremely fortunate. However if I was unable to have followed my dream I most likely would be overseas working in the Tourism Industry.

BT – Anything else you want to share with our readers?

KC –  Whilst designing was not an initial dream career for me, the last couple of months has been beyond my wildest dreams. Finding a passion of designing and mixing business has been hugely rewarding and a path I never thought was possible. I’m extremely grateful and humbled to be able to fulfil this passion and share it with everyone.  To work on a dream and make it into a career I’m extremely excited about and cannot wait to see Lillian Nai making footprints around Brisbane.




Solito joins the virtual-racks at Blue Bungalow

posted by Danielle Lewis October 2, 2013 0 comments

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Brisbane-based online fashion house Blue Bungalow have rolled out the welcome mat for local label Solito, who relaunched earlier this month with their second summer collection, ‘The Moroccan Wanderer: from the Rif to Marrakesh’. 

Solito, the creation of Brisbane duo Olivia Mills and Mary Zacharia, is right at home with fellow Queenslander Blue Bungalow, who this week released a medley of pieces from the label’s exotically inspired summer collection.

‘The Moroccan Wanderer: from the Rif to Marrakesh’ collection from Solito captures the colour and enchantment of a spellbinding journey through Marrakesh with rich ochre tones, exotic prints and fringed embellishments. My favourite is the burnt orange fringed poncho dress – I can imagine it thrown over a pair of togs after a dip in the beach, or accessorised with some nude heels and colourful jewellery for a Sunday BBQ. Love it!

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What I am EVEN MORE EXCITED ABOUT is the Blue Bungalow offers same day delivery in the Brisbane Metro area… a luxury historically only afforded to our southern counterparts! Is this the beginning of an online shopping revolution for us Brisbane fashionistas… I hope so!

Solito’s ‘The Moroccan Wanderer: from the Rif to Marrakesh’ summer collection now available online at www.bluebungalow.com.au 


Fashion Graduate: Paige Thorley

posted by Danielle Lewis February 2, 2013 2 Comments

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Another year has ended and another hopeful group of fashion graduates venture into the ‘real world’, optimistic about forging their path in the fashion industry. We catch these bright young things fresh from their final year parade and find out what they have in store for the future…

MEET: Paige Thorley, QUT

Collection Name: Ethereal Perspective

Collection inspiration:

This Transeasonal 2013/2014 collection recognizes our human need to ethereally perceive our surroundings, and challenges this notion by exploring the African Landscape through the eyes of its true inhabitants. How a way of life that is all about survival, fear, escape and blood-shed can be ethereally blurred into a majestic landscape of elegance and beauty.

Print Inspiration:  I wanted to capture this inter-twining of perspectives, that of the ethereal and of survival. The blood-shed, reckless beauty, erratic pace of life, and mysterious elegance.

Design Detailing Inspiration: Perceived through the eyes of the cheetah the detailing was inspired by the slow motion run of a cheetah. Snapshots of the positions it is found in as it soars through the African Desert.

What was your favourite part of putting together your final year collection?

My favourite part, as crazy as it sounds, was hand-sewing all the intricate detailing into my garments such as hand pleating and the hand-sewing of my chiffon infused knit to create one off garments that can never be exactly replicated. I like to make my garments unique and loved the process of finishing them off in this manner making them a one of a kind garment.

So you’ve finished uni… what now? I actually still have 6 months of my degree to finish as I am doing the double degree in fashion and business and have a few business subjects to finish off but the plan after that is to make the big move over to London town and hopefully find myself a job in the industry starting out in the fashion buying sector.

What is your dream fashion job? The dream has always been to have my own business one day and I would love to be able to produce a ready-to-wear collection as well as evening and bridal wear. I’ve always dreamt of having one of my designs on the red carpet at the Oscars – might as well dream big.

What do you think your biggest challenge will be now? Juggling the difficulty of moving to a new country and finding a job that is in the fashion buying sector while being able to support myself in the process.

How do you think living in Brisbane will influence your next career steps? As much as I love Australia, my target market lies overseas and the experience I want to build and the thirst I have for travel and new adventures is taking me away from my homeland.

How do you think technology is starting to influence the fashion industry?

Technology is making consumers more demanding and impatient than ever, with 90 minute delivery for online shoppers in certain parts of London, fast fashion is taking over; making it hard for small designers, especially when starting out, to compete. It is actually quite a scary and intimidating thing for someone who wants to start their own label. Your point of difference needs to justify the massive leap from the cheap prices of fast fashion to the prices you as a designer have to charge to just stay afloat. If you want to be a designer, you have to love it and not have any dreams of being necessarily rich.

Where is your favourite place in Brisbane to eat/drink/shop? Freestyle dessert restaurant holds a very special place in my heart! That place is amazing!
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Fashion Graduate: Hayley Elsaesser

posted by Danielle Lewis January 31, 2013 0 comments


Another year has ended and another hopeful group of fashion graduates venture into the ‘real world’, optimistic about forging their path in the fashion industry. We catch these bright young things fresh from their final year parade and find out what they have in store for the future…

MEET: Hayley Elsaesser, QUT

Collection Name: Candy Coated Voodoo

Collection inspiration: In my graduate collection “Candy Coated Voodoo” I explored the world of all things creepy and spooky, and gave it a sickly sweet twist. Embracing my love of the wicked and weird I developed numerous textile prints, along with laser cut leather details to produce a colourful and quirky collection. I love the juxtaposition of something that would normally be considered scary, such as spiders and skulls, done in a candy coated colour scheme yielding something that is fun, and a little bit crazy.

What was your favourite part of putting together your final year collection? When researching and developing my concept, I decided from the very beginning this collection was something that I needed to have some fun with. So many designers, especially students take themselves way too seriously. Since I was spending basically my entire waking life working on this collection for many months I went with an aesthetic and concept that was fun. By working with such bright colours and prints I couldn’t help but be passionate about what I was working with and definitely never bored.

So you’ve finished uni… what now? At the moment I am working doing freelance fashion and graphic design along with running the online store for a local boutique. I have made no concrete career plans at the moment, however I have been chosen to show at L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival in the Sportsgirl National Gradutate showcase so that’s going to keep me busy for a little while.

What is your dream fashion job? My ultimate career goal is to have my own label. However, I would love to gain as much experience as I can in many facets of the fashion industry before I do.

What do you think your biggest challenge will be now? I am definitely a person who likes to be organized and have a concrete plan in place. However, at present my future looks quite foggy and I have no idea where I will end up in 6 months. This is very challenging for me being unable to plan ahead, however it is also very exciting at the same time.

How do you think living in Brisbane will influence your next career steps? I initially started studying fashion design in Canada where I’m from. However, I decided to gain a different perspective and moved to study here at Queensland University of Technology. It was a great decision as I feel that I have gotten an amazing, and very practical education.

How do you think technology is starting to influence the fashion industry? I think technology has always influenced the fashion industry even from the beginning such as the invention of the sewing machine or the assembly line. In the present day I feel like technology has very much changed the fashion industry into much more of a globally connected and fast moving phenomenon. It is also great for up and coming designers to make a name for themselves using of the vast reach of the internet.

Where is your favourite place in Brisbane to eat/drink/shop? Being from Canada where sunny, warm weather is often hard to come by I can really appreciate an afternoon picnic in New Farm Park.

Image Credits:


MODEL Brit Brockhurst

HAIR & MAKEUP Taylor Kimler

[email protected]



Fashion Graduate: Isobel Campbell

posted by Danielle Lewis January 29, 2013 0 comments

Another year has ended and another hopeful group of fashion graduates venture into the ‘real world’, optimistic about forging their path in the fashion industry. We catch these bright young things fresh from their final year parade and find out what they have in store for the future…

MEET: Isobel Campbell, QUT

Label name: W.E.T by Isobel Campbell

Collection Name: Acid Drop

Collection inspiration: Neoprene experimentation, marine life and fashionable water sportswear.

What was your favourite part of putting together your final year collection? Seeing the finished product walk down the runway and the feeling of achievement.

So you’ve finished uni… what now? I’m moving to Sydney in 2013 and currently looking for a design assistant job in swim/surf/sports wear.

What is your dream fashion job? Running my own successful wet-fashion label

What do you think your biggest challenge will be now? Getting my first job, the industry is very competitive to enter.

How do you think living in Brisbane will influence your next career steps? Growing up in Queensland is what inspired my fascination with wet-fashion and what will drive me to create amazing swim and surf wear.

How do you think technology is starting to influence the fashion industry? The industry is moving faster and faster because technology makes us more efficient.  Good or bad… that is for you to decide.

Where is your favourite place in Brisbane to eat/drink/shop? Eat Montrachet . Drink The End. Shop garage sales.

Contact Isobel: [email protected]


Fashion Graduate: Samantha Delgos

posted by Danielle Lewis January 20, 2013 0 comments


Another year has ended and another hopeful group of fashion graduates venture into the ‘real world’, optimistic about forging their path in the fashion industry. We catch these bright young things fresh from their final year parade and find out what they have in store for the future…

Meet: Samantha Delgos, QUT 

Collection Name: Stigmergic

Collection inspiration:

My collection was a documentation of the theory that a trace left in an environment stimulates the performance of a later action, leading to the spontaneous emergence of

coherent, systematic activity. Like cow paths left in a park or a warm seat on a train, these traces are left thousands of times every day but go by unnoticed and unregistered in the conscious mind.

My collection served as a documentation of this stigmergic process, where hidden layers became visible.

What was your favourite part of putting together your final year collection?

Doing all the silk marbling on my fabrics, it was a time consuming process but the result was a very organic, unique, hand casted print that could never be replicated.

So you’ve finished uni… what now?

Not quite! I have 6 months to go on my business degree and then I can finally graduate! 

What is your dream fashion job?

Owning my own label is the eventual goal but I’ve decided to do it sooner rather than later and will be moving to India in the two years to start up a design studio to house my own label in Delhi.

What do you think your biggest challenge will be now?

Saving the capital to start the studio!

How do you think living in Brisbane will influence your next career steps?

Brisbane has a very relaxed approach to fashion, which in the long run I think its given me a strong sense of home and where I will always want to come back to. However my next career steps are definitely going to involve cities and countries outside of Brisbane.

How do you think technology is starting to influence the fashion industry?

In nearly every arena…retail has been transformed by the online revolution, manufacturing and distribution has lead times that are cut down to one or two days and even new fabrics and fibres are being developed. I think from a design perspective, fabric and print development is a key area for innovation for many labels looking to come from a different angle.

Where is your favourite place in Brisbane to eat/drink/shop?

Tipplers Bar to drink!