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Alexandra Zvi - Fashion and Textile Designer in Melbourne

Alexandra Zvi is a Melbourne-based designer producing high fashion, for the woman who dares to be different. Originally from England, she has been designing and creating for over 20 years - in both hemispheres. We have conducted an interview with Alexandra.

What is in 'flamboyance' that you like about this style?
My love of embellishment is the integral ingredient to the flamboyant style I produce. The rich layering of pattern, texture, and colour is usually at the core of the design, be it a printed silk lining or beading around the neckline; the designs are conspicuously dashing and colourful.

For which kind of women do you like to design for?
The women who wear my clothes desire and have the confidence to make an entrance, they appreciate the elaborate styling and attention to detail. Each piece is extremely wearable on its own. The chiffon chemises can be worn with leggings and the corsets look great with a pair of jeans. I want to enable women to experiment with their style by wearing one of my pieces with their favourite black skirt. Once they have enjoyed the impact my clothes can make, they can be more daring and wear the whole shebang.

What inspires you to the details of pattern and colours?
The inspiration for pattern and colour can come from almost anywhere – a stunning sunset, the intricate stucco on a building, anywhere. In the case of My Gothic Romance Collection, the dramatic contrast of black and red is always a winner; the shimmering lurex yarns in the tweed added that extra detail to the collection. The vivid jewel colours chosen for the Jewel Collection were inspired by a panel of 50’s vintage fabric found in a rag-bag! I’m not frightened to use colour, or clash seemingly different prints in the same outfit. With careful pairing of prints and fabrics, when pattern texture and colour collide its makes such a glorious impact.

Which material do you like to work with the most?
I love silk, it's sensual; it has the most divine lustre and adds that luxury to a product. There are so many different types of silk, too, you can use silk satin for draping or blend it with other fibres to create a subtle sheen. Using silk adds that extra something to an outfit.

Where did you get your skills in tailoring and designing?
Looking back into family history it turns out I’m related to London White Chapel tailors, it’s in the genes. I trained in fashion design and had the privilege of being taught pattern cutting by an ex-pattern cutter at Paul Costelloe, the Irish fashion designer. Working in the theatre enhanced my fashion pattern and constructions skills to incorporate period costume cutting. These I further developed through one to one tutoring in costume construction.

As for the ability to design, I was the little girl who made dresses for her dolls. I’ve always had a head full of fashion ideas, learning how to practically make these ideas has certainly developed the complexity and effectiveness of my designing

What is the story behind your recent collection?
As well as working as a designer, I’m also an educator of Design I found myself sorting out the Art studio and came across paint ridden Art coats (hand me down science lab coats to be precise!) about to be trashed? I screamed in delight with that creative eureka moment “ I can use these to create fashion, can I have them pleeeease”

So my studio has been filled with black sacks of ex-art coats scribbled and splattered with paint, waiting to be transformed into beautiful pieces of wearable art. Each piece is unique, produced like a piece of couture, hence the name, Grafitti Couture. A challenge I have given myself is to be as sustainable as possible, I’ve chosen to go to opportunity shops to source up-cycled denim and use fabric already in stock for lining. Every piece is a limited edition, once the art smocks are gone, the Collection will be over. Individual products made from over-dyed graffiti splashed art coats and embellished with a lifetime of vintage fabric & lace. If only the garment could speak, the stories it could tell! Every piece has its story.

Alexandra Zvi - Fashion and Textile Designer in Melbourne Reviewed by JaamZIN on 5:56:00 AM Rating: 5
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