Rachel Burke, designer, i make. you wear it.

Locally I am inspired by creatives in my community, people who are following their passions and being creative ...

Rachel Burke made a name for herself with her ambitious fashion project, i make. you wear it, where she designed and made a new dress every day for a year. Since then, Rachel has nabbed herself a gig as Universal Stores womenswear designer, and has remained an active member of Brisbane’s fashion scene as an artist, blogger, photographer and designer. On Friday November 13, Rachel will participate in the Recreate Twilight Market and Paper Fashion show, where she will showcase a garment made from recycled paper. Rachel will participate in the event alongside other labels such as George Wu, Maiocchi, House of Cards, VIHN and more. We caught up with Rachel ahead of the event to talk all things style.

How did i make. you wear it begin?
i make. you wear it. began 5 years ago now.  It started as a project making dresses for friends and grew into me making a dress a day for a year and raising money for charity. Now my blog is a document of my life and the photography, styling and design work that I do.

What is your style motto?
More is more!

Tell us about your collaboration with Universal Store?
I actually work as their womenswear designer by day, so I take care of their in-house clothing labels Perfect StrangerLuck and Trouble and Pare Basic.

You have so many talents – design, photography, styling. Do you have a favourite?
Oh that’s very lovely of you to say! Design would have to be my first love – but photography and styling are equal second!

When you were approached by BCC to design a fashion piece from recycled paper, what was your creative process?
I immediately started to look around my life for paper items I had perhaps overlooked, or taken for granted.  My focus almost immediately set on leftover packets of napkins from my Engagement party.  They were just sitting around doing nothing and all of a sudden I was fringing them and turning them into a frock.  I really like how it all worked out.

We are excited to see the piece you’ve designed for the Recreate Paper Runway. Tell us about it?
It’s actually quite ‘Cuban-Pete’. It’s entirely fringed and quite shapeless, but what it lacks in shape it makes up for in volume! I was really glad the pink, blue and white napkins allowed me to have some colour in the outfit!

This event brings several local designers together to showcase their talents. Who inspires you locally, nationally and internationally?
Locally I am inspired by creatives in my community, people who are following their passions and being creative.  Nationally, I am inspired by Australian artists like Minna Gilligan, Kirra Jamison and fabulous brands like Romance Was Born. Internationally I find so much inspiration from the graduates of Central Saint Martins, like Molly Goddard and Simone Rocha – their work is just brilliant!

Recycling also raises the question of sustainability in fashion. Where do you see the industry heading?
I think with fast, often ‘disposable’ fashion becoming so popular, people will continue to see the value in handmade or vintage clothing more and more. Hopefully over time, people will become more aware of the often negative reality of where and how their cheap fashion is made, and therefore make different choices in regards to where they spend their money.

What is the most treasured recycled item you have in your home?
A ‘junk jacket’ I made out of, well, junk! I used a vintage jacket as a base and covered it with all sorts of things that would have once headed to the bin, like old christmas decorations, leftover cupcake holders, broken necklaces and a whole lot of other stuff.

And lastly, what are the little things that make you smile?
The two little things that make me smile the most are my sausage dog puppies, Daphne and Daisy!


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