Gallery & Events

Posted 31 Mar 2015

Meet this years 'Witchery White Shirt' design award winners

Whitehouse Institute of Design, Australia, witchery.com.au/blog

Witchery and the Whitehouse Institute of Design believe in nurturing creativity among young Australian fashion designers. Together through the Witchery White Shirt Design Award, they aim to foster the next generation of talent.

We congratulate Erin Haigh and Georgie Dunn, the dual-winners of the 2015 White Shirt Design Award. Launched in 2012, competition for this year's award was fierce. Ultimately, the judges couldn't separate the girls' entries, naming two winners for the first time.

Erin Haigh (above) with her winning shirt design.

Georgie Dunn (above) with her winning shirt design.

Students in second year studying a Bachelor of Design-Fashion from both Melbourne and Sydney Whitehouse campus' were eligible to enter the Witchery Design Award challenge.

Witchery Managing Director, Linda Levy describes how "Erin and Georgie's white shirt designs captured the essence of the Witchery brand. These young designers are no doubt 'ones to watch' in the future."

We sit down with White Shirt Design Award Winners, Erin Haigh and Georgie Dunn. 

Share with us your inspiration behind your white shirt design?

ERIN: I get really inspired by the type of women/people who I'm designing for, as well as our own relaxed Australian style - the idea of being laid-back and comfortable but still having that sophisticated edge. But of course in my research for my white shirt I drew a lot of inspiration from the Sporty Chic trend seen throughout the runways for S/S '15.

GEORGIE: I am constantly inspired by the ocean, and the Witchery White Shirt Competition was no exception. The idea of luxury coastal living combined with an understanding of who the ‘Witchery Woman’ is helped me to begin designing. I also sourced some photos from Brydie Mack’s blog ‘WOLFCUB’, and continued developing my design until I felt confident that I had a classic and versatile shirt that could be styled according to each woman’s unique style, fit, and occasion. 

What is your unique design style or aesthetic?

ERIN: I'm still discovering myself as a designer, but as I've grown; my design aesthetic has become based around the idea of mixing simplicity with intricate detailing. My own style reflects the laid-back attitude, I like mixing comfortable garments with statement pieces or accessories - creating a bit of an effortlessly chic and sexy, understated attitude.

GEORGIE: My design aesthetic is constantly evolving and I am slowly figuring out where I would like to go and what I’d like to create, which is along the lines of timeless, elegant and sophisticated pieces designs that will make the wearer feel beautiful, confident and just a little bit sexy. For example, I really love open backs; which I decided I would also make as an option in my white shirt design. 

What fabrications and design techniques and trends do you look for when designing a piece or collection?

ERIN: As a starting point, I always look to the runways for the latest in trends and new fabrication design. For example: The use of colours and textures, silhouette, closures, construction, and overall how the entire collection flows. However with fabrication design in today’s fashion industry it’s all about being innovative & resourceful. It just comes down to extensive research and experimentation. Constantly testing, and manipulating ideas until you've created something that is your own.

GEORGIE: When designing for a competition or to a brief I either check out the latest runways on trend forecasting website WGSN or Style.com, but I also follow a few blogs and some beautiful Instagram accounts. I look for design details such as closures, prints, embellishments, the fabrics and also how they have been altered to achieve certain effects. There are some incredible minds out there with so many innovative ideas, and I hope to be able to create to those standards in the future.

Who is your creative icon? And how do they inspire you?

ERIN: My biggest design icon has to be the fashion house Chloe, largely because my design aesthetic mimics elements of theirs, but also just how head designer, Clare Waight Keller is able to keep with the houses feminine traditions, but move forward in  fresh and innovative ways. The techniques and silhouettes they use can be simple but intricate and are oh so beautiful and flattering to the female form. Their whole design ethos, and idea of the type of women who they look to design for is what inspires me the most - These women are feminine, confident and powerful! Everything I believe in creating as a designer.

GEORGIE: I have so many creative people who inspire me! I really love Ellery, Dion Lee, Josh Goot and Maticevski, all iconic and well know Australian designers, and then this season I’m loving international labels such as Phoebe English and Ports. My all-time favourite collection is Yves Saint Laurent’s spring 2015 collection. The bohemian rock vibe is just incredible.

What does it mean for you to be part of the 2015 OCRF White Shirt campaign?

ERIN: I'm so thankful to be a part of the White Shirt campaign. It's a great opportunity, and it’s doing amazing things for women through the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. As we know cancer touches everybody in some way, and it is great to know that my shirt is going towards making a real difference.

GEORGIE: Being a part of the 2015 OCRF White Shirt Campaign is an incredibly empowering and worthwhile opportunity which I am extremely grateful for. It’s not just about getting our names out in the fashion industry, it’s actually about being able to help other women in need. Hopefully one day ovarian cancer will be preventable for good, and in the meantime we just have to continue to do all we can to fund the research to get to that point. 

View the full article on Witchery's Blog at www.witchery.com.au/blog

Buy a white shirt today !!!