Interview with Kate Clark of Kabel Apparel
Elly-Grace Rinaldis | On 02, Jun 2016
â€œI actually wasnâ€™t very good at sewing when I was in TAFE, it was so difficult!
22 year old designer Kate Clark began Kabel Apparel in 2014 as aÂ way to release her creativity through designs that could be worn by young women to attend casual or classy events.Â Kateâ€™s designs range from structured waist shorts to delicate bralettes and elegant silk wrapped dresses. With these designs, KateÂ has recreated trendyÂ fashion pieces in a tasteful way to suit her own style.
The Creative Issue caught up with Kate on Wednesday to discuss Kabel Apparel and her thoughts on the future for emerging designers of Brisbane.
TCI: Kabel Apparel started in January 2014 – have there been many challenges since then?Â
Kate Clark: Probably the main thing was getting my connections down pat because you need a lot of people to be able to lift your label off the ground. If you are doing all the designs yourself, you need to have all of your suppliers and if you want help with pattern making you must find trustworthy people who understand the vision you have.Â Of course, there are challenges everyday but you just learnÂ and overcome them.
TCI: Did working with silk on your Faithful Silk Wrap DressÂ pose a challenge?
KC:Â Silk should be difficult to work with, but I have a simplistic way when I think about creating garments. It could be really hard if I wanted to put myself through something like that. However, I’ve found a method to the madness. Lots of pins and taking the process nice and slow is the way to go.
TCI: Youâ€™ve probably been asked this a thousand times but what was your inspiration behind the label?
KC: It was kind of like a subconscious thing for me. I didnâ€™t grow up with the mindset of â€˜Iâ€™m going to be a designerâ€™ and even when I was studying applied fashion design and technology at TAFE it never occurred to me to create my own label. However, after doing a lot of internships and sewing things for friends I just fell into it and thought “Okay, maybe Iâ€™ll just become a label.”
TCI: What are your views on eco-friendly clothing and will you cater to those consumers?
KC: Iâ€™m always really conscience of this and I like to think of myself as being environmentally friendly, to a standard degree. I donâ€™t like wasting a lot of paper and when I’m pattern making I will oftenÂ recycle older pieces. My fabrics are mostly sourced sustainability (i.e a fabric that a designer has picked up and doesnâ€™t finish the roll so they will re-sell it). I also love to re-use the material as it looks different every time and this is an exciting process for me.
TCI: Does the end of MBFF have a huge affect on you? Or are you looking forward to a new community of designer opportunities?Â
It is really sad time for the Brisbane community of designers because we have lost the biggest fashion event that we had. Iâ€™m still waiting to see if another company will step in and try fill the void however so far I haven’t seen that happened – well not for this year anyways.Â Whether or not they will get the funding to do it next year is a different issue.
TCI: Have you showcased there before?Â
I did the 2015Â emerging designer event which was huge step up to my previous work.Â It was very helpful because it gave me a lot of exposure and forced me to meet deadlines. There were so many things that came up which I had never thought about and I only had a short amount of time to conquer them.
TCI: What kind of things were they?Â
KC:Â Well, until then I hadn’t really established a set look for my label so it was an experimental stage. I had to figure out what I actually wanted to create and source fabric suppliers as well. I had been making things but it was like, ‘IÂ kinda like that’Â or ‘This would suit that sort of person’Â however there was no real definition on what Kabel Apparel is.
TCI: What are your plans nationally/internationally for the future of your label?
KC: Iâ€™m really proud of being an Australian label and honestly pretty laid back with the prospects of expanding overseas. I am definitely keen on getting into other places in Australia and would love to have my own little flagship store somewhere at some point. I am not a huge fan of online shopping as itâ€™s so much nicer to be able to step into a store, feel the product and have a connection to the clothes. Iâ€™ve also loved holding my stall at the markets and plan to make my way into the Finders Keepers markets held in Brisbane later on this year.Â I was originally looking at swimwear because I started out being crazy about graphic prints and textile designs. But- swimwear is like a whole new ball game and is very expensive to do. So, I gradually fell out of doing that and straight into plain fabrics.
You can expect to see Kabel Apparel this Sunday (5th June) atÂ The Collective MarketsÂ in Southbank.
Image credit: Kate Clark