FK talks to Samantha from Sydney based Fashion label Samantha Chan
Can you sum up Samantha Chan the brand in 3 words?
Whimsical, quirky and nostalgic
Where do you find inspiration and what appeals to you?
When designing my range, I will often think of the whole story. The story can be triggered from anywhere; a particular time in history, a character in a film, a theatrical set, a place I have travelled to or a costume in a play. Design images start to form in my head and then they somehow fall together into a collection. I love to take things from the past, dust them off and bring them it into a modern light.
What hobbies or interests do you have which influence the nature of your brand?
I have a love of all design disciplines. After dabbling in design school with graphics, textiles and spatial/environments design, it was fashion that remained closest to my heart. I find myself using my multi-disciplinary design background and translating it into fashion. It has really shaped the way I look at traditional garment construction. I love the unconventional use of traditional details and manipulation of conventional silhouettes.
What has been the highlight of starting your own label so far?
There hasn’t been that one pivotal moment since starting the label that I could call my greatest highlight. Since starting the label I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs. I get excited over the little things; seeing a range fall together, watching a complete collection come down the runway, seeing some one on the street wearing my label and having someone ask me where my dress is from!
What challenges have you overcome to get this far?
Mostly having to take on all the different roles involved in establishing and running a fashion label. It’s not all about tinkering around in a design studio and I learnt that very quickly! I’ve had to get my head around commercial production, marketing and selling my ranges. It can be a bit overwhelming and I sometimes feel like yelling “I’m a designer! I never signed up for any of this other stuff!”
What can we look forward to from you in the next range?
I’m currently designing my spring/summer range for 2010/2011 which is a continuation of my last autumn/winter range ”Odette et Odile”. I was watching a documentary about the Ballet Russe one day and was completely inspired. Odette and Odile are opposing characters from the infamous ballet “Swan Lake”. The good and the evil swan represent purity and innocence verses seduction and temptation. In my next range I want to play around more with detailing and silhouettes inspired by dancers costumes that have a lot of movement and grace. I also wanted to evoke the temptress and bring a bit of edginess to my style. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do after that…probably stay clear away from anything swan and ballet related! I want to make sure the label keeps evolving and continue to play and experiment with different things.