Featured Designer: Holly Chalmers


Explain the Holly Chalmers range and the type of girl who would wear your clothing?
The Holly Chalmers Girl seeks a balance between vintage-inspired design and a more current look. She appreciates original design, quality finish and longevity in her purchases, and understands that dressing up makes her stand out from the crowd. She’s feminine, flirtatious and fun.

What inspired you to start your own clothing range?
I just wanted to design my way! I didn’t want to go get a boring old job at the bottom of the Fashion Ladder, and straight out of uni that’s all that’s really on offer. So I thought “Get on with it!”


Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I’m inspired to design what I want to wear – quite often it will be what I’m lacking from my own wardrobe (I know, very self-indulgent!). I also design with previous collections in mind to really allow the mix and match element to come into play. This way you can really build a wardrobe based on longevity. I guess my aesthetic has an obvious vintage flavour to it, but it’s definitely modernized vintage. Tailoring and structure are always present in my designs, and stripes, frills and buttons are never too far away! Fabric, where is all starts,  is also a huge inspiration for me.

Who are your favourite Australian Designers and how have they inspired you?
I find Australian fashion success stories very inspiring. They demonstrate that it’s all quite possible with hard work, persistence and determination. Australian designers I love include Dion Lee and Dhini for their unique cutting and masterful engineering. In terms of an internationally-acclaimed business model, it’s hard to not mention Collette Dinnigan, and hats off to TV for their quirky take on fashion.


What is your design philosphy?
I like to inject a bit of the unexpected into my designs, whether it be unusual fabric combinations or a design feature. I enjoy creating clothes that make people look twice, and a sense of playfulness is important too. Fashion should be fun, a little bit cheeky but always flattering. I’m also a real stickler for quality finish – I have very high standards, so when it comes to putting my name on my designs, I want to be sure  they’re worthy!


What do you think is most important when launching your label, and standing out in the ‘fashion crowd’?
In order to stand out in the fashion crowd you must be able to offer something that’s not currently available. You need to be original, have a new take on things. You can send rats down the runway or you can demonstrate your expertise in complicated cuts and construction. Whatever it is, make them sit up and take notice!


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