Featured Designer: Ginny & Jude Designs

FK talks to Rabia from Sydney label Ginny & Jude Designs about her range of fashion accessories.

Tell us about the name Ginny and Jude Designs and what we can expect to find:
At its core, Ginny & Jude Designs create items of fancy for the perennially overdressed amongst us. The signature collection of headwear is complemented by seasonally inspired ranges of jewellery, belts, knitwear and clothing. I came up with the names Ginny & Jude after looking through old cigarette card photos of actresses from the early 1900s. Ginny & Jude were two characters that I imagined encapsulating two specifically unique aspects of femininity back then – the sexy, mysterious vamp and the light, mischievous nymphet. Everything I create addresses an aspect of styling these two characters as they flit between seasons and contexts.

What is your background and how does it affect the outcomes of the pieces?
I worked for costume jewellery designer Victoria Spring for several years and her design and production team taught me the basics of construction, form and the skills required to create handmade fashion jewellery. A sense of theatre and whimsy was definitely instilled in me through working there. Every day was another excuse to put together a fabulously over-the-top outfit! Although not as obvious, my formal training as a writer has meant I instinctively make a narrative of every collection I put together.

What inspired you to start your own label?
I had been collecting vintage and antique pieces for years – textiles, millinery, crystals, cabochons, findings – and about 18 months ago, after a gentle push from my friends, I decided that I would do something with them for other people. I wanted to create pieces which were outlandish and theatrical – handcrafted accessories that ‘made’ an outfit.

Describe the creative process
Generally it starts with the smallest idea – the light in an old photo, the shape of leaves, evocative smells – pretty much any single thing that stands out. I think ‘well, that’s pretty neat’, and play and build upon it until I’ve created something complete. It’s not a very conscious activity; it’s more like colour-coding ideas. A great deal of my work is made from vintage and antique materials that I restore by hand before re-imagining into something new and unique. The craftsmanship and care intrinsic to each of these small pieces of history provide my most constant source of inspiration.

What are some of the challenges you faced running your own business?
Being the director, designer, production team, PR and marketing manager, web technician, book-keeper, graphic designer, data entry clerk and stylist can be overwhelming. It’s an awful lot of work for one brain to keep up with, but I now have the most wonderful holistic understanding of my business. Thankfully I work best when required to multi-task!

What can we look forward to from Ginny & Jude Designs in 2010
Currently I’m working on ‘Harlequin’; my Winter 2010 collection. Its focal point is a delicious colour palette of cream, buttercup, coral, blue and green with accents of charcoal, black and navy. In winter when clothing tends towards the darker hues, this will be a fabulous range of accessories to inject colour and spirit: fluffy pom-poms, pearls, stripes, and structured dyed quills and straw. I’m quite excited about it as it’s a bit of a departure from previous work I’ve done and feels like the most ‘complete’ collection I’ve put together so far.


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