Five Questions With Cassie Byrnes

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image features Cassie working in her studio

For someone who has only recently graduated university, Cassie Byrnes has an insanely impressive portfolio.  We believe this indicates there can only be good things to come from this Melbourne based textile designer.  Touch and feel Cassie’s sensational debut collection at our Sydney market next weekend. 

Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to begin your label.
I grew up on a farm in tropical Mackay, North Queensland.  It is a very sports focused town, so I was a bit of a weird kid who always wanted to make things.  I found my feet when I moved to Brisbane after high school to pursue a career in Interior Design.

I became interested in fabrics and patterns through a weird obsession with 80’s dresses.  I would start noticing patterns and looking for the repeats in everything, it was all so mysterious to me.  How did this artwork ever get on my dress!?  Then I googled things, which led to stalking the RMIT textiles course, which led to me packing up my life and moving to Melbourne.  Realising I stumbled upon my dream career that mixed fashion, home, art, craft and design.

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Image features print, homewares and clothing – by Cassie Byrnes

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image features Cassie’s work in progress

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Image features prints – by Cassie Byrnes

Who inspires you and your creative process?
The women weavers of the Bauhuas were a huge influencer in me studying textiles.  They were women in the 1920’s from across Europe who wanted to study.  Which was extremely against the norm back then.  They fought for it, and subsequently were allowed to join the school, but were summoned to the weave room.

They all dedicated so much to their craft and created the most amazing tapestries.  Seriously, google Bauhaus weavers.  They remind me so much of my grade at uni, just a bunch of daggy textile nerds.  I have a picture of them up on my wall which reminds me how lucky I am to have a choice in what I wanted to study, and be able to do what I love for a living.


images features The Tectonic Plates & Mesozoic print clothing – by Cassie Byrnes

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image features Cassie Byrne’s moodboard

Tell us something exciting that you have planned for Cassie Byrnes for the next 12 months.
This is my first year out of uni and it has been an absolute roller coaster of emotions!  I’m excited to start designing the next collection knowing all the wonderful bits of wisdom I know now.  It’s going to be bigger and include a range of new products that bring textured elements into the prints.  I’m hoping I will have a bit more time to focus on some interesting textile applications.

I have a goal to always balance the product side of my business with interesting collaborations and exhibitions so I can keep developing my skills and create new work.  So there will definitely be more of that in the new year.

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image features Oversized Sack Dress in Protea Print – by Cassie Byrnes

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image features Protea Print – by Cassie Byrnes

Name one resource that your label could not live without. 
The internet!  Emails and excel spreadsheets.  All so very glam-or-ous

Tell us about your favourite product from your collection.
The protea print – I created this print over a year ago for my graduate collection.  I still remember playing around with paints at some ridiculous hour at night, and I picked up the painting way too early and it all started running.  I initially was so upset until I realised if I do it with all of the motifs it can become apart of the pattern.  I love happy accidents like that.

It was also the first painting where I started leaving white spaces around everything due to my impatience with waiting for paint to dry, creating lots of negative space.  Which has now become one of my favourite ways to design patterns.

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