Five Questions With Bilboa


image features Osha at her stall at the Sydney SS16 Finders Keepers Market. Image Credit: photographer Mark Lobo

After her smashing debut in Sydney last year, (capturing the attention of shoppers and FK staff alike) Osha of handmade fashion label Bilboa will be back at Finders Keepers next weekend!  Emphasising beautiful shapes, and interesting prints, Bilboa strives to consciously create, quality handcrafted goods, with an elegant yet quirky aesthetic.  If Osha’s progress on Instagram is anything to go by, we are in for a real treat next weekend! Read on…

Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to begin your label.
I grew up surrounded by artistic and creative people – Dad is a musician from New York, and would drag me around to the world to all his gigs, exhibition openings and live theatre shows, so I kind of never really had any other choice but to go into a creative career!

I’ve always loved having a go in just about any medium, from knitting to painting to woodwork, but it was sewing that really captivated me.
My desire to learn more about the technical and detailed side of sewing lead me to train as a costume maker at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

After I graduated I spent the next few years working in the industry, mainly as a freelance men’s tailor. In downtime between shows I started making one off and custom orders for people, eventually turning into a whole collection, and Bilboa was born!


image features Yellow Silk Shirt Dress in Naples Wash – designed and handmade by Bilboa


image features Mani Dress in Coal & Faye Shirt with Coal Tote Bag – designed and handmade by Bilboa

Image features Winter Knits, Skivvy's and Trousers handmade by Bilboa

Image features Winter Knits, Skivvy’s and Trousers handmade by Bilboa

What would be one piece of advice you would give a first time seller at The Finders Keepers?
Definitely make sure you leave enough time in the morning to grab yourself a coffee! Once the doors open the day passes in a whirlwind of meeting and greeting all these amazing people, and before you know it 5pm will be there!

Tell us something exciting that you have planned for Bilboa this year [or next 12 months].
I’m right in the middle of working on a new collection, which features a bunch of new pieces and prints that I have a feeling will be some of my favourite for Bilboa so far. You’ll be able to see them first at the Sydney AW17 FK markets!

I’m also working on honing my digital print skills – I have a bit of a ‘make it up as I go’ formula to print designing, which works really well with screen or hand printing, but kind of less so in digital. So I’m really excited to work on that, where the colour options are endless!


image features Faye Shirt and Sina Slacks – designed and handmade by Bilboa


image features, Frannie Playsuit & Skivvy in Camp Pheo and Freya Smock in Maple Trail – designed and handmade by Bilboa

Name one resource that your label could not live without.
I don’t think I’d be able to manage at all without my Toyota industrial sewing machine! It is ancient, built like a tank and runs like an absolute dream and it goes through pretty much anything!

Tell us about your favourite product from your collection.
Lately I’ve been really drawn to more earthy tones, and have been loving the Frannie Playsuit in Maple Roam. When I first sat down to start working on the print, I just wasn’t sure if it was what I was after, but once I’d sewn it up I was in love!
The process of hand painting the whole print, and the way it goes together is really soothing and satisfying, and the rich caramel linen mix just feels and looks amazing.


image features Osha in her studio

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