Meet Kirstie Morris: Emerging green fashion designer

Jun 11, 2010 at 12:27 p.m. ET

Kirstie Morris is one of Australia's emerging green fashion designers – at 19 she has already featured in 3 Fashion Weeks around the globe...

Kristie Morris

Rosemount Australian Fashion Week 2010 was a great success and has provided a platform for budding eco-fashion in Australia. Australian fashion designers are beginning to contribute—albeit in subtle ways—to the reduction of carbon emissions by using eco-friendly production processes.

One such example, and an inspiring one at that, is fashion designer is Kirstie Morris, who has already succeeded in starting her own line and being featured at three Fashion Week's at the surprisingly young age of 19! Kirstie was featured in New Orleans Fashion Week, more recently Rosemount Australian Fashion Week 2010, and in September 2010 she will be at Boston Fashion Week.

A Dangerous Love Affair

Kirstie's featured collection is called A Dangerous Love Affair, which is inspired by Italian royalty. The words regal and edgy come to mind. She uses yarn-dyed hand-woven silk dupioni, saving electricity by using sustainable human energy.

Silk dupioni is also known as raw silk—the threads are not conventionally 'perfect' which gives the fabric a bit of raised fabric texture. This method also brings a shiny texture to the silk, which Kirstie's model adequately coins 'the crinkle effect'. Yarn-dyed silk projects different levels of sheen produced by the reflective nature of each yarn. This process is more expensive because fabric is dyed in the yarn stage, not as a whole sheet, which would be cheaper.

Edgy Green Fashion

Collection

Kirstie says that she often watches fashion shows and thinks that the clothing is beautiful but not wearable in everyday life. She wants her clothes to be just the right amount of fashionable edginess mixed with practicality – classy with a touch of mystery. She does not like how recently fashion has been trying to be too sexy, resulting in women baring it all in an attempt to look alluring. Her design ethic is to pick what you want to show and then cover up accordingly. She does this because otherwise the clothes would come off as cheap and "skanky" — something Kirstie is absolutely against.

Kirstie's story is also quite inspirational because her previous lecturers told her she would never be anything more than a seamstress if she was lucky. When asked about this, Kirstie says she always knew the industry was cut-throat and she tries not to take it personally because "you can't let every single person who tells you they hate it get you down". Her advice to aspiring green fashion designers is that they should "give it a go" so that they will never have to "wonder 'what if?'.

The fear of failure is always overwhelming but it's my dream, it's what I love and spend hours and days doing, I can't give up".

We should probably take her advice, as it is obvious her teachers were gravely mistaken and Kirstie has proven to them, and the world, that she has the drive coupled with raw talent to succeed.

Kirstie's clothes are custom-made at the moment, but she aims to expand to ready-to-wear clothing. You can browse through her clothes on her website at www.kirstiemorris.com.

See the complete Green Times interview with Kirstie Morris here.

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