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Beyond the Bale : September 2016
Devoted to the creation of ‘slow’ clothing, it’s Brigid’s team of master craftspeople and the use of natural, luxury fabrics that produces the sustainable fashion she champions so passionately. “I believe wool to be one of the most sustainable fibres and should be central to the sustainable fashion movement. Fast fashion is destroying both our environment and the fashion industry. Only the very large scale mass producers of disposable fast fashion appear to be the winners at the expense of our environment. “It greatly concerns me that consumers are not supporting sustainability in fashion with the same gusto, for example, as the building industry. Consumers are willing to pay a premium to build sustainably but not to shop for sustainable clothing. I think many Australian consumers are proud to pay as little as possible for clothing; happy to turn a blind eye to the true cost of this. I would like to see the media do more to educate consumers as to the true cost of this.” And so it’s no wonder that the Brigid McLaughlin label heavily features the use of Australian Merino wool throughout its collections, creating timeless, classic pieces made to last. Known for its clean lines and A childhood on the land mixed with creativity and passion led Brigid McLaughlin to launch her eponymous label that is all about cut, quality and natural fabrics. A CUT ABOVE THE REST BRIGID MCLAUGHLIN: For many, the dusty farms of Warren, NSW, seem a million miles away from the star-studded runways of the world’s fashion hotspots. Yet for Brigid McLaughlin, her childhood on the land not only engrained her with a sense of country pride, it also paved the way for a career in fashion design, fuelled by her passion for wool. As a young girl, Brigid knew she wanted to be a fashion designer. “I remember finding a brochure on the floor at home that my eldest sister had left lying about on a Fashion Design course. From that moment on I knew.” After studying Fine Arts at the University of Sydney, Brigid followed her dream and studied Fashion Design at the National Art School. Her journey in fashion saw her working for Charlie Brown, moving to London to join the team at Issey Miyake, returning to Australia to work for David Lawrence and Lisa Ho, before launching her own eponymous label in 2006. Prior to her move to Sydney, Brigid spent her childhood on ‘Merryanbone’, a Merino wool-growing property in Warren, a place she says will always feel like home. “I was very fortunate to grow up there,” Brigid says. “I think my country childhood nurtured my creativity which was greatly encouraged by my artistic mother and industrious father. The wide, open spaces and vast sky seem to get more beautiful as I get older. I also firmly believe it instilled very sustainable practices in the way I live my life and run my company.” A pure wool knitted poncho from Brigid McLaughlin’s Winter 2016 collection. The woolshed on the wool-growing property ‘Merryanbone’, Warren, where Brigid McLaughlin (right) spent her childhood. neutral colour palette, the label has garnered a cult of loyal followers who have fallen in love for the high quality. “Whether it is knitwear or tailoring, what I love most about wool is the way it falls and the way it can be sculptured into organic shapes. You need to let wool tell you what to do as a designer, that is what I love the most, and it makes my job easier; the soft handle, the warmth, I even love the smell of wet wool, it reminds me of home. “A customer recently tried on a piece of our woollen knitwear to declare it felt like receiving a big hug. That’s what I love about wool.” MORE INFORMATION www.brigidmclaughlin.com “A customer recently tried on a piece of our woollen knitwear to declare it felt like receiving a big hug.” Brigid McLaughlin OFF FARM 9
In the Shops - September 2016