MUSINGS: I Am (obsessed with) Fashion

| 25 January , 2010 | Reply

I think it will come as no surprise to you that I have somewhat of a fashion addiction. Fashion literally keeps me awake at night. I\’m not talking about being kept awake in the same way a coffee addict might either, rather in the way you used to get five minutes sleep on the eve of your birthday, or the first day of school – the excitement created by the sheer possibilities renders me incapable of dozing.

Sometimes my addiction can be a blessing; I always know well in advance what I\’m going to wear to a special event. Other times it is less forgiving; like when I wore platform cork Candy\’s with mini summer dresses in high school. Most of the time though I find it simply inspirational, particularly when I come to learn of brands like i am. Created with love by Sydney girls Claire Murphy, Brigid Whelan, Polly Epov i am is the culmination of years of thought, inspiration and passion. Disillusioned by the fluidity of trends and the cost of trend items, they set out to create a line of feminine, fashionable clothes that were above all classic in cut and style, but modern in wearability.

I went to the launch of this groundbreaking new label last week, and now – with literally no exaggeration – want every single piece in the collection. I was lucky enough to interview the women behind the brand before the event. As you\’ll read their aim is to be prevailingly fashionable, and I think you\’ll agree, they have created a collection of pieces that does indeed transcend the seasons and could easily (and fashionably) take you through a whole year.

Thumbs up for: The fashion philosophy; the dreamy fabrics such as 100% silk, Thai silk and double layered chiffon; excellent cuts that are a perfect fusion of modern and classic; and beautiful block colours – particularly the lime green.

Must have items: Safari Pants and The Chameleon Safari Pants, Pink Blazer, The Chameleon Dress, Love In Lime high waisted pencil skirt, The Safari Jumpsuit, Carrie Dress, The Polar Bear Pants, I Feel Pretty jacket, The IT Dress, Panda Print Pants and Top, Bulls Eye Bla Blazer and The Lorikeet Pants. (Don\’t say I didn\’t tell you that I wanted near-everything!)

Musings: Can you tell me a little about the experience the three of you have, what are your backgrounds?

Having spent all our high school years together we had many years to develop a collective sense of style and common interest in Sydney’s trends and unique fashion. Brigid wanted to be a fashion designer from the age of four, Claire was the first girl at school to don a pair of sass and bide jeans and Polly was in and out of class at modelling castings from the age of 12.  It was this collective sense of style which prompted us to brainstorm, sketch and create pieces which better allowed us to stand out in a crowd and contribute to this amazing world of fashion. While we would love to give grandiose spiels about our illustrious paths to fashion fame, it would could not by further from the truth. We design and create because it’s instinctive and a strength which we have learnt to master over many years of a collective understanding between three best friends.

Musings: Can you tell us what the concept behind this exciting brand is?

The concept is centred on creating the i am look; plain block colours paired with prints and a tailored blazer. We really try to keep all our looks as fresh as possible because another major element of the i am look is maintaining an effortless sophistication which is still playful and has its own individual edge. We try very hard to keep all our pieces as simple as possible so our buyers can just buy the i am blazer without having to buy the i am pants to go with the i am blazer, to match the i am top. This concept is something we feel is lacking in the Sydney market as so much of our fashion is either too commercial or extremely overdone.

Musings: What inspired you to actually go forth and create i am?

While we appreciate and draw much inspiration from Sydney’s fashion scene, there is a large gap which we have had copious discussions about. It is the inability to find anything unique and individual that is of high quality and well made under the $500 price mark. So we did what we do best – we came together over dinner and came up with a collection which we felt we couldn’t find anywhere else and that redefined the prevailing seasonal trends. We had such a positive response and decided it was time to release it and launch it to mainstream media and the public.

Musings: What brought the three of you together?

Our years at high school and our collective love of the rolled up sass and bide jeans paired with a white bonds singlet or a polo top. All three of us are instinctively creative and have a common interest and goal of filling a gap we’ve found in the market. None of us try to be anything we’re not and that’s what we think should translate into fashion and clothing. What we love and cherish about our label is that it doesn’t stereotype you into a particular mould that you feel you have to serve. i am allows you to feel fresh, effortless and sophisticated without having to be something you\’re not. This is the concept all three of us touch base on regularly and something which always inspires us to keep designing.

Musings: Can you tell us about your first collection Sleek Jungle?

Our debut range Sleek Jungle is a collection of dresses, blazers, shorts, tops and boho pants. It is a collection which follows the story of a woman in the Sydney urban jungle, nailing the typical everyday look and redefining the meaning of seasonal trends. We have drawn from an eclectic palette of colours from neutrals, to blocks, to brights. We have used a variety of cuts and shapes, including gathering, draping, tailoring and cut outs.

Musings: What is the price range for your pieces?

$60 tops to $300 dresses and blazers

Musings: As designers are you inspired by any celebrities or models?

We take most of our inspiration from the streets rather than people lucky enough to have good stylists. We are greatly inspired by other designers though. We love the latest revolution of Balmain and always look forward to what they\’ll do next. We are also always in awe of everything Diane Von Furstenberg creates and the calibre of Josh Goot’s prints.

Musings: Which celebrity could you most see in your clothes?

I know it’s a crowd pleaser but Sienna Miller seems to be one of the only celebrities who is instinctively stylish. She has a freshness that is synonymous with i am’s underlining concept and she would definitely know how to team a pink blazer with basic black slacks and a white t-shirt.

Musings: Where will your items be available?

The pop-up store at Arthouse starting in February, Mellion & Bright and

Musings: What are your future hopes for the brand?

We hope to keep expanding and growing as a label. We will keep creating collections which redefine trend and cater to who we see as the i am girl. We also hope to expand throughout Australia and take on the new markets so look out Melbourne!

You want to know more right? I thought so. Check out i am fashion’s website and then make like me and snap up every piece you can!

Which fashion brand inspires you? Does fashion keep you up at night too, or am I all alone?

Love and musings,

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