Fashion, design & sustainability // teacher / researcher / designer

A Practical Guide to Sustainable Fashion

I’m delighted to report that two of my works, ThinkLifecycle and the Grow-Shrink-and-Turn-Coat are included in Alison Gwilt’s new book A Practical Guide to Sustainable Fashion. The book is part of Bloomsbury’s Fashion Basics series and is a fantastic introduction to sustainability issues for fashion design students. Fashion and sustainability is such an unwieldy topic …

Whaling and paradigm shifts

This week Australia had a success in the courts fighting Japanese scientific whaling. What many people may not realise is how recent our own whaling history is. Between 1952 and 1962, Tangalooma in Moreton Bay, Queensland was the biggest whaling station in the southern hemisphere (1). In total, Australian workers killed 12,500 humpback whales in …

Selling sun, surf and fitness

Billabong and Lorna Jane are two powerhouse Australian lifestyle brands. In my article ‘Selling sun, surf and fitness: Queensland’s mass-market fashion’ for The Fashion Archives, I discuss the humble beginnings of each brand.

Women as armchairs

Lately I’ve been reading William Morris’ views on the fashions of Victorian women. He loathed the garish colours of the new synthetic dyes, and described the women of his time as “upholstered like arm-chairs” in their yards of petticoats and padding. (1) Jane Morris and other women of the Pre-Raphaelite artistic circle dressed counter to the …

Fast fashion in geological time

Much of what we call fast fashion took eons to reach us.  Let’s say you buy a new frock. It’s made from polyester, a plastic derived from petroleum. That petroleum is a hydrocarbon, formed from minerals and marine animals, chemically-transformed over millions of years. (1) Most petroleum deposits are found in rocks from the Mesozoic …

Paula Stafford

Last month I visited the Gold Coast and Hinterland Historical Society – Surfer’s Paradise, to view the Paula Stafford collection, kindly arranged by Nadia and Madeleine at The Fashion Archives. Australia and the swimsuit are a perfect fit, and in part that’s thanks to Gold Coast fashion designer Paula Stafford.   Stafford began designing swimwear …

Addax and calf

Following on from prior hand-piecing, I’m experimenting with making pieced pictures. Again, this was something I did years ago, so it’s good to return to it. I began with animals. Here’s an Abbott’s Booby and an Abbott’s Duiker. I went with a public domain image of an Addax and calf. Then I translated it into …

900 triangles

I spend eight hours per week on the train, so it’s a perfect time for hand-piecing. This is the project I’m currently working on, a textile hanging of 900 triangles. I’ve used chiefly silk and cotton offcuts, with some rayon velvet. I still have about 300 triangles to go. I was inspired to begin the …

Dr (of Philosophy)

Today I got the official pronouncement that I’m now Dr Alice Payne. Enormous thanks goes to my supervisor Tiziana and everyone else in Fashion (or formerly in Fashion) at QUT: Suzi, Kath, Kay, Dean, Jane. And biggest thanks to my family – they’re just glad it’s all over.  

New making

 I’ve been working on this garment in between everything else. It’s modular – six squares and four rectangles – and can be unpicked and the squares re-used for another garment. The laser-cut holes allow for gathering, decorative stitching, or knotting-on additional layers of cloth for warmth.