FROM AUSTRALIA WITH LOVE: Designer Profile of Gabriella Ferrante

September 06, 2013 3:22 PM

I find that Australia’s fashion industry can sometime be accused of playing catch-up with other, bigger and more cosmopolitan locations (i.e. Paris, London etc…) This needn’t be the case. There are a number of growing emerging and established Australian designers going by the beat of their own drum who prove that the Australian fashion industry can be treated just as seriously.

Gabriella Ferrante is an emerging and talented designer based out of Melbourne. Her creativity and exceptional craftsmanship can easily be spotted in all the garments she creates. However, it’s her social and ethical responsible approach to fashion design that has always fascinated me, particularly as she works almost exclusively with leather. In a world where just about everything is ‘fast’ – you only have to look at the high street stores where shipment of new product arrives daily – Gabriella slows things down and proves that fashion isn’t a race.

 

Who are you?

Gabriella Ferrante: dedicated to slow fashion + sustainability, or rather sustainable fashion, and promoting and nurturing the local fashion industry and local manufacture (wherever that may be: Melbourne for now, likely to be Europe next year). My father was a tailor and my aunt a dressmaker, both trained in Rome in the 50's, so you could say it's in my blood.

 

What influences you?
I have a special interest in leather: after using leather for whole collections and finally researching the industry and leather production, I begun using recycled leather, which is a more sustainable option than many toxic and unethical forms of leather production. I am also interested in educating the consumer into making more conscious choices, not just quick and easy ones

I’m influenced by the senses, exploration, sub-cultures, wind, fire, water, tessuti, anthropology, sounds and, and, and……

Working in Australia - - do you feel like you’re a big fish in a small pond or are you waiting for lightning to strike?
Working in Australia is difficult. It's certainly a small pond, and even smaller for those of us who chose not to produce offshore. I am keen to persevere, but not indefinitely: not sure if the lightening is going to strike. There is a small shift to buying from local designers, but we don't really have the numbers here. But who knows what the future holds?

Gabriella is currently working on her next project: creating sustainable leather accessories including bags and wallets. 

By Matthew Feddersen

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