27 September 2011

The Evolution of ZHOU

            The Young Emerging Designers Party is a dream come true for anyone hoping to get a foot in the very exclusive door of the fashion world, it’s a networking fantasy and an incredible contact building opportunity for individuals in all fields and areas of the industry. Don’t be fooled by the glamorous façade, nine inch heels and Belvedere’s most exclusive Vodka series, IX, being served at the bar, this event is just as much business as it is frivolity and fun, it’s just, ‘serious,’ done in an exaggerated, stylised, sensational way… this is, after all, fashion darling!
            I spoke with the ever-talented Madeleine Murdoch, designer of the fabulously eclectic label ZHOU, about being involved the amazing opportunity of YEDP and how it feels to be releasing her second collection at the tender age of 19!

Madeleine Murdoch lays it out for Cadence and Clementine
Style Inspiration: Margherita Missoni, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.
Favourite Designer: Mary Katrantzou at the moment, (it always changes).
Favourite food: Vietnamese/Japanese.
Favourite colour: Orange!
Favourite material to work with: Patterned!
Favourite movie: Too many to choose from.
I wish I was…Taller!
If I was an animal I would be…A deep sea urchin.
Fashion is…A form of expression.
Biggest fashion mistake…Skrillex haircut.
I never want to see…leg warmers in fashion again.
I wish…Kimonos would stay in style forever.
Three people I would invite to a dinner party are…Mick Jagger from the 60's, Alexander McQueen, and David Attenborough.
My icon is: There is no one person - I look up to and admire different parts of everyone I meet! I love finding things that I can learn from or take from people! For example my family, friends, incredible minds, fashion designers, artists! However, my Nanna is pretty damn cool.  
On my iPod at the moment: Watch the Throne, The Seeds, Mitzi and The Otchkies.
Chicken or Fish: Fish.
Mac or PC: Mac.
Vodka or Wine: Wine.
Blogs or magazines: Both!
Never leave the house without…Clothes on!
People don’t know that I am…Slightly mad.
The last time I laughed hysterically was when… I was watching my boyfriend playing tennis.
Tomato sauce belongs in the…Fridge!!!
In my fridge you, today you will find…Any weird natural organic food that I think looks funky and probably costs too much.
The clothes in my wardrobe are organised by…I don't know the meaning of the word.
Would most like to work with…The whole Missoni family!

C&C: How important is something like YEDP to you career?
MM: The event gave me the coverage and confidence to push my Spring/Summer range to a wider public which is so important when it comes to networking and marketing!

C&C: What opportunities have presented themselves since the night?
MM: I have had numerous magazines ask me to include my clothes in shoots, a new boutique to stock in, a greater awareness of my brand and traffic to my website!

C&C: When was the label founded?
MM: I started ZHOU in 2010.

C&C: Where did the name come from?
MM: When I was travelling throughout Vietnam I stayed very close to many of the northern hill-tribes in Sapa. I got the chance to meet some women pronounced, 'ZOW,' women from the Red Dao tribe, they wore extremely colourful headdresses and jewellery and I was really inspired by their overall aesthetic, hence why I decided to name my label ZHOU, (Pronounced, ‘HOW,’).

C&C: Who else is involved in the brand?
MM: My machinist! .......all interns welcome haha!

C&C: Are you selling in any major retailers yet?
MM: My clothes are currently or will be stocking in James Street Boutique, 'Soot,' and at, 'Izabel + Sebastian,' in Southbank.

C&C: What is the overall look and feel of the label?
MM: At the moment my designs are quite simple in structure, using bright, bold colour and some printed fabrics. However, I plan to travel to India within the next year to develop more into textile design using embroidery and printed fabrics! I want my label to represent feminine silhouettes with interesting and unique patterns that women feel beautiful, feminine and comfortable in on any occasion.

C&C: Where does your inspiration come from?
MM: Everywhere…Mainly, at the moment, old books, pressed flowers and birds.

C&C: How difficult has it been to create your label at such a young age?  
MM: Because I do most of the work by myself, it has been an extremely hard task but I'm constantly working towards creating something I will truly be satisfied and proud of, and when that happens I know it will all be worth it. At the moment, everything I do is a learning curve and pushing me to do bigger and better things!

C&C: What’s the best advice you have been given in regards to your career?
MM: Always remember you are showcasing a part of yourself and you can choose when you are ready for that to be exposed, so wait until your ready as there is no point in revealing something you are not truly proud of and represents uniquely yourself.

C&C: What are your future dreams and goals, where do you hope to take the label?
MM: I want to go overseas and be blown away with a million ideas, so I can come back and create my ultimate collection and push for Sydney Fashion Week and stockists nationally!

C&C: What’s next, what are your short term goals and how are you going to continue to develop and create?
MM: Finishing my diploma and TRAVEL! I want to spend alot of time pattern making and sampling to find the perfect silhouettes for all women's body shapes, so that I can create a line of clothing that will appeal to every woman!

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