22 November 2014

QUT Fashion Graduate Feature: Emily Giles - Ride Away

Words: Saskia Edwards
Images: Jonathan Rae

With a collection drenched in fairy floss pink, it’s hard to imagine that Emily Giles’ main inspiration was the iconic Marlon Brando motorcycle gang movie ‘The Wild One’. But rather than referencing the leather, jeans and aviator glasses - Emily drew influence from the oversized and masculine silhouettes. And her final result received many accolades as well - being one of the two winners of the annual Vaughn Award. I spoke to Emily about the last three years, how she’s feeling now and what she plans for the future. 

How much work went into creating your grad collection?

Hundreds of hours. We basically spent from March to November working on the collection from toiling, pattern making and then making the final collection. 

How does it feel now that three years of work is all over?

It’s crazy, it goes so fast. First year you’re creating one garment a semester compared to making 20 garments in a semester, so it’s good to be finished and it’s great to showcase it to everyone. 

Do you know what you’re going to do now that university is over?

I’m going to start applying for jobs. I interned for Karen Walker in New Zealand in July. So I’m going to apply back there and hopefully maybe be there. But if not, I’ll check out what’s happening in Sydney and Melbourne and hopefully move out of Brisbane.

Can you walk me through the conceptual themes in your collection?

When I started my grad collection I sorted looked through what I wear and when I dress I look for quite masculine themes. So I found this movie called ‘The Wild One’, which is a biker movie and the character is Marlon Brando. So it’s all got quite strong themes - with world war and bikers - so I sort of brought that through with my collection. With the themes in the movie - like huge exaggerations with the characters and that sort of thing - so I brought that through with my garments. So huge exaggerated jackets, sleeves, drop sleeves, sort of masculine clothing onto women. 

What do you see for the future of your design?

I would like to be a bit more conceptual and play a bit more with textile design. I love fabrics. In my collection I’ve got 40 different fabrics and textiles. So I want to keep on exploring that, I’d love to do another degree in textile design or something like that. But just keep exploring and creating outfits that challenge people rather than being too minimal and simple. 

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