EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE DRESS COLLECTIVE AUSTRALIAN DESIGNER: SHAMSCREATIONS
It is refreshing to meet a young designer who is so committed to her ideals, her designs and her fashion philosophy. Referring frequently to her work as ‘fashion-art’, Shams explains that her designs transcend ‘fashion’ for a number of different reasons: “I believe art is a beautiful way to express our ideas. I do fashion illustration and painting myself and I believe it helps me in the process of inspiration […] I give art the opportunity to be worn.”
Inspired by architecture, amongst many other things, Shams is well rounded when it comes to artistic pursuits, and she utilises all of her interests in her design processes. “In terms of inspiration, it can come from anything and everything, so if you were to ask me what my inspiration is three or four collections from now, I still wouldn’t be able to tell you, however, there will always be a foundation of structure that is the essence of Shamscreations’ style.”
As the fountainhead of her creative process, Shams’s interest in structure and architecture dates back to her graduate collection. She is particularly taken by glass architecture and the dichotomy of its fragility and strength- a contrast that has a significant impact on her designs. “I found that glass buildings had a very unique idea about them, they were so fragile and delicate being made of glass, yet they were capable of holding a family inside.”
These notions of structure tie faultlessly into female corporeality- another abundant source of inspiration for the designer. Whilst she agrees that the female form is a reference point for all womenswear designers, Shams describes how she tries to ‘go beyond’ the body and use her designs to innovate and experiment: “As designers, I believe we should always try to look for new and exciting ways to wear our clothes. Going beyond the female form is, to me, about finding new and interesting methods of patternmaking and construction, which is why there is usually a lot of panelling in my designs. Sometimes once I’ve cut the fabric it looks like a puzzle that needs putting together- but there’s always a method to my madness.”
In terms of innovation, the designer speaks passionately about pushing the boundaries of design and dressmaking: “I would love to experiment with new techniques such as laser cut fabrics and dying.” Shams’ design philosophy is feminine with an urban edge, and she cites the starkness of architecture as one of the reasons that she is so inspired by it. “Buildings inspire me because we see them as exactly that; big blocks of stone, faceless and cold. But what if we changed that? What if we were able to manipulate those shapes and bring new meaning to the usual, boring box?”
Her desire to mix contrasting elements of design contributes to her stand out collection. Fragility and strength, intimacy and the urbane- all of these notions seem diverse, but, put together they compound Shams’ designs into a coherent and beautiful collection. A passionate advocate of Australian design and manufacture, it is apparent that Shamscreations will be a very significant block in the fashion empire that Australia is in the midst of building.
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