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Designer shuns fashion gloss

SLIPRAIL creative director Pauline Emili-ani has shunned the gloss of the commercial fashion circuit in order to retain the ethos of her custom-made label.

The Orelia-based company began as a referral-based business producing one-off garments to order.

Following success at Mercedes Australian Fashion Week, the label proved popular with the tourist market.

However, Ms Emiliani said this could force the company towards mass production, a direction she did not want to take.

“We started getting orders from the US and Germany for very large quantities,” Mrs Emiliani said.

“Producing on such a large scale would have diluted our hand-made approach.

“The whole mainstream fashion scene is so cut-throat and image-driven...we decided to go back to our roots.

“We didn’t want to bastardise our philosophies for the almighty dollar.”

Ms Emiliani has formed a collective of eighteen WA fashion artists to help produce the highly individualised garments.

“Sliprail is not just a fashion label – it’s about connecting people to places, the environment and themselves,” she said.

“I travelled Australia for ten years, relished the visual stimulus and wanted to tell the story of our landscape in a fashion context.

“Our look is very much based on textures, natural fibres and rich colours such as ochre, mustard, rust, purple, forest green and burgundy.

“We use materials such as WA merino leather, hemp blended with wood pulp and one of our artisans in Denmark makes handturned sheoak buttons from dead timber.”

The Sliprail ranges vary in style from handpainted psychedelic to classical workwear aimed at professional women aged over thirty. The average size is 14.

Ms Emiliani said Sliprail appealed to environmentally conscious, patriotic people who had the confidence to be individual.

She said the company planned to establish gallery-style concept stores in places such as The Rocks in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Margaret River.

“We are offering private studio licences and already have three people considering them,” she said.

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