Every time I find out that a great creative of any field is Australian I feel an instant affinity and appreciation. It’s not that our upbringing is so difficult that it is a feat to get to the successful stage, but the acknowledgement that Australians are on par with those from New York, London and Paris. We aren’t on the official fashion month calendar, but our talent are just as worthy. Modern day mind-blowers include Kym Ellery and Emma Mulholland – individual, free and incredibly creative. I like to think that we bring a certain niceness and ease to the industry, teaching those built on the classics to let go a little and experiment.
The man of the hour as we look back at the past is Richard Tyler, the Melbourne-born celebrity dresser and designer. Tyler started his career in the era of rock, attracting famous attention to his small boutique and creating outfits for Molly Meldrum on Countdown. The classic Australian starting point and a claim to fame in itself. He then moved on to launch his own label in the 80’s after moving to the US, inspired by his background in rich tailoring with plenty of handiwork and embroidery, sought after by males and females alike.
I just love his little quote featured in The Fashion Book, “I have no ego, all I have is my skill.” A lesson for us all – reflecting on Richard Tyler’s craftsmanship as a designer, and also his wisdom as a human being.