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Camilla

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FASHION FUTURE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

Australian designer Camilla Franks talks of timeless style and her fashion journey.

Describe your style or collection

My current Soleil collection was created a tribute to my travels from The Maldives to India, Africa, The Caribbean and Mexico. I was inspired by island paradises and idyllic gardens, I want to celebrate the beauty, strength and fragility of the natural world.

How and why did you enter the fashion Industry?

Originally I channeled my creative side into my roles as an actress, it was my flamboyant characters that drove the inspiration to create and design costumes. As an actress I always loved designing my own costumes, I really think it is one of the most important aspects of creating a character. As my passion for acting waned and the interest in my designs increased it was a natural progression from one industry to the other.

Where did the journey into fashion design begin for you?-

The journey began for me seven years ago. I choreographed and directed an opera to launch my first collection at The Intercontinental. About 30 models and actresses took part. After the launch we had back-to-back sales appointments in the presidential suite. David Jones was one of the first to view the collection and they bought it straight away. This was when I realised I was on the right path and acting was definitely going to take a back seat.

Who has influenced you most in your life?  

My parents were the two main sources of influence. I take inspiration from my mother's sense of style and my father’s talents as a brilliant artist who taught me to paint as a young girl.

1. Why is it so rewarding to be a leading Fashion Designer

I take my greatest reward as the ability to make women of all shapes and sizes feel beautiful and glamorous in my creations.

2. Where do you get your inspirations from?

As with my current collection, I take a great deal of inspiration from nature. This is expressed in the exotic bold prints and a kaleidoscope of florals designs. I create all my prints from scratch using photographs I have taken and sourced fabulous artworks as well as simply splashing paint onto canvas.

3. What has been your greatest achievement?

Being the first Australian designer to be invited aboard The World, one of the world's most exclusive luxury cruise liners. I got to showcase my collection in Santorini and since then have been invited back to show in Miami and Mexico. There's never a dull moment aboard the ship - it's filled with amazing and inspirational women devoted to the new, the exciting, and the adventure of experiencing different cultures.

4. What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?

Creating my coffee table book was definitely one of the most interesting challenges for me to date. I had  never had anything to do with the publishing field and had no idea about the first thing to do with creating a book. But with a little research and determination I made it happen.

5. What changes in your business, if any, have you made to adapt to the current economic climate?

We have been incredibly lucky that we have a strong and loyal customer base who have supported us throughout this time. We have increased our focus to climates and markets that reflect the ethos of the Camilla brand and this strategic approach as been successful in helping grow our business during these tougher economic times.

6. Divulge the fashion piece that you couldn't live without?

A kaftan of course!

7. What is your worst fashion faux pas?

Wearing a dress to a red carpet event that I did not realize went completely see-through under lights.
The worst bit, it wasn’t until I was on stage with Alex Perry that it became very apparent when he pointed it out to me.

8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

To take the Camilla brand and store concept international, with many Camilla stockists around the world the next step would be our stand alone stores in global fashion capitals.

9.  What advice can you offer to emerging fashion designers?

Follow your passion, self belief is one of the strongest tools in business as you are not only selling your designs but yourself.

10. Camilla’s ‘HOT TIP’

1) Don’t follow the trends – individuality is priceless.
2) The perfect accessory to any outfit is confidence, if you don’t feel comfortable in an outfit it will show – you have to wear the outfit, don’t let it wear you!
3) If it makes you happy, wear it!

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