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fashfest designer profile: szn

Photo: Fashfest

Photo:  Kewal Rai

Name: Suzan Dlouhy

Label name: SZN

Web address and/or FB address:;


Where are you based?


How did you get into fashion and what do you love about it compared to other types of design?

I was looking for an alternative to a desk job, I’d always been interested in art and design, and wanted to develop my fashion design and production skills more. For me being a fashion design is more than just design. It’s a lifestyle choice, a very comprehensive microcosm of society that reflects our values, technology, social norms, self-expression, and more!

Who is your target audience?

People interested in wanting to engage in meaningful discussion about who they are, what they do and where they’d like to be.

How would you describe your aesthetic, and what can people expect from your collection at FASHFEST 2014?

SZN is exploration of the idea that something can always come from nothing. I like to give value to and re-contextualise objects and materials in a very logical, minimal process.

FASHFEST 2014 will see SZN establish some basic silhouettes that complement the adhoc nature of the variance that comes with constantly changing materials inputs.

What’s your design philosophy?


More and more, ideas of sustainability and ethics are explored by fashion designers, how is this reflected in your own label?

I look to my immediate environment for material input. I have purchased remnants and scraps from local fellow designers, and collected discarded garments from the tip, friends and from charity stores. Before I attempt to invent a new process I’d like to be a solution to the current situation.

What do you look for when casting models, and how can a model help articulate a particular ‘feel’ or aesthetic?

People with personalities, someone I can chat to about art, music or what they think about the choreography that I have given them. A model is as important as the garment itself. They are the first person to embody the design and therefore make an impression on how it is perceived.

Do you think the Australian fashion industry supports emerging designers?

Yes and no. I think it is hard to define what exactly the ‘Australian Fashion Industry’ is. If it’s my fellow Canberran designers, then yes 100 per cent. But there is a disconnect between emerging designers, design houses, retailers and whatever manufacturers are left. It would be great if fashion had paid apprenticeship-style positions or grants for those starting out.

How can your designs be purchased?

At the pop up shop Three Little Birds and Little Boy Blue in the Hotel Hotel foyer. Or through my contact page on

Do you have any advice for someone considering fashion design as a career path?        

Like anything, only do it if you love it! Don’t be disheartened by stereotypical opinions about what fashion is, or who does fashion or what you’re supposed to know to do it.

Anything else you’d like to share with Lip’s readers?

Fashion is not frivolous

What night are you on at Fashfest?        

Saturday 3 May 2014


Fashfest will be held at the Canberra Airport, 30 April to 3 May, in a beautifully designed space, with a massive atrium, stunning architectural elements and a modern industrial look. Tickets are available exclusively from the Fashfest website, and are fast selling out so get a move on, have a great night and support local and home-grown fashion talent!


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  1. Pingback: Lip went to Fashfest: here's what happened| lip magazine

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