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fashfest designer profile: zilpah tart


Image: Yumi Morrison

Image: Yumi Morrisey

Name: Yumi Morrissey
Label: Zilpah tart
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 started sewing when I was 5, making different outfits for my troll dolls.  When I was 7, I decided I wanted to be a fashion designer and after year 12, completed a Bachelor of Design (Fashion Design) at Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT). I love fashion design because clothing can be very powerful.  An outfit has the ability to help a person show their personality and communicate their own individuality.  If you feel good in the clothing you wear, you radiate confidence.

Who is your target audience?
The Zilpah tart customer is a woman aged between 25 and 40. She is professional, feminine and confident. She has an appreciation for Australian made/handmade products and enjoys unique clothing/accessories.  She likes wearing clothing that makes her feel special – something that makes her stand out in the crowd.

How would you describe your aesthetic, and what can people expect from your collection at FASHFEST 2014?
My aesthetic is feminine, bold and unique.  I love using bright colours and prints, and full silhouettes.  My Spring Summer 2014 collection, ‘Flourish’, is light-hearted, fun and feminine. I’ve used a lot of bamboo and organic cotton jersey for comfort.  The garments are teamed with handbags in bright and bold prints, for a range of occasions.

What’s your design philosophy?
I design clothing and handbags that are different. My designs are meant to be noticed in a crowd. I believe you need to distinguish yourself and make a point of difference.

More and more, ideas of sustainability and ethics are explored by fashion designers, how is this reflected in your own label?
All garments and handbags are handmade by the designer, in Australia. This is very important to my label, as well as to my target market.  In the future, if the construction workload becomes too much to handle, I will always look to employ local people to ensure the Australian, handmade aspect remains.

What do you look for when casting models, and how can a model help articulate a particular ‘feel’ or aesthetic?
I look for feminine models that radiate confidence. I think if a model feels confident in the garments, they automatically portray the feeling of the label.

Do you think the Australian fashion industry supports emerging designers?
I think more opportunities are becoming available, (such as FASHFEST), providing emerging designers with a platform to launch their brand. I also think there is a growing desire within the market for more sustainable, ethical, locally made and designed clothing. Consumers have become more aware of the cost the mass produced fashion industry has on the environment and within the communities where it is produced.

How can your designs be purchased?
Online, at – my new collection will be online for pre-order after FASHFEST.
At the Old Bus Depot Markets and Handmade Markets in Canberra.
I will also be looking to gain some stockists with the launch of this collection, which is my first seasonal collection.

Do you have any advice for someone considering fashion design as a career path?
Learn the skills you need to complete most of the tasks yourself. It can be financially challenging in the beginning, particularly if you need to hire the skills of pattern makers, web developers, graphic designers etc.
I learnt pattern making at CIT, undertook a Certificate in Website design and development and complete all photography and graphic design myself. This means that I don’t have the outlay for those things.

What night are you on at Fashfest?
Friday night – 2nd 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!


One thought on “fashfest designer profile: zilpah tart

  1. Pingback: Find of the week! - Zilpah tart - Something for Mummies, Aunts, Friends, Grandmas (trendy grandmas) - Mum's The Word inc.

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