Style Melbourne

Award-winning new designer Eva Huynh

Although the economy may be glum, the fashion scene refuses to be ensconced in this bleak atmosphere.  We’ve dubbed ourselves ‘Recessionistas’, sewing has become chic as we’ve snipped our ’08 maxis into must have minis, and we’ve diligently scoured op-shops trying to channel retro grunge, aka Agnes Deyn.  Now we can credit the crunch with uncovering another fashion gem in the form of Eva Huynh, whose delicate creations recently won her the coveted student category in the NRA Australian Fashion Design Awards.

Eva is Melbourne born and raised.  She made the best of the creative environment that her dressmaker mother and graphic designer father created.  “I’m a combination of both of them.”  She studied Textile Design at RMIT majoring in knitwear and after finishing last year struggled to find a job.

“It’s a tough time at the moment and its very hard finding a job in the industry, but I didn’t give up.  In the end I started entering competitions for exposure.”

After coming across the NRA Awards Eva entered with no expectations of winning.

“One of the judging criteria was marketability, but I wanted to create a collection of detailed avant garde pieces, because I thought I would never get the opportunity to be this creative again.”

Her designs were certainly intricate and avant garde; but they are also marketable.  They’re sculptural yet still delicate and feminine, pieces any Recessionista would happily hand over her K-Rudd money for.

“The inspiration behind this collection came from the Australian seaside.  Colours, textures, patterns and forms found in shells, sand and rocks.  There is also a fashion designer called Sandra Backlund whose style is mainly about sculptural shapes.  She was a huge inspiration to me while I was at uni.

Part of her prize for winning the student category includes a Paris American Academy Fashion workshop scholarship, which will see Huynh jetting to France to fulfil one of her dreams.

“One part of the scholarship is invitations backstage to Haute Couture shows.  That is the ultimate for me.”

She may be reaching dizzying heights with her ethereal creations but she remains refreshingly grounded.   “I want to get experience in the industry before I start my own label.   You need to be more than just a good designer.  There are so many factors you need to keep in mind like finance, promotion and quality control.”

Whilst we may have to wait to see the Eva Huynh label in boutiques across

Melbourne, if you’re in Brisbane you can get a hold of her designs through Daniel Alexander’s ‘Emerging Designer’ programme which is run there.   The Huynh client?  “Femine, fun, elegant and someone who likes to look different.”

We’re Sold.

Random Final Five:

1. Favourite Designer?

Too many to name, Akira Isogawa, Toni Maticevski, Elie Saab, Christian Lacroix, Sandra Backlund.

2. If you weren’t a designer you would be…?

Maybe a chef.  I love being creative.  I guess it’s the idea of turning simple ingredients into a dish or turning fabrics into a garment.

3.  What’s the biggest fashion faux pas?

Boys who wear super tight pants.  Some of my friends find it hot but it’s a big no no for me.

4.  Who would you love to dress?

Britney Spears…yes…I’m Serious! Huge Fan! I think she’s gorgeous.

5.  Favourite place to shop in Melbourne?

Definitely the Camberwell markets.  I love to take vintage fashion and transforming it into something modern.  There are so many different stalls and you can get some really amazing things for a really good price.

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Words – Alison Bottcher

Images courtesy designer

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