Canberra, Australia is a city fortunate to claim designers Lousia de Smet and Steven Wright as its own. As the founders of Corr Blimey, the duo have been electrifying the fashion scene in the area since 2001. Their collections of sustainable couture feature dramatic silhouettes that can almost literally stand on their own. Corr Blimey emphasizes a process that focuses on the environmental sensitivity of each piece from its initial sketch to final walk down the runway.
For Corr Blimey, environmental and social responsibility are far more than buzzwords. The Louisa de Smet and Steven Wright have been designing with this ethos for over a decade and remain as major forces behind industry events such as FASHFEST in Australia. In addition be being the co-founder of the label, Wright also lectures at the Canberra Institute of Technology, and is the fashion director at Haus Models. Inspired by the intellectual, adventurous nature of the city, the team has helped to create a burgeoning fashion scene.
“Sustainable fashion is the future of the industry and its significance cannot be underestimated. It provides us as designers with a way to encourage ethical consumption and allows us to address not only the fashion product but also the process of designing itself. Using sustainable thinking allows us to explore the entire life-cycle of the garment, from the initial idea through to disposal, it creates a situation where as a designer you engage in a discourse with the viewer and wearer of your designs rather than just producing a product for purchase.” de Smet told Ecouterre.
Their garments take their textures, colors, and shapes from nature, creating distinct and sculptural silhouettes. Not ones to follow seasonal whims, the designers explore an idea or material until they feel they have exhausted their imaginations. De Smet can recall a love affair with cabbages, and has recreated its form with a myriad of structural fabrics.
“We enjoy pushing the physical qualities of fabrics to maximize visual impact. Our design process doesn’t follow macro trends, so often we’ll fall in love with a fabric and sit on it for a few years until we’ve designed the range that is able to maximize its full potential. Our philosophy is that the garment should stand alone with out a body inside to dictate its direction. The body should only enhance what is already there.”
To minimize waste, materials like leathers and hides are displayed with imperfections and live edge instead of discarded or trimmed. Designs try to balance a modern look with timeless quality to weather the seasonal fluxes of taste. Built upon a model of sustainability, Corr Blimey is free to produce lines that are concerned less with temporary profit, and more with a long-lasting relevance. In a mix of high fashion and accessible streetwear, the label represents the full range of a sustainable wardrobe.