An Interview with Rachael Cassar
- BY: NETHMI RATNAYAKE
- Oct. 31, 2016
Rachael Cassar is a Australian designer, leading the way in designing sustainable fashion. Recently celebrating ten years of her brand, Rachael Cassar, she spoke to us about her brand and her experiences in the fashion industry.
So tell me a little bit about your fashion brand and your philosophy?
Rachael Cassar is an experimental high-end fashion label that explores the process of deconstruction, reconstruction and up-cycling to produce one-off fashion alternative pieces. I carefully craft each piece, so this means that no design is repeated or replicated. As a result, purchasing one of my pieces means that you own the design. I sculpt and collage direct to the mannequin so all the materials are re-purposed and re-contextualised giving new life to ‘used’ and discarded materials, thus exploring sustainable fashion.
My fashion philosophy is to encourage the slow consumption of fashion, so quality over quantity with a return to craftsmanship and value in materials. It is also to create pieces that you hopefully cannot throw away, pieces that you keep in the family. I hope that the consumer connects with and holds value in the pieces as well as the label’s process and artistic practice. These pieces do not conform to trend based fashion, but are rather timeless by creating bold forward thinking, experimental designs that are sustainable in multiple ways.
What first made you want to pursue a career in fashion?
I have always communicated who I am and how I feel through the way that I dress, so I decided from a very young age that I wanted to be a designer so I could develop this communication into something stronger and bolder.
Who is your greatest fashion idol?
I admire anyone who transport me into another world through their fashion. Alexander McQueen, for example, is an obvious one.
What’s your best memory/moment from your working career?
Winning a few major competitions was definitely a highlight. But some of the best moments came from having my garments well received in Hollywood. Carrie Underwood performed in one of my designs at the AMA’s, for example. Having a solo boutique showing at a luxury hotel in New York where they put me up for a week was also a great moment.
If there’s anything you would’ve done differently what would it be?
If I could do it over again, something I would do would be to move my practice overseas earlier on in my career.
What’s your number one piece of advice for people entering the fashion industry?
Don’t be a follower, be a leader. And above everything else, be your greatest critic.
(Pictured above: Tyra Banks in a Rachael Cassar top and skirt)
You can find Rachael Cassar at www.rachaelcassar.com or on Instagram @rachaelcassar