Fabrics are extremely expansive in Australia. It's generally cheaper in Korea, and there is also a huge department store selling only fabrics. If you are imagining a bigger version of Lincraft or Spotlight stores, you are dead wrong, it will be more appropriate to think of it as the Chadstone shopping centre for fabrics.
What is great about this fabric department store in Korea is that not only there are near infinite numbers of every kind of fabrics (even if you are looking for a fabric you only imagined, the chances are, it's there), the prices are very competitive. Like Chadstone shopping centre, this fabric department store is made up of hundreds of different stores selling fabrics so you can imagine how competitive the prices must be. There is no sale seasons, but that's only because you can bargain anytime you want. To give you an idea how cheap you can get things in this department store, last year when I visited Korea, I was able to buy top quality fine tulle at the price of $1 per meter, where as in Australia, it will cost you up to $10 per meter. I could have asked for discount but I was so happy with the price that I really didn't feel the need to.
With $300 I decided to spend on fabrics in Korea, I was able to buy more than I could carry back to Australia and still had some money left.
The fabric department store in Korea.
Knowing this, it's very hard for me to buy fabrics in Australia. Even if there is a fabric that I was looking for at amazingly low price, I know it will still be lot cheaper in Korea. I used to ask for friends or relatives coming to Australia to bring some fabrics for me but this means that I have to plan months ahead, which isn't very economical because I might end up changing the entire concept while i'm waiting, and this meant that I had to stick with what I asked even if I manged to find something far superior. Also, I cannot always rely on the taste level of people I know. It's very hard to explain the exact shade of colours that I need and even if I managed to explain everything completely, if they do not know about fashion the way fashion designers do, they will be most likely to bring me the wrong thing. So after few let downs from friends and families, I decided unless I go to Korea myself, it is far better to buy fabrics that I want and need in Australia.
After my last projects, I actually started to plan my very first runway show. There was no reason why I should not do a runway show and I was amazed how I just assumed that I needed to wait until graduation before I have a runway show without even thinking about it. After spending time doing my own projects, I realised that it is very possible. I am planning about 20 looks, hopefully 30, to be shown around when Melbourne has its fashion week next year as an independent show. I really wanted to break away from using one main fabric and main colour like I did with my last two projects and show more variety and depth of what inspired me.
These are the fabrics I got for two or three dresses I designed as a part of my full collection. I found these on Ebay and despite my friends warning against using Ebay to buy fabrics, I am very satisfied with the products I was able to purchase through Ebay. I felt like a kid with Christmas present when I got this today :)
This boucle fabric is my favourite. It has amazingly rich and luxurious texture, which I always love. The colour is just utterly romantic. I bought 5 meters but after seeing it, I'm going to buy more of it.
This is wool blend suiting fabric in chocolate and apricot hound tooth check. It looks very sophisticated with the feeling of understated elegance.
Very fun candy stripe cotton blend. The print is so sweet and delicious, it looks good enough to eat and kill a diabetic.
I must say I cannot wait to work with more of these amazing fabrics!!! :D