Australia is breeding a new brand of fashion designer, a designer that lives, breathes and most importantly embodies the label they create. One of those amazing new designers is former Brisbane (but now Sydney) girl, Sarah Williams – designer and creator of Saralli Designs.
Sarah sat down with Chasing Cait recently to share all the ins and outs of designing your own jewellery label. Here is what she had to say:
Chasing Cait: When did you establish your label and why?
Sarah: Saralli was established late 2008 with my room mate at the time. We started it because I had always wanted to have my own label, and I personally had to get my mind off the death of my father late 2008, so Saralli was born in his memory. He was an amazing artist and creative and I wanted to carry out our creative family legacy, as well as fulfill my dreams.
Who is the Saralli girl?
She’s a girl with many personalities/personas/alter-ego’ – she dresses the way she feels like the true chameleon she is – she can wear doc martens and studded cuff to a rock concert, flowers to a family BBQ, a sequinned turbans on a night on the town – and everything in between. She doesn’t follow the masses, she has her own unique style and loves that she looks different to her friends, because she is confident in her own skin.
What is your favourite piece from your collection and why?
This is really hard! There have been a few one-off things I have kept for myself over the years because I just loved them so much and they had to be mine! everything I design comes from within me, and its always created because I love it, so it’s hard to just pick one! but my favourite at the moment are the over-shirts/capes….they are so versatile, I try to wear a different one everyday because they are just so easy but still look really good without trying too hard! They are great for any shaped body and I always feel comfortable in my skin (fat days or not) when I wear one!
Aurora maxi overshirt $119.95
Currently Saralli is stocked at Little Lace in Brisbane City, Jorj Clothing at Stones Corner and we have just picked up a new stockist – Dr. & Devo in ACT! pretty cool they sought us out and loved our items! and of course, stocked online at www.saralli.com.au
I know you are embarking on a new adventure in Sydney, is this for your label?
Ah Sydney! well, no actually, my partner just got moved for work so off we went! So I of course, saw this as an amazing opportunity to obviously get more serious about the label too and to take it to the next level.
Where do you see the Saralli in 5 years time?
Hard to say, technology changes so often and I’m constantly re-thinking this question because of the way people are changing how they consume. I’m now thinking less of actual retail space for Saralli, and more of an epic online experience, covering a much wider range of accessories and clothing for Australian women. I hope Saralli turns into a bit of a one-stop shop for unique Australian fashion and can be comparable to the successes of our competitor giants like ASOS. Gotta dream big right?!
Oh, and I see the business itself in a huge white office/warehouse/production space with a small, talented team of Saralli girls who just make it happen. and I, of course, will be travelling the world finding inspiration to bring back to our consumers.
Saralli Birds of Paradise earrings $49.95
Which celeb would you love to see wearing Saralli?
Well, I draw a lot of my inspiration from strong, powerful female musicians…so anyone along the lines of pop goddesses like Gaga, Beyonce, Rihanna, Katy Perry, right down to my indie favourites like Bjork, Robyn, Peaches, Roisin Murphy etc… all amazing in their own ways.
Who is your style icon and why?
I swear this probably changes for me on a weekly basis, I put on many different hats in my life, but perhaps Lady Gaga right now. I mean, she gets alot of things wrong, and yes, shes a bit kookoo, and i don’t necessarily like her music…. BUT, I love her because she always takes everything to the next level, she takes her brand very seriously, loves making a statement and commits to her looks 100%. She has fun with fashion, which is what its meant to be, and often alot of people get caught up in the serious side of the fashion word, where there is a lot of competition, negativity and difficulties, but at the end of the day – it’s fashion, it”s a fun way in which everyone can interpret themselves on the daily. It should be FUN!
Saralli Cosmic love necklace - red $69.95
How would you describe YOUR own style?
My own style is exactly what my label is about, which is being a chameleon. Some days I wake up, and I think…I don’t want to wear shoes to the shop, and I throw on a maxi dress and don’t brush my hair. Other days, I want to wear all black and put my hair in a tight bun. Getting ready for work takes all of 10 minutes most days. When I go out, I want to be a brightly coloured butterfly and take time to put on lots of make up and do my hair in curls, and to leave my glasses at home. When I’m bumming around at home, I’m in the ugliest oldest clothes I can find. But hey! thats me, and i’m not really sure what you call it, its not really a distinct style, so I guess if I’m like that, there has got to be more like me, so Saralli really caters for this. Im big about experimenting with accessories and working with your basic wardrobe, which is what I do and think its the way of the future!
What was your biggest fashion fail?
I hate reliving this moment in my life! but its definitely when I went to my friends formal in 2003. Picture this – an entirely rouched cobalt blue vintage dress (boob tube), a hot pink silk sash worn as a low hip belt (when wearing those was sooooo cool) with my dark hair in tight ringlets and all pinned on top of my hair, pink hand made earrings and hot pink eyeshadow. back in the days before we knew to get spray tans and hair straighteners….oh the shame….
Saralli Sweet Dreams bow headband $49.95
What is your best fashion tip to the everyday girl out there?
I would say is to invest in fashion pieces that you are in love with. For years I shopped purely by price point, and I regret it all now. I end up with cheap, on trend, mass produced, ill fitting clothes that I don’t have a connection with, nor do I feel any different when I wear them.
It’s the thing you buy when you feel like you are the best version of yourself, and you OWN that look – whether its a bold statement necklace that you saved for for months, a colourful cape you connected with and bought at the markets which makes you feel like a floating butterfly and lifts your mood, or a really amazing pair of heels that are so comfortable on, and yes, might be from a reputable shoe designer and aren’t the cheaper knock-off versions, but will be an investment in years to come.
And of course, to just be yourself. I gave up trying to look cool for people and pretending to like certain trends just because everyone else was doing it. Its the girls that separate themselves from the pack and do things for themselves that lead the most for-filling lives.
Visit the Saralli online store here
Have you got any questions for Sarah?
Who is you style icon?
What was your biggest fashion fail? (come on, we all have them!)