Isabella Charles is a 17 year old emerging Australian fashion designer, based in between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
The Isabella Charles brand began as a passion project as a product of the designer’s creativity and desire to design and make her own clothing. This was before evolving into a clothing label that has been styled, photographed and published, Australia-wide and internationally throughout Europe and the United States.
Isabella’s brand explores alternative aspects of fashion, experimenting with avant-garde designs and a nonconformist approach to trends. Her designs adopt unconventional silhouettes, while playing with elements of both femininity and masculinity.
The Isabella Charles girl is confident, unique and unafraid of being an individual. Her unmistakable style is ever changing, and her distinct designs convey power and individuality.
Isabella is currently attending the Queensland University of Technology to study a Bachelor of Fashion Design and Business.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF AND YOUR DESIGNS?
I am a very creative and ambitious person. Fashion for me is a creative outlet and a form of self-expression.
My designs are quite unconventional, as I like to play with different textures and silhouettes to achieve a style that is completely unique. The Isabella Charles aesthetic is bold, generally with a quite dark colour scheme. My designs convey power and individuality. I love to combine lots of different fabrics, such as sheers with leathers and sequins, maintaining a very high end and luxe look.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR WORK?
I am really driven to produce the most imaginative and unique designs, by taking what I conceive and turning those concepts into a creation. Once my designs are conceptualised and I can see the end product, I am driven to create more and further my range.
It is truly amazing to conceive a concept and carry this through to creating the garment itself, and then watching it photographed and worn by a model.
I am always inspired by watching runway shows and seeing the garments; how they look and move in real life. It’s hard to pinpoint a single thing that inspires my designs, but there is definitely an architectural influence.
I am inspired by certain fabrics and silhouettes, which allow me to envision a final concept. A lot of the time during the design process my original concept will evolve and sometimes can end up being a completely different design. And I love that also!
HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN FOR THE ISABELLA CHARLES LABEL?
Since I can remember I have been obsessed with fashion. From a very young age, I was not only dressing but styling myself, which then turned into making my own clothes with my very first sewing machine. I loved to watch the runway shows and be inspired by luxury fashion.
I am very creative and have always been encouraged to pursue my artistic side. This creativity and my love for fashion went hand in hand and I began to not just create clothing, but design it.
I was 15 years old when I showcased a few outfits in a student runway show, and was then approached by a photographer who wanted to arrange a photoshoot. It resulted in some amazing photos of my designs, which led me to create an online portfolio to showcase my designs including through social media (Instagram).
I was contacted by more photographers and stylists about my designs. These connections in the local fashion industry have driven greater exposure for my designs and created new and exciting opportunities. I have a strong network of creatives, and my work has now been published in several magazines and publications, Australia-wide and internationally.
It was a very proud moment to showcase my first runway collection last year. I put in so much work and effort into designing this collection and I was so fulfilled with the outcome. Being able to see my designs showcased in such a professional industry setting was a really amazing achievement for me and my brand. It’s not something that many teenagers can say they have accomplished!
Tell us about your team?
The Isabella Charles team is just me at the moment. I acquired a design studio space last year where I have an area to sew, sketch, store my machines and fabrics and keep all my garments. This space is my haven. Being able to have my own designing area lets me block out all distractions and be completely focused on my work. As I don’t mass produce garments, I don’t really need anyone else at this point, however, I do have a great circle of photographers, models, makeup artists and stylists who help me to conceptualise my designs and bring them to life.
What creative work has you excited right now?
I am currently working on my first collection of the year. The designing process all the way to the final result never ceases to excite me and motivate me to create more. I am also starting university this year - I will be studying a Bachelor of Fashion Design and Business at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). I am very eager to begin immersing myself in what I love and also surround myself with, and meet like-minded people!