Sunday, 22 March 2015

KAREN LEE (FASHFEST Designer feature)

When Karen Lee puts her mind to designing a garment, she doesn’t think about current trends or standard body sizes. She thinks about the way fabric drapes and moves and concentrates on simple, sophisticated lines and contemporary shapes.

So it’s no wonder that her label ‘Karen Lee’ has fast gained a reputation for quality fashion that is refreshingly different—garments that allow women to feel comfortable and move comfortably.

While it’s easier said than done to design this way, the end result is garments that are both interesting and timeless … garments that transcend body shape and culture.

Karen sells her fashion at Assemblage Project, a retail shop she owns in Braddon, and is a regular stallholder at Hustle&Scout.  

Talking direct to customers is important to Karen. ‘It’s rewarding to chat about what they like and to have the opportunity to advise customers direct on style and fit,’ she says. ‘There’s often an element of surprise when some customers try on a Karen Lee piece for the first time, which is rewarding to see.’

Aside from being elegant, Karen Lee’s garments easily accommodate changing forms and changing shapes, making them highly cost-effective per wear. And many pieces are easy to dress up or down. ‘It’s entirely up to wearers to create their own style,’ says Karen.

All of Karen’s garments are designed and cut in Canberra. Manufacturing takes place in the capital, as well as in Melbourne and Albury, with tight quality control.

With the recent move to a new and expanded retail space at the ORI Building on Lonsdale Street, Assemblage Project now also stocks other interesting local fashion designers, many of whom have also appeared at Hustle&Scout, including Andie Meredith, PurePod, 4minutes33 and Jodie Cunningham.

Karen is also putting full-on effort into her next collection, which she’ll launch on the catwalk at FASHFEST 2015. ‘A Journey’—an inspirational and memorable collection—is inspired by the transition from one space to another.

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