Kathryn Walsh, 1 May, 2022

QUT fashion alumnus Kathryn Walsh connects emerging fashion designers to customers seeking thoughtfully-made garments at her unique shop-workroom hybrid, Practice Studio, in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.

Practice Studio features seasonless collections by emerging designers, limited edition art-fashion pieces and short runs of garments and accessories. We chat with Kat about the inspiration behind Practice Studio, how the model benefits emerging designers, and which local designer she has her eye on at the moment.

What inspired you to establish Practice Studio?

For me the driving force was the desire to affect a mindset shift. Practice Studio was always intended to be both a shop and a design workroom. I wanted to take people behind the scenes and re-establish that link between maker and consumer. When people can physically see a garment being designed and made in front of them, they really start to understand how much work, thought and skill goes into the process.

Ethics and sustainability are at the core of what Practice Studio does. How did you first become interested in slow fashion?

My interest in slow fashion started in uni and it was quite a direct result of just learning more about the industry. It became obvious that the system we’re operating within is unsustainable (and causing more harm than good).

How does a place like Practice Studio help support emerging designers in Brisbane?

Practice Studio gives emerging designers a chance to test out ideas, get feedback from actual customers and experiment with fit, price point and marketing. It’s a pretty safe place to start out and we definitely encourage people to work at their own pace. So rather than feeling locked into seasonal calendars or the need to produce in bulk, we can help designers to minimise their risks and create meaningful, authentic work.

Who in the Brisbane fashion scene are you excited or inspired by at the moment?

I am in love with Bulley Bulley. If you don’t already know this label, it’s run by two brilliant sisters – Kiara and Bianca – and they just make the wildest stuff. At the moment we’ve got some corsets and hand-painted sets in-store. And a giant squid too, just because they felt like making one. The most inspiring thing is seeing other people get so on board with it. They’re one of our most popular brands, and now I pretty much just let them bring in whatever crazy idea they’ve whipped up over the weekend and put it out on the floor.

What are your hopes for Practice Studio moving forward?

With everything going on at the moment, the future is pretty uncertain. But I hope that when it comes time to rebuild, we can help pave a better path forward. I want to encourage even more innovation and creativity within our local design community and get people excited about what fashion could be. Just quietly, I’ve got a fair few project ideas brewing…

Learn more about Practice Studio on their website.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Design (Fashion).

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Kathryn walsh square

Kathryn Walsh

Bachelor of Design (Fashion)

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