Domayne recently had the honour of teaming up with the Whitehouse Institute of Design to offer its third year fashion students the chance to design a couture creation using a selection of fabrics from KAS’ range of bed linen. Competition was stiff and the six finalists were ultimately selected for their use of drama and innovative translation of interior prints into fashion design. With the winning submission chosen by none other than Marie Claire‘s Editor Jackie Frank alongside Marie Claire’s Fashion Director Jana Pokorny, it was Leith Hudson’s frock-tastic safari-suit that stole the show.
Here, we chat to 26-year-old Leith about her choice of career, fashion faux pas and style icons:
What are your passions and hobbies?
I have enjoyed drawing and painting since childhood. I love to travel whenever I get the chance, I love to experience other cultures and am fascinated by history – I get a lot of inspiration from travel. I also love reading and watch films; I enjoy the escapism of being immersed in another world or inhabiting other people’s lives for a short time.
What made you decide to study fashion design?
I studied creative writing at uni and took some fashion subjects and got better results in them and found it more interesting. I deferred and worked in real estate for a number of years and found myself more interested in what other women in real estate were wearing and drawing outfits all over property lists, so I thought I should bite the bullet and study something I find fulfilling, rather than just settling for a well-paid job.
Who are your favourite designers?
I admire many designers: Alexander McQueen for his vision, the femininity of everything created by Chloe and Christopher Bailey – the chief designer for Burberry – for being able to breathe new life into a historic brand.
How would you describe your personal style?
My style is constantly evolving, but I have a soft spot for vintage and oddly enough cowboy and western looking ensembles.
Any embarrassing fashion disasters that you care to divulge?
Both have been swimwear related. The first was at a swimming carnival when, after swimming in a race, a triangle bikini swiveled from its normal position, leaving me exposed. Having realised, I said ‘hi’ to an attractive male teacher who didn’t know where to look. The second was at a water theme park, when the bottoms of my favourite bikini – which was well-loved – went see-through from age, right on my butt! My friends made an executive decision not to tell me until the very end of the day (they decided I’d have a better time not knowing) when some boys behind us were laughing and it couldn’t be avoided. We left pretty soon afterwards, so I suppose they were right!
What are your sources of inspiration when working on a creative project?
Everything! I am inspired by what I’m watching at the time, the runways, magazines, books, history, travel, art, life and past experiences. Literally everything.
A huge congratulations for designing the winning outfit! What was going through your mind when they announced your name?
I was in complete shock! I was quietly confident in my design but had prepared myself just in case things didn’t go my way, so I think I did a second take! It was a great feeling that the hard work had paid off.
What made you chose that particular KAS print?
I am quite drawn to bright colours and it reminded me of a cross section of the layers which I thought was really visually interesting.
What inspired your dress design and what were the challenges that you faced?
I was inspired by a Louis Vuitton resort collection and the current utilitarian inspired designs on the S/S 2014 runways. I thought a safari suit in such bright colours would be really fun, summery and on trend. In terms of challenges, firstly I’d say coming to terms with cutting up a bedspread! Secondly, the timing was tricky with other assessment commitments; we worked down to the wire however we all got there in the end! I’d like to congratulate all of the other girls who entered and all of the finalists who did an amazing job.