Meet the gorgeous Dean Rankin and Gavin Bradstreet, the innovators behind the stunning label Khrysalis. Ragtradejobs is in full raptures with the elegance of this label, beautiful fabrication, colour and vibrancy. And the guys behind the scene are everything you would expect them to be. Talented, yet down to earth and willing to share their story on living the dream and a day in the life of Khrysalis.
WHERE DID YOU START YOUR CAREER?
Dean: I have had a diverse career path, having
previously studied Mortuary Science, Social Work and Teaching. I have been
involved and around fashion my whole life, cutting my teeth as a teenager in
the alternative underground scenes of both Canberra and Sydney. I was always
designing clothes, modeling, styling and art directing shoots and shows. I was
a performance artist for several years and would make all of our own costumes
and props. I then decided after working and collaborating with Gavin over
several years to go on and study Applied Fashion Design and Technology at
Ultimo TAFE, graduating with Distinction in 2008 and winning the Southern
Textile Institutes Design Award and the Delegates Choice Award at the
International conference in N.Z in 2009.
Gavin: Studied Fine Arts at the National Art School,
majoring in photography and sculpture. Gavin has previously worked as a graphic
designer. Whilst at art school Gavin topped the photography course and won the
animal drawing prize. After graduation Gavin had several exhibitions at
galleries like First Draft of his Fine art photography, it was then, 12 yrs ago
that we first began collaborating and working together on Fashion shoots. After
returning from the N.Z conference in 2009, Khrysalis was born.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
We love working together as a team, knowing
someone has got your back and having someone that you can bounce ideas off is
amazing and a real comfort in times of great stress. Gavin and I have worked
together for so many years now we can almost intuit each others thoughts and
ideas before they even happen. As they say, two head are better than one.
We love the creative freedom we have on a
daily basis and we love bringing our ideas to life.
We adore the whole process from the initial
idea/concept, to the designing, toiling, pattern making and sampling. Seeing the
garment you have been working on for several months finally finished as you
envisaged it is awesome, nothing beats that feeling of satisfaction.
We are passionate about and love the gorgeous
natural fibre's we work with that are of the absolute highest quality.
We love being able to take Vali our gorgeous
Great Dane to the studio with us everyday.
We love being given the opportunity to
showcase what we do everyday, participating in RAFW was a dream come true.
Seeing a member of the public wearing your
clothes is a feeling so special it almost defies description.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR AVERAGE DAY, WHAT DO YOU DO?
I think through this last year we are slowly
discovering that there is really no such thing as an average day and at times
this journey has been a wild ride, particularly in the lead up to Fashion
Week!! Our day really does depend on where about we are in the process, it
generally starts off with us attending to any correspondence, emails, call ins,
interviews and liaising with our Pr company RAW Fashion.
An average day can involve anything from
researching, meetings, designing, pattern making, cutting, toiling, fittings,
visiting suppliers, makers and sample machinists, paper work and so much more. Some weeks we can drive several hundred
kilometres and spent countless hours driving back and forth between meetings/
suppliers and our studio on the Northern Beaches. Our day begins in the studio
at around 8:30am and our day ends in the studio usually around 8:30pm (often much much later!).
We then return home, have dinner and do
whatever other work that needs to be done in the couple of hours before bed. We
do this 7 days a week and have done so since we first started the label over 1
year ago. I would say on average we would work a 14-16hr day. The business
really does not leave us any time for a life or for our much neglected friends
and family but this is a very small price to pay to have complete control and
freedom in our own business and the sacrifice made by any small start up
business no matter what the industry.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU OFFER SOMEONE WANTING A CAREER IN FASHION?
We think the most valuable piece of advice we
could offer is for people to have an unwavering belief in your self and what it
is you are doing. To be successful in this notoriously difficult industry one
must have passion and ambition. You must be prepared to work longer and harder
than you ever have before. Persistence is key, never give up and do not take no
for an answer.
Research is also incredibly important, whether
you are researching a position at a company with whom you have applied for a job, researching
trends or starting your own business, have all the documentation and paper
work/ contracts, or financial backing you may require in place.
Lastly gain as much industry experience as
possible, be it work experience or as a volunteer. Study, make sure you get all
the appropriate qualifications and learning you can behind you for whatever
position it is you may be interested in.
IS IT WHAT YOU KNOW OR WHO YOU KNOW?
We believe that it is a bit of both. Some
companies succeed purely on who they know and the doors opened by these people.
The right people can certainly open all the right doors but without talent,
skill and dedication (or a team of workers that possess these qualities) you
will not have any real longevity in this industry.
These days a great PR team is also a necessity.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
We are inspired by life, death and everything