Katherine Jack, Whitecliffe

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Fashion and Sustainability graduate, Katherine Jack, has always had a passion for the fashion world since she was a young age. 

“My parents like to remind me, maybe a little too often, of a story where I had my first ‘fashion meltdown’, you could say, at age 3, because I was adamant on choosing my own outfit for kindergarten,” said Jack. 

Fashion has always fascinated Jack her whole life, she recalls looking at clothes and seeing beyond the finished product. Jack wanted to know how to make the clothes and the ins-and-outs of construction. 

“Clothing can be so much more than just a necessity. It has the power to transform you, to uplift a mood and give the wearer confidence. Fashion has always been this for me, and I hope I can design clothes that empower others to feel the same way.”

Through her studies at Whitecliffe, Jack realised how important it is to stay grounded and have a clear focus as a designer. Having a clear focus vision is what you want to express through your designs. 

“It took me a while to realise this, but when I did, I felt my designs really reflected who I was as a person and my personal style rather than what may have been on-trend at the time.”

Jack is always inspired by the natural world – especially the ocean. She has always been a huge lover of the beach, the textures and the details that can be found and, the nostalgic salty smell that transports you back to fond memories. 

“I always say that I feel a connection to the ocean, and that is something I really try to carry through my collections.”

Jack’s graduate collection, Life Below, aims to shed a light on coral bleaching. A devastating result of environmental destruction. It is a symbol of time where over consumption and disconnect from our beautiful plant has reached a tipping point. 

“I really believe that for us to take the natural world, whether that be physically or emotionally, we need to give back and create a harmonious relationship, free of exploitation.”

A neutral colour palette to represent bleaching was an important part of expressing these ideas for Jack. Alongside this, she focused on tailoring techniques and fabric manipulation to combine the two prominent physical features of a reef; hard and soft corals. 

Sheer floating fabrics were used to create a sense of spirituality to convey Jack’s personal experiences and feelings. Jack also incorporated a peach knitted dress in a bright and vibrant colour to uplift the collection.

“I really believe that together, we can make a change. Connect deeply, live consciously and seek harmony with our precious natural world.”

Photography by Gab Stoddard.

With thanks to Vanity Walk Models, Red Eleven Model Management and Bintang Models and Management.