Student Life: Sophie Scally

Sophie Scally grew up surrounded by fashion. Her parents import fashion accessories and sell them all over the country, and through this, she has always had a natural flair for fashion. Scally studied at Baradene College in Auckland where she did all the art classes that were available. It was brands such as Céline, Ellery and Issey Miyake which inspired her to pursue her love of fashion and she enrolled at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design, graduating in 2017.

Scally uses textiles and fabrication to juxtapose conventional ideas of masculinity and femininity, a practice which features heavily in ‘Formation,’ her end-of-year minimalist collection inspired by New Zealand’s Waitomo region and glow-worm caves. While Scally presented eight looks, there is one of which she is particularly proud.

“The highlight of my collection would be my final look, a one-shoulder dress layered with flounces. My garments are designed for women that feed off simplistic work apparel; an attire prepared to adapt to any arising circumstances. There is a focus on developing a uniform, giving the consumer one less sartorial decision to make when it’s a chaotic morning for a working woman.”

For her graduate collection, Scally chose to develop a brand around her initials – SS. “Starting this brand will give me the opportunity to not only make beautiful clothing but to look at it in terms of a business,” she said. “My decision to invest in a brand as part of my practice last year creates an identity platform and communicates to the industry my dreams of operating my own brand after getting years of industry experience. The brand’s ethos has organically developed from my subconscious desires as a woman.”

As a designer, Scally is also focused on creating an awareness of the emerging era of sustainable textiles and techniques. “My designs have the fundamental attributes of longevity, timeless modernity and versatile tailoring, eliminating the possibility of any excess waste,” she explained. “My garments are constructed with couture methodology, designed for women that feed off simplistic work attire; apparel prepared to adapt to any arising circumstances. I hope to put forward a powerful and innovative contribution to the future of fashion.”

For Scally, sewing and designing can’t exist without the other. “Once you learn the basic skills of sewing, it gives you a better understanding of how garments are constructed, which leads to being able to experiment and break the boundaries of ordinary fashion. I find sewing very therapeutic and being able to express my creativity through a garment is always exciting.”

Scally wants to get industry experience before she can confidently pursue her dream of owning her own label. She has previously interned at Hawes and Freer and currently works as a production assistant for Karen Walker. She works with factories, both in New Zealand and overseas, making sure all the garments are made perfectly and on time. “I’m embracing all the opportunities I have been given,” she said. “From gathering this invaluable experience, I plan to pursue a fashion career overseas, hoping to work for high-end designers like Celine.”