How COVID-19 Isolation Turned Into An Expressive, Creative Journey, Through A Line Of One-Off Dresses.
To discuss my inspiration for the dress FAITH and ultimately shooting at Cowbell Creek, I need to start from the beginning.
COVID-19 hurt many industries around the world and Australia was no exception. Within the space of a few weeks in March, many industries, including the wedding industry, were shut down, with no certainty of when business would reopen. Then the Australian government put us into lockdown, which successfully flattened the curve and saved Australia from the crisis that many other countries were not so lucky to escape. At the time, there was much doubt and worry as to when we would open again and what the industries would be like when we did reopen.
As a business owner, mother, and wife I wanted to protect my family, which in turn helped protect others. I put us into quarantine for longer than the mandatory time, where only my husband left the house for work and upon his return, strict sanitising protocol was enforced to keep our family COVID-19 free. This also gave my team and I a lot of free time, as all my brides who were to marry up till August, had no choice to postpone their wedding and in turn, their appointments with me.
Helena Couture Designs is not just a career for me. Designing and sewing evening and wedding dresses was a hobby since my teenage years, that lead to a three-year, fulltime course in a Diploma of Applied Arts in Fashion Design. From there and with the encouragement of my husband and other family members, became my career, which I am deeply passionate about. If I was to have stopped working altogether during COVID-19, you might as well have chopped my arms off, as Helena Couture Designs is not just my bridal label but a strong part of who I am. It was at this time I knew I needed to work out what my team and I were going to do, to keep me from falling into a depressed state and that’s when I came up with an idea that would keep us all busy. That is when my range of COVID-19 dresses were born.
I decided during the initial lock down I was going to design a dress or two, which would have really only one main criteria – the dresses needed to be designed and created from one of the many tubs of fabric remnants left over from my many clients over the years. My mission to create beautiful gowns with minimal wastage and land fill suited me on so many levels, due to my love of conservation. In the past I had always donated remnants of fabric to other locations, such as schools, but due to COVID-19 restrictions in this new world we live in, it meant I needed to reuse them myself. What a fun challenge!
With isolation and the slowing of our normal world, I began to refresh and renew my mind with new creative ideas. The slowing of my mind seemed to take me back to basics and simplicity. My inspiration came from relaxing in my own home and garden, having the time to stop and smell the flowers and allowing me to breath and take in the beautiful outdoors anew. One of my first dresses ‘Faith’ was born from this simplicity of nature; the hues of earthiness, soft tones, and green foliage. The shoot took place out in the countryside, and where better than Cowbell Creek? The working farm oozed Australiana and the protruding light lent itself to an almost spiritual or angelic feel.
Related Tag: Wedding Gowns Brisbane
The photo shoot itself was a huge team effort and an amalgamation of diverse creative talents. I initially designed my dress Faith, then each other professional was invited to showcase their ideas with artistic licence, to compliment the style of the shoot. Even though many of us had not worked together before, being professionals, the shoot ran with ease.
This shoot, for me, was an inspirational idea of faith that Australia, our beautiful country, will eventually get through this horrible pandemic, and that we should celebrate life and all the small things that make our country, the lucky country.
I would like to thank my team of creative industry professionals, who helped turn my dream, this shoot, into a reality…