Interview with Project Runway's Sasha-Rose

Sasha-RoseSasha-Rose recently had a pop up store at District 01 in Surry Hills, where I was able to check out her collection as well as chat to the lovely designer herself.

Sasha-Rose is influenced by the 40’s and after only a year into her fashion career she has proven to be incredibly savvy in terms of knowing her brand and her business – yes, I am jealous of not only her ambition but also her work ethic (lazy people take note).

For reality TV fans, you may also recognise her as being recently eliminated from Project Runway Australia (for a really tough challenge!). We talked about being Sashionable, her influences and of course, Project Runway Australia.

What does it take to be Sashionable?

You can be Sashionable just by making jokes and having fun, I think that’s a lot in my clothes it has fun in them as opposed to being quite serious. I think just being yourself is Sashionable.

I am just trying to promote people to be different. You walk down the street and there are a million houses the same in a row, when you go to buy a car they are all the same, you go to a supermarket and everything is the same. Everywhere you go, everything is the same and I am over it. So I think fashion is the one place where you can be different even if it is just a pair of shorts or something that can make you happy.

And of course it helps to own your very own piece from Sasha-Rose

What do you think about fashion trends?

I don’t really believe in that shit.

A lot of my references come from the 1940’s which isn’t in trend anyway. It is quite strange that a lot of my stuff is on trend this season (her latest collection, War Stories), like the collars, the sheer overlay, and the dresses. Which is just a coincidence as I designed the line  this time last year (November 2011). The first time people saw it was in April 2012, it hit stores in August and that’s when other people started coming out with these trends. It is just a total coincidence that I am on trend this season. Maybe it is just by the fact that I am so obsessed with fashion and all I do is look at overseas designers and when I see new things they excite me.

The leather (the gorgeous blue suede in the image below) was the main reason why I went with the colour palette. It was actually leather that I found a couple of years ago. The actual collection has been coming together for 2 years. I think I am just ahead of the times (she said this jokingly).


It was just quite coincidental that it ended up fitting with  other people’s colour palettes that the main designer’s are doing this year. I don’t really believe in trends, I definitely don’t design for trends but my stuff just ends up fitting into trends. My Winter collection is all jacquards, leathers and stuff, and I am seeing a couple of other overseas designers have just brought out their Winter collections online and they are doing jacquards and leathers. It is just so strange as I had it designed and made before they hit the runways overseas so it is going to be on trend as well by the time it filters down to Australia.

Have these coincidences actually worked out in your favour?

It has totally worked out in my favour.

People are always scared to be very different. I think it helps my quirkier pieces to be more wearable because you are different but still other people are going to be wearing bright colours or something, so your not on your own but you are different to everyone else.

The 40’s is a distinct and unique influence, tell us more about how it inspires you?

The 40’s is the era before Marilyn Monroe, it is kind of like when Chanel started wearing pants. It is girls wearing trousers for the first time and getting told that it is wrong and still doing it. I think that I am bringing it back now as girls don’t tend to wear high waisted pants or fitted pants. I am trying to be a rebel I suppose.

The thing that inspires me is that usually when I go and do my collections, I look at pictures of movies from that era and I actually look more at guy’s clothes than I do at women’s. For the first collection, War Stories it is inspired by War movies from back in the day and people working on the train tracks wearing high waisted pants, suspenders, collared shirts and blazers. How to make that wearable now, still fun and feminine at the same time.

So now onto one of the most credible reality shows and one of my personal favourites, Project Runway Australia.


How has your stint on Project Runway Australia already affected your brand?

I think from being on the show it has really helped me stand out from the hundreds of designers that have started their label in the last year. To be where I am one year into my career is amazing.

Saying that I have been on the show a lot more shops have been interested, people want to look at my Facebook page, they are a lot more impressed already before they have even seen the clothes and after they have seen the clothes, they are like “oh they are beautiful!”

So it is just getting those people interested, I think that it is just really hard out there.

For season 4 of Project Runway Australia, they removed the power of immunity for the challenge winner and replaced it with 3 wins and you can go straight to the final – what are your thoughts on this change?

I think that it’s fair enough, if you have won 3 times then you kicked out on the 2nd last episode, that is pretty bad as it is really hard to win a challenge. I think it is the right thing to do.

To be honest I was so stressed being on the show and what was going on around me that I forgot that immunity even existed. All the other designers and myself, we were more concerned with trying not to get eliminated than we were trying to win a challenge. Because you don’t know what they are looking for. One time they told me “it’s too safe” and then the next week they are saying “who would wear that?”.


Any advice for designers wanting to be part of Project Runway Australia?

Be yourself, know what you want your label or what you want to do with your career. Don’t go on the show just because you love sewing things. I think you have to have a reason why you want to be on the show, mine was to show Australia my brand and it get it known. Others was to get more clients coming through their doors, do one offs or working in the industry.

My big advice is just show who you are.

Where would you like to see yourself 5 years from now?

I suppose 5 years from now the reality is from what I’ve gained from business seminars and stuff, is that I could probably be sustainable off my stuff so I don’t have to work another couple of jobs.

5 years from now if everything went wonderfully and kept going up the way it has been, I’d like to be stocked in a few stores in each state. I really want to be stocked in  Russia, China and a couple random countries that aren’t as well known as London and New York. Obviously I’d love to be stocked in New  York but we’ll see. I really want to open my flagship store in Indonesia and be living there working with my factories, speaking fluent Indonesian, and flying back to Australia every season to show my collections.

That’s the dream, see it if it comes around.

You can check out my coverage of her War Stories collection here

A massive thank you to Sasha-Rose.

You can shop her collection on her website as well as like and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Fun facts, she loves it when you use #Sashionable and she is clearly a dog person.

Sasha-Rose (19)

You can also catch my interview with Project Runway Australia’s mentor, Alex Perry here