Q: Congratulations Hajar on your debut at this year’s Fashfest! How did it feel to find out that your stunning designs would be showcased at this prestigious fashion event?
A: I feel very blessed as this year has been huge for De Challie, I was lucky enough to receive invitations to showcase at both FASHFEST and Paris Fashion Week and was thrilled that we managed to do both! As a designer based in Canberra I feel that it is very important to foster the local fashion community which has been very supportive of my work. FASHFEST is a wonderful event that goes from strength to strength each year.
Q: For those of our readers who might not be so familiar with De Challie Haute Couture, how would you explain it to them?
A: I have been working as a Couturier in Australia for more than two decades and founded De Challie in 1993. I had an atelier in the Strand Arcade in Sydney for many years and in the late nineties De Challie was a special feature of the Australian Couturiers’ Ball at The Sydney Town Hall, and the Finale of Mondo Moda at the Sydney Opera House. I relaunched in 2015 and have been based in Canberra since then from my atelier at Griffith.
Q: We adored your elegant haute couture designs as they made their way down the runway. What was the inspiration(s) behind this collection?
A: I am constantly inspired by art, architecture, and music, and my mind is always racing with new ideas and designs. For our special bridal collection which we showcased at FASHFEST, I wanted to capture the romance and elegance of a bygone era through full gowns, with structured bodices, soft lace and hand beading.
Q: What advice would you offer to emerging fashion designers also wanting to showcase their work at prestigious fashion events such as FASHFEST?
A: Be persistent, work hard and follow your dreams, the fashion industry can be challenging but it’s also very rewarding.
Q: Lastly, where can our readers find out more about, or follow, your work?
A: By visiting http://www.dechallie.com.au and following us on Instagram at @dechallie_hautecouture.
We want to thank Hajar at De Challie Haute Couture for taking the time to answer our interview questions and strongly encourage you to check out the label’s work at the links above. You can also learn more about Canberra’s wonderful fashion event, FASHFEST, by visiting their website, Facebook page, or Instagram (@fashfest). Enjoy!
Photos by Andrew Sikorski, Anthony Caffery, Jack Mohr, Samantha Taylor, and Sam Nerrie | Hair led by FASHFEST’s Director of Hair, Craig Rhodes | MUA led by FASHFEST’s Director of Makeup, Diana Cheetham | On location: National Convention Centre | Audiovisual production: Elite Event Technology