Johnny Schembri is now in his fourth year of presenting a standalone show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia and this year is tipped to be his best yet. In addition to presenting his Spring Summer Collection for 2016, Johnny will be showcasing a capsule of pieces that will be available to shop straight from the runway exclusively online at myer.com.au and in-store at Myer Melbourne and Myer Sydney City. We caught up with Johnny to find out what we can expect from this exciting new collection.
Myer: How is your approach to a specialised or capsule collection different to your approach to a regular collection?
Johnny Schembri: Well a capsule collection is a tailored, nice little tight edit that tells a story, so it’s important that it portrays this message.
M: When creating a collection, do you have a particular girl in mind?
JS: All the time! I’m always thinking about where my girl is going, what she’s doing, who she’s going with, if it’s day or night… She’s where I start and where I end, and everything in between just falls in place.
M: Who is she for this collection?
JS: Well I think over the years I’ve definitely grown up with her, and I think when I was twenty-three she was like a little club clique and now she knows herself a little better; there’s more events she’s going to, she dresses up more, she likes a good length now too – it’s no so short anymore! She’s definitely growing up and is appreciating the nicer things in life.
M: With MBFWA around the corner we know you’re busy getting ready.!What really goes into preparing a show like this?
JS: Everything! I’ve got a great team of people behind me and we all work together on the creative and putting together the collection. I have an amazing stylist, Jolyon, who basically looks at the entire collection and edits out what we do and don’t need. Then there’s also my PR team who work on guest lists and invites and get everyone in there, then there’s my sister who runs the business side. We all just come together and it runs like a really smooth machine.
M: Can you describe for us the process from the very first thought through to the final execution and show?
JS: I’m always thinking and always looking at fabrics and getting ideas for fabrics and prints and when I do, I put them on a board and then re-visit when I’m ready to design summer or winter. For this season I’ve had this idea to work with textures, and previously I’ve never really had the confidence to explore that area. Now I feel like I can push it a bit more and play with ideas and things I’ve never played with before. It’s a never ending process really, it could just keep on going.
M: What are you loving and playing with in this collection?
JS: More prints. I’m playing with a lot of textures, like laces on top of prints. Mixing metal pipes with laces and wet metals with silks to have a juxtaposition. In terms of shape, I’m really loving nice long lines and things just falling off the body.
M: How do you create your prints?
JS: I make my own prints based on textures and fabrics I love. For example, I’ll photograph glitter or wet metal and then have these turned into a print that I then make wearable in a beautiful dress or skirt.
M: Your next show marks your fourth year at MBFWA – how have things changed for you over the four years since you started?
JS: Well this is my fourth standalone year, and I just think after a few years, you feel more confident. So now I’m more comfortable with playing around with the set and I feel like I know what to expect out of the week, the people and the reviews. You know how and where you can push it and go that bit further to create something really amazing.
M: What do you think it is about your pieces that girls love and connect with so much?
JS: I think the pieces are really design focused and when they purchase one of my pieces, they’re buying into the brand and it’s not exorbitant prices. They’re getting designer but without the hefty price tag. Quality is a focus for us and everything is made here in Australia so I think that as a package, we really make girls wanna have fun with us.
We’re off to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia!
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Shop the current by johnny collection online here.