RMIT Designer: Kalaurie Karl-Crooks

"When I make clothing, it’s as much for myself, as it is for anyone else. It’s like making art to me, it’s therapy."

We love everything about Kalaurie designs; they have a raw and basic feel about them, yet evoke a strong sense of emotion and creativity. After seeing Kaulrie's graduate collection, Widows Weeds, we were in love!

"Widows Weeds’ is a collection which tells a story of emotional vulnerability and mourning through the symbolism of clothing. Throughout our lives we experience feelings of emotional vulnerability. Death is a part of life, but we are blind to it - until touched by it. This concept is a very personal and an intimate extension of my own experiences. It’s about being your most authentic self in whatever state you are.

Inspiration for this collection initially came from personal experiences of mourning, grief, sadness and emotional trauma. These experiences were channelled to form a body of work that researched life, death, emotions and mourning, from a feminine perspective."

You know, when we first saw the photos, it was not just the beautiful clothes that captured our heart, it's the story she told. Just look at the photos, the clothes, the models, they are perfect!

At what age did you start becoming fascinated with fashion? Why did you decide to make it your career?

I was always really attracted to clothing from a young age and I used to play dress ups a lot with my mother’s clothing. When I was 16 my parents bought me a sewing machine for my birthday, I was utterly obsessed. I just loved sewing and making little things. Since I was little, I was always interested in historical fashion and loved watching period movies because of the beautiful costumes. I moved to Melbourne to study costume design but then swapped to fashion because I wanted to make clothing that drew on the past but was still relevant and wearable. I am a maker and I can't imagine not ever creating and using my hands so this is definitely the career for me.

What have you learned during your degree at RMIT, and how do you think it will help you achieve your future goals and aspirations?

RMIT was great and really gave me all the tools and skills I need for the big world of fashion. I learnt discipline, work ethic and time management, on top of a wide range of technical and creative skills. It helped me realise my potential and brought me so much closer to my creativity and goals.

What do you hope to do after you graduate? Where would you like to be in 5 years’ time?

I'd like to start my own label. I want to be my own boss and create a spot in the industry. Hopefully in 5 years I'll be at the helm of my own global brand, making beautiful and meaningful clothing for women all over the world.

Tell us your most unforgettable experience during your studies so far.

Completely my graduate collection 'Widows Weeds' was the most unforgettable experience for me. I poured a lot of myself into my collection and it was really emotionally fueled. Seeing it finished was a proud moment and gave me a lot of closure on some personal things I was going through during the end of my degree.

What are your biggest goals, and how do you hope to achieve them?

To make clothing that is meaningful, in-deposable and sustainably conscience. When I make clothing, it’s as much for myself, as it is for anyone else. It’s like making art to me, it’s therapy. For me the most important thing to remain authentic to myself and what I believe in and stand for, slowing working towards total satisfaction.

The fashion industry is constantly changing and evolving. What are your views on this?

I can only hope the industry will slowly move back towards a more traditional model. A slower, more thoughtful and environmentally conscience one.

Do you have advice for others who are considering undertaking a design course?

Be ready for hard work and to abandon your commitments outside of the classroom. Live, eat and breath your work.

Who is your favourite all-time designer, and why?

Ann Demeulemeester, has had the biggest impact on me. She knew how to make clothing that was poetic and told stories, creating her own dark and romantic fantasy world. Always drawing on the past but making it new. I have always really admired the ability to tell stories with clothing.

Contact Details:

Instagram: @_kalaurie_


Photo Credits:

Photographer: Vlad Savin

Model: Lauren Moody @ Chadwicks

Beauty: Rob Povey

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