The Other Fashion Capital
STORY AND IMAGE S BY R ICHARD CORNI SH
Fashion designer Tiffany Treloar stops on a lonely road near Glenlyon. She takes out her camera. She lines up the lens on an old gum tree, tortured by the prevailing wind. “It is so beautiful around here,” says Tiffany. Around the corner, she stops by an old barn with a ramshackle windmill. “This is just brilliant!” she says. The Melbourne based designer uses photographic images of rural scenes, night skies, industrial landscapes and beautiful found objects to make designs. She manipulates the images on her computer and the designs are then printed on fabric and then hand made into women’s clothing. “I design here in Australia and I make the clothes right here in Australia,” says the vivacious designer. Last month she opened a shop in Vincent Street, Daylesford and is working on a range of locally inspired prints for summer in her St Kilda design studio. She has two other stores, one in Flinders Lane, Melbourne and another in Gertrude Street, Fitzroy.
“I have family in Creswick,” says Tiffany, “and I have great memories of hot Christmas Days spent on the banks of St Georges Lake. We also have great friends in the region and spend a lot of time here.” So, when artist Michael Parker moved his gallery to the former Daylesford ANZ Bank site Tiffany saw an opportunity. “Daylesford is already known for its fashion,” she says. “It made sense to join the other designers,” she says. “Right here we have some of the best retailers in the state and even some excellent fashion manufacturing,” says Tiffany. She describes Manteau Noir (1/27 Vincent Street) as ‘one of the best-merchandised stores in the state’. “It is so beautifully done, and they carry some really beautiful brands such as 33 Poets and Cashmerism,” she says. “They also design and make really beautiful pieces.” Tiffany also recommends visitors drop by Portal 108 (108 High St, Hepburn) for fun fashion and homewares. “There are not many places where you can see a handbag being made in front of you but drop by Sarah Connors (5 Howe St, Daylesford) and there she is, hand stitching some of the best bags in Australia.” She also mentions Alt Finery and Debbie Moses. “And for the boys, there’s Buster McGee’s (12 Howe St, Daylesford). They have some really great stock in that store. They have a good eye for what works.”
When asked about her famous parents – 1970s fashion icons Mike Treloar and Prue Acton Tiffany shrugs in her down to earth manner. “They’re just mum and dad,” says Tiffany. “I never knew any different.” Tiffany started her fashion business 20 years ago. Her first design was a deep-red Anjou pear. She took an image of it and printed it on a long sleeved T-Shirt. “No one was doing digital fashion printing in those days, so I had to use a printer who was doing signs for advertising.” Tiffany also doesn’t like the word ‘fashion’. She says that ‘fashion’ implies seasonality and buying new clothes just because a new style has hit the shelves. “That is so unsustainable,” she says. “I make clothes for real women. The clothes make them look good and feel great. My clothes last forever and always look beautiful.”
In her new store, there is already a range developed locally called Mrs Gooch’s Garden featuring a colourful potting shed and blooming hydrangeas. “It’s based on a dear friend’s garden,” she says. At the rear of the store is a massive mural of a multicoloured but skeletal tree. “That is an image of a tree that was burned out in an olive grove near Kyneton in the Black Saturday fires,” she says. “It was such a sad photo. I made it beautiful and printed it on a scarf. I sent the scarf to the woman who owned the olive grove. She was so pleased. There is something beautiful in everything. That’s my job.”
Tiffany Treloar, 48 Vincent St, Daylesford; 03 5348 1025 | tiffanytreloar.com.au