Sydney beckons young designer

Graduates Fashion Week showcases up-and-coming designers

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 05:00 06/11/2012
Designer Jojo Ross
MATT QUEREE/Fairfax NZ

INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION: Former Southland designer Jojo Ross checks out the issue of Italian Vogue her designs appeared in before she heads to the Australian Graduates Fashion Week in Sydney this month.

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Sydney is calling former Southland fashion designer Jojo Ross.

She is on her way across the ditch to show her collection at the exclusive Australian Graduates Fashion Week this month.

Miss Ross, 23, is one of 100 designers chosen to showcase designs at the event, which highlights the up-and-comers of the fashion business, and is in the running for the "rather massive" prize of $10,000 on offer.

Having missed the deadline for international shipping, she had only one option for getting her clothes to Australia - flying to Sydney herself, two weeks before the show, with her collection packed in her suitcase.

"I have to fly over twice to get it all in. It's so expensive, but I just have to bite the bullet and just do it because these opportunities don't come around too often."

The air travel cost her about $800.

To cover some of her expenses, Miss Ross turned to the internet for help, setting up a page on Pledgeme, a website for people to donate and receive rewards.

She hoped to raise $1500.

"I've totally exhausted my friends on Facebook. It's so terrible - you hate asking people for things but it's just kind of got to that stage of desperation."

As well as fundraising, Miss Ross had to freshen up her original garments, which had spent months languishing in storage.

"I had to get my mum to ship my whole collection up in three big boxes.

"It's been packed down . . . since after ID Fashion Week. I opened the boxes and cried because it was such a mess."

She would spend the next week repairing and, in some cases, revamping her collection so it was ready for the two-step delivery next Thursday.

"It's quite stressful because I don't have any time. It's a big job."

Meanwhile, she had finally got her hands on the copy of the Italian Vogue issue she featured in this September.

Originally unaware of her Vogue appearance, it took her six weeks to confirm she was in the magazine and track down a copy.

It was exciting to see it for herself, she said.

"Of course, I knew it was going to be small, but they put heaps of photos in. It was quite amazing. My favourite designer in Australia is in the same magazine."

Australian Graduates Fashion Week begins in Sydney on November 24.

lauren.hayes@stl.co.nz

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- The Southland Times

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