Victorian Design Awards
We were proud to become a finalist at the 2023 Victoria Design Awards held within the prestigious NGV National Gallery Of Victoria. The evening celebrated the best and brightest of Victorian design, innovation and creativity across 93 finalist projects making the cut from over 240 entries.
Celebrating Victorian designers and businesses since 1996 – the awards promote the role design has in making products, spaces and experiences more functional, efficient and sustainable across eight award categories: architecture, fashion, product, service and strategy, digital and communication, and a standalone category for student design.
Our entry within the fashion design category focused on the 2022 Autumn Winter Collection inspired by búl designer Virginia Martin's travels to Gothenburg, Sweden. Continue reading below to learn how this unique collection was thoughtfully designed and explored a pre/post-pandemic world.
Victorian Premier’s Design Awards imagery by © Kit Haselden Photography
An innovative womenswear collection that focuses on thoughtful Australian design that is environmentally conscious, timeless and long-lasting. Inspiration pulls from Melbourne-born designer Virginia Martin and her travelled experience to Gothenburg, Sweden. An Autumn Winter collection grounded in slow-fashion practices, natural fabrications, quality craftsmanship and considered design that is made to travel and age with the wearer throughout the years.
To create a collection reflecting the shifting landscape of living in a pre/post-pandemic world. From the comfort and casual work-from-home wear to the celebrations of newfound freedoms through statement day-to-night items and investment pieces. All items must be designed with a slow-fashion mindset from beginning to end and portray a story inspired by Gothenburg, Sweden taking the wearer on a journey.
Australian design told a Gothenburg story through reflections of the travelled landscape, architecture and culture across Swedish-inspired silhouettes, styles and colour palettes from the main collection as well as complimenting footwear and accessories. Slow-fashion processes were adhered to across a multitude of areas. Design of items took a considered approach through thoughtful tailoring and an extensive sampling process to ensure each item was made to last throughout the seasons. This was achieved by rigorous testing and a high level of care that was never compromised. The collection did not follow trends and instead featured timeless, simplistic designs and offered complementary colour palettes that paired back into an ageless wardrobe. Natural fabrications were specifically selected to override man-made fibres. Cotton, Linen and Wool mix with innovative and eco-friendly fibres such as Tencel, Viscose and Rolva.
The Gothenburg Collection focussed on good design fundamentals across a variety of factors from beginning to end. Clothing was functional and accessible in that it served its designed purpose to be worn across a wide size break, a variety of body types and ages and in timeless and versatile silhouettes that would travel through the years with the wearer. Fabrics selected were intentionally natural to offer longevity to the items and also a more welcoming feel against the skin, including fabrics not only selected for their functional warmth, being a winter-based collection but also for their natural breathability and hypoallergenic properties. High quality and attention to detail were upheld through rigorous sampling and strong relationships with the búl makers, where production lines were kept intentionally small to ensure each item passed a high level of quality control at every step. With smaller production lines, quantities were limited to an average of 50 per style. These smaller ordering practices supported conscious buying practices to the consumer, in turn offering an educated purchase of investing in high-quality, professional Australian-designed womenswear that is timeless, environmentally conscious and long-lasting, setting a new benchmark for design excellence in Victoria, Australia and internationally. As German industrial designer Dieter Rams once said “Less, but better.”
For our user-centred collection, the individual needs of our customers were met by analysing the current times and designing items that would offer varied comforts and occasion wear to navigate the new normal. Work from home became more constant as leisure wear and top/bottom separates were kept top of mind to wear with warmth and comfort. In contrast, the celebration of dressing up to partake in newfound social freedoms was embraced through hero dress items and investment outwear pieces across unique silhouettes and luxurious natural fabrics to elevate the everyday. Travel paused for many and a collection inspired by designer Virginia Martin’s travels was prevalent now more than ever with a story told, not only through the collection items but also through campaign imagery, marketing materials and digital advertising that transported the consumer to a wanderlust tale of Gothenburg, Sweden through innovative Australian design.
From Left: Eliza Bain, Production / Virginia Martin, Designer / Karla Mathieson, Graphic Design & Marketing
The Gothenburg collection has made an overall positive impact by adhering to Australian design that is thoughtful, creative and environmentally conscious through the use of natural fibres, quality craftsmanship and a knowledgeable all-female Melbourne team who ensures slow-fashion processes are upheld throughout. This has contributed to a higher level of Victorian fashion by offering investment to the consumer through trans-seasonal items and pieces designed and crafted to wear easily at any age and last through the years. Upholding an ethos of “Less, but better”, and over a decade of creating Australian-designed womenswear, búl continues to offer an elevated level of conscious, considered and modern design to Victoria, Australia and the world.
Learn more about the Victoria Design Awards