The innovation behind the Shoreline collection

Luke Keioskie
Mon 27 Aug

Innovation. Business can’t survive without it, no matter what industry or sector.

Yumi Morrissey, who owns and operates fashion label Zilpah tart, knows this all too well, but why did this drive the designer to buy a drone for her 2018 spring-summer collection?

‘There’s little point in being a fashion designer if your label isn’t going to be commercially viable and my customers demand a fresh approach each season,’ says Yumi. ‘I love photography and thought about the striking visual possibilities a drone could bring.’

The designer flew her drone to capture stunning photographs of jagged headlands, rugged rocks, sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters at her favorite coastal spots and used them to form patterns on fabric to create ‘Shoreline’, the collection she’ll launch in Canberra on 7 September.

Yumi has earned a reputation for creating fabrics with photos she’s taken of the capital. That includes images of cultural icons, major tourist attractions and scenery. ‘This collection takes us through summer when many of us gravitate to the coast, so for a change I focused on the ocean,’ says the designer.

Deciding on the innovative approach was easier than implementing it. First, Yumi had to scout locations to find perfect places to fly high with her drone. She had to wait for the weather to cooperate and had to fly until the drone captured ‘the shot’.

After some trial and tribulation, Yumi captured two images of the rugged shoreline and magnificent turquoise waters off a cliff’s edge near Broulee, South Coast, and the third of the bright emerald green waters at Forrester’s Beach, Central Coast.

‘This is a smaller collection and it has a magical mood, celebrating the majesty of the ocean,’ says the designer. ‘I’ve used sheer fabric which reminds me of sea foam. The ruffles on some garments remind me of waves.’

To remain sustainable, Yumi listens carefully to her customers and monitors sales closely to determine best-selling designs. These are part of this collection, but Shoreline also introduces new designs.

‘My customers wouldn’t be happy if I stopped producing the best sellers,’ says Yumi. ‘Even though the shape and style of these garments remains, the look is so different with each collection featuring new patterns and colours.’

Yumi completed a Bachelor of Design (Fashion Design) at the Canberra Institute of Technology in 2007 and formed her label then. Zilpah tart is one of the capital’s most successfully commercial independent fashion labels, with Yumi designing and making all garments herself in her studio.

Zilpah tart is now sold in Queensland and Melbourne with plans to branch into Sydney. In the ACT, Yumi sells through, Cardif Collective and the Tienda Canberra Collective. Her loop scarves are sold in The Parliament Shop and at the Canberra Visitors Centre.

Shoreline will officially launch at Westfield Woden, Cardif Collective on Friday 7 September, 6 to 8pm. The designer will be on hand to discuss her innovative approach and drone experiences.

Images: Sarah Hill