“I spend my time from the moment I wake up in the morning to the moment I get back into bed thinking, breathing, researching fashion.”
Currently in her third year of studying a Bachelor of Fashion (Design)(Honours) at RMIT’s Brunswick campus, student Katarina Kristo, is the epitome of creativity. She is quickly becoming the future face of Australian fashion through her bold, colourful and innovative designs, that have been displayed in multiple Melbourne exhibits, including the Melbourne Museum and the Melbourne Flower and Garden Show.
Kat is passionate about her work and was especially proud when talking about her design that was displayed at the Melbourne Flower and Garden Show, “It was awesome! Around 100,000 people saw the show within the 2 days which means about 100,000 people saw my work on display! How awesome is that!” Her design was a complete outfit made from native plants, nuts and seeds. It took two days to construct.
When speaking to Kat, it’s obvious how invested she is in fashion and the course she is studying. “I spend my time from the moment I wake up in the morning to the moment I get back into bed thinking, breathing, researching fashion. No one will understand the unlimited hours that go into my course. They say ‘you should be spending up to double your contact hours [studying]’ and I am a full-time student! You’d rather not know how much time I dedicate to my studies!” With only one year left in her course she ponders on what she hopes to do when she finishes, “I would love to have my own label and launch a label that I am credited for. Not to work for a brand where I bring brilliant ideas and get no recognition for it. But great success comes with time and I know I’ll get there.”
Kat has even started working on her own fashion label named ‘YOUR(FREAK)GURL’, which she hopes to launch later this year. The label was a way of her turning her visions into reality, “YOUR(FREAK)GURL is for the girls who know their strength and power. It’s inspired by colour and the love of sound. [It] should not be worn by the norm. It’s not encouraging sheep to follow sheep. It’s for the girl who knows her individualism and seeks FREAKGURL threads to be her form of expression”. Her designs for YOUR(FREAK)GURL are unique and unlike anything in the fashion world today. All her unusual ideas are influenced by her own self, “My biggest influence towards my fashion practice is what I feel inside, what I have experienced, listening to music, art and oddly enough, sexuality.” Once she has this vision in her head she continues her creative process, “To take it further, I go fabric searching to see what beautiful materials, trims and embellishments I can bring together to create something really whack!”
Her long-term goal is to one day have her label sky rocket and achieve great things from it. “I hope that it becomes my career. [A career] where I can wake up everyday knowing I am doing something I’m so passionate about and love. That would make me the happiest and healthiest person I could ever desire to be.“
For someone who seems very dedicated to the industry, did she have advice for anyone thinking of following in her footsteps? “Don’t do it! No, I’m joking! I would definitely tell them if they’re not passionate about it, then forget it. You have to be thirsty for it! If you’re motivated and have this big dream of wanting to make it 100% reality, she’s all yours! Make it shine! But always stay true to you!