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Carley Rose the Label: Meet the woman behind this sustainable label

Q & A: Carley Rose the Label

Name: Carley Rose Wolski

Age: 23

Occupation: Fashion Designer

Location: Central Coast NSW

Photo provided by Carley Rose the Label

Photo provided by Carley Rose the Label

We had the chance to pick the brain of Carley Rose, owner/designer of Carley Rose the Label. In a world were conforming is taking the lead, Carley Rose stays true to herself and authentic designs. A soon-to-be graduate from Raffles College of Design and Commerce in March of this year with a Bachelor of Design, Carley Rose excited to watch her brand take off. In the midst of her designing, she looks forward to a more simplistic lifestyle with her husband, in cute house on a little land providing a fruit & vegetable garden. Along with a special dye garden for fabrics and garments. Read the rest of Carley Rose's interview below:

How did you conceptualize your blog and brand? What is your creative process? 

My brand is really an extension of my own passions and style, which I would say is a very laid back, chilled out bohemian style, with a sense of respect towards the environment. It’s responsible fashion that makes you think about where it has come from, each step of the way.

My creative process involves a lot of inspiration gathering where I collect drawings, photos, books, music, magazines, go for walks in unusual places, anything that gets the sparks flying. Once I’ve gathered my material I start sketching, I like using lots of different mediums and that helps me think outside of the box too. The designing process needs more than simply sketching though, it also involves finding different fabrics and touching them, sewing them in weird ways just to see what you can achieve. My latest obsession is natural dyeing which you can see in my graduate collection GRADATION, where I used vegetables such as cabbage and onions to dye the pieces the colors they are today. Each of those fabrics were white when I bought them, and it fascinates me that I can take natural, compostable resources and create these beautiful colors without the pollution that comes from many other dyeing processes used in industry. That changes how I design dramatically because now I’m designing around that process and the results are sometimes surprising but always wonderful.

Growing up, where did you look for inspiration? Who or what inspires you now?

Photo provided by Carley Rose the Label

Photo provided by Carley Rose the Label

It’s funny to think about being ‘inspired’ as a child, I feel like the whole world is amazing at that age and you are learning so much each day. I found my Nanna pretty inspiring, I wanted to be able to do what she did every day which was mostly knitting, gardening, making jam and sewing. I’m an old lady at heart, I still want to just do those things in my free time. I always loved the idea of making everything yourself from scratch, for a while there you stopped seeing that kind of resourcefulness but I think it’s starting to come around again.

Today, I am inspired by a lot of things, my Nanna is still up there too. Specifically to my design work I would say nature inspires me most. That’s a broad subject matter but that just means there is so much to explore. I love snorkelling and looking at underwater photography for shape, color and texture references. Looking at different plants and their structure for interesting shapes, or the pattern in a birds feathers, it can all help spark ideas and it’s just so limitless. 

I’m not the type of designer who looks at what other designers are doing to get inspiration, however in saying that I’ve got to say Vivienne Westwood is at the top of my Inspiring People List, particularly because of her attitudes about fashion and sustainability.

When was the moment you realized your craft was more than just a hobby?

I used to make a lot of jewelry and when I was about 17 and discovered Etsy I thought I’d have a go at selling online. The minute someone actually bought something, actually paid me for something I’d made with my own two hands was euphoric. I never wanted to lose that feeling. 

If there was one fashion house you could work with who would it be and why?

Photo provided by Carley Rose the Label

Photo provided by Carley Rose the Label

I feel privileged to say that I have already had the opportunity to work along side one of my favourite labels as an intern, and that is Romance Was Born. I love them more now after interning with them than I did before, just seeing the passion they have for the artists and artworks they incorporate into their designs. There is a whole collaboration process that you don’t see in many other labels, that was really cool to see. If I could work with anyone else I’d like to work for an ethical and sustainable fashion house, perhaps for someone like Rachael Cassar.

Anything we should look forward to in your upcoming collection?

I’m working on a couple of made-to-order bridal gowns at the moment so the next collection is on hold for now, however I’m planning on using more natural dyeing techniques on some really chilled-out silhouettes. 

What is one closet item that you feel is absolutely necessary?

I’ve always got a good pair of black leather ankle boots which through the colder months (and as much of the hotter months as is comfortable) I wear just about every day. They’re great because they go with almost everything, they’re comfortable, they’re good work shoes for someone who is on their feet all the time, they last well and can be resoled as needed. I’m all about making things last as long as possible and buying clothes and shoes that can be worn in different ways with a lot of stuff I already have, so my black Chelsea boots are one of my favorite things at the moment.

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