Perth designer Keith Sim is making waves with exceptional haute couture and a passion for “slow fashion” that sets him apart in a mass-produced world.
Tell us about Keith Sim, the man?
I have wanted to be a designer since I was 4, when I would design clothes for my Barbie dolls. I think that’s where the love of designing really started for me. As I grew older I saw my grandmother and mother tailoring and sewing garments, and this is what really motivated me towards fashion design. When I moved to Perth I studied visual design and visual arts before ultimately studying fashion. These courses helped me really develop an eye and see balance, colour and style differently. They helped me define myself, my design process, and changed how I approach fashion design.
What about your eponymous label, KEITHSIM?
I design my womenswear for beauty in the garments, but I also want women to feel confident, powerful, elegant and sexy in my clothing. It’s all about women who aren’t afraid to redefine how society views elegant, strong women. My menswear is for someone who will cross the boundaries. It has a more a feminine sensibility than the standard because I use details from my womenswear garments to re-define how men’s clothing is seen. For example I made a menswear skirt, which still has masculine appeal because of the fabric and textile choices.
My most recent collection, “Fallen from Heaven to Earth”, is about bringing heaven and hell together and embracing everything in between. I used rich, dark colours to create an elegant, simple appeal and then combined that colour palette with intricate textiles, which bring in the more artistic approach I have.
What’s great about being a young fashion designer in Perth?
Perth is so isolated from the rest of the world, but I think this lets young designers find new ways to approach design and decide on how they want to view fashion, rather than it being decided for them. The fashion community is so small in Perth and this means that everyone knows everyone, so the support system is very strong – people aren’t afraid to give another designer a boost! Interning with artist and fashion designer Elle Campbell has opened up so many new opportunities and given me a great insight into the Perth fashion business.
Career highlights so far?
Having two of my garments feature in the Telstra Perth Fashion Festival Future runway is a really defining point for me. Something I’m looking forward to in the near future is our graduate student showcase on November 30th, 2017, at Central Gallery. After graduating I will be focusing on building my label and opening a new office and studio space.
How can people get a hold of your pieces?
All the pieces from my label are made to order. I’m very passionate about slow fashion, and luxury pieces that will last the buyer a life time. People can contact me through my Instagram @keithsimofficial, and email . A website is coming soon, so stay tuned for that!
Models: Polina Sasha Zhidkova, Ben Smith
MUA: TXC Collective
Space: Elle Campbell Art showroom
Chair Designer: Cinzia Dona
Team: Astro Francis, Clair Macchiusi, Zorayda Dee Dadis