meet the designers

Sustainable Couture - a flourishing network of textile artists and designers, passionate about creating distinctive ecofashion and promoting sustainability

Franca Frederiksen

The instigator of and energy behind the Sustainable Couture project and three-time recipient of a NT Wearable Works of Art award, Franca has also produced her own fashion label. She is passionate about fashioning stylish garments from recycled and sometimes surprising fabrics.


I love the creative challenge of turning the likes of blankets and tyre inner-tubes into haute couture … and get lots of pleasure from seeing people wearing them!

Philomena Hali

Co-instigator of Sustainable Couture and a practising textile and fibre artist in the NT for the past 21 years, Phil is recognised throughout the NT as well as nationally and internationally. Her work has been acquired by museums and galleries, and is held in private collections across Australia and overseas. Phil also delivers workshops to young people, Indigenous communities, and to fibre and textile artists at national forums held throughout Australia.

Carmel Ryan

Carmel Ryan is an Alice Springs designer/ textile artist with many years practice in fashion design, dressmaking and creating costumes for stage and theatre.
She is a regular participant and multi award winner of the  Wearable Art Awards in Alice Springs  and has  exhibited art wear in Hobart and Darwin.
Carmel is passionate about recycling  and Sustainable Couture , which is a wonderful vehicle to create new one off avant garde creations from old finds. Preferred materials include vintage cloth, laces & needlework that already have a story of their own.

Kaye Daniels

Kaye, who grew up in Adelaide when sewing was taught at school, has enjoyed making clothes for herself, her children and granddaughters. 

Having been introduced by her daughter to the world of recycling and up-cycling at Eco Fashion Week Australia in Fremantle in 2018, and inspired by the creativity and accomplishments of the Sustainable Couture designers at Eco Fashion Week, Kaye will present her first collection at Sustainable Couture in 2019.

Says Kaye: This is the first time I've made recycled and up-cycled clothing for any reason other than desperation!

Her label 'just Nanna' is what her two grand daughters call her, but that’s another story …

Sophie Daniels

Sophie has had a passion for arts and crafts for as long as she can remember. From making decorative bookends with leftover schoolbook contact paper as a child, to making clothes with recycled bed sheets and tablecloths, her creative adventures are always evolving whilst keeping a central focus on sustainability. She is thrilled to be involved in Sustainable Couture, to share her passion for op shops and creativity, and to continually learn from talented like-minded people.

Natalia Rodrigo

Natalia’s passion for recycling aluminium coffee pods which are used for a few seconds and take hundreds of years to break down, started when a neighbour handed her some as she thought they were too pretty to bin.  It was just before Christmas and one thing led to the other.  “It felt good, exciting even, to be able to create unique gifts by using creatively something that someone else would carelessly dispose.”


Check out to see Natalia’s range of fabulous jewellery, accessories and gifts.  “We believe we can make a difference by creating, offering and using eco-friendly fashion and sharing sustainable gifts”.

Jackie O'Toole

 A Scottish-trained fashion designer/pattern maker, Jackie has worked for designer Zandra Rhodes and part time for Gucci, in London, as well as operating as a freelance stage-wear designer for rock bands. In Auckland she worked for companies such as top NZ swimwear label Moontide and lingerie brand Bendon before starting her own label.


In Alice Springs in 2007 Jackie taught pattern drafting which she then continued following a move to Darwin. She continued her business in Darwin with multiple custom-made orders, NT Fashion week, and recently re-connected with Sustainable Couture. Jackie’s skills have crossed many fashion genres from custom made one-off pieces, race day dresses, collaborating with emerging local designers to make collections, menswear, formal wear, music festival fashions, and upcoming costume projects.


For Sustainable Couture 2019 Jackie has re-purposed men’s suiting, net curtains, a table cloth, pillow case, leather cushion, and recycled fabric to create 3 very different looks

Apples Kemp and Glenyce McGauchie

Apples and Glenyce have been sewing buddies for 9 years now, since they first met at the Quilting Club in Alice Springs. After attending Sustainable Couture in previous years, they were inspired to join in the fun, use their passion for textiles and creativity and design a collection for this year’s Opening Night Parade. Their collection utilises upholstery off cuts, curtain fabrics and recycled clothing, not to mention the bags of unwanted clothing items from friends. 

Cathy Tobin

In 2015, before embarking on a new adventure travelling around Australia, Cathy Tobin purchased her first SAORI loom. It was a way to nurture her need to be creative and bring enjoyment to her mind and soul. And so what began as a hobby is now her passion; weaving, designing and creating one-off unique pieces, using a range of materials sourced secondhand or gifted; ‘orphaned’ balls of yarn, fabric strips, sewing threads and old clothing renewed with a splash of weaving.

SAORI weaving has given Cathy the freedom to express her own individuality through the garments she makes and the meditative rhythm of weaving allows time to reflect.  She wants to share this enjoyment with others, and so she launched Gypsy Weaver Studio began May 2018, offering workshops, commissions and talks on garment design.


Instagram gypsyweavercathy

Facebook Gypsyweaverstudio

Janie Andrews

Janie is a painter, textile and mosaic artist. Originally from the UK, Janie is now based in Darwin NT, where she instigates and coordinates a multitude of different projects using each media, working in both remote and urban settings. Janie enjoys the challenge of joining this year’s Sustainable Couture team and the chance to upcycle, revive and transform some preloved clothes into whacky hats and outfits. As part of this year’s program, Janie will be running painting, print making and textile workshops for the Beanie festival.

Akansha Goswami

Akansha has a passion for fashion - for designing, patternmaking, stitching, fashion illustration, printing and surface development.

With qualifications in apparel designing and working experience as a designer, Akansha enjoys the creative process and using her versatile skills to play with colours and shapes:

My main objective is to put in my best effort and endeavour in the fashion industry.

Peta Smith

An NT textile artist who designs and prints unique hand-made work, blending purpose and artistry.


A graduate from the WA Institute of Technology with an Associateship in Art Education, Peta’s work depicts the natural world she sees around her.  Resolute in her desire to remain responsible for all phases of design and production in multi media, including weaving and dyeing (‘bush’ plants and dyes), knitting (including carding and spinning sheep, alpaca and camel wools), felting and sewing (hand and machine) Peta strongly fosters the value of using local recyclable or easily obtainable materials and processes including using ‘bush’ plant fibres and dyes. 

Peta has spent her life working in the rural and remote NT with women from all walks of life, encouraging them to express themselves creatively and share their stories through printmaking.

Kate Fletcher

Kate lives in Hobart Tasmania where she has a Sustainable Clothing Stall called BluePlanet at Salamanca market. She has been making and upcycling clothing for as long as she can remember. She loves collaborating with other people and sharing skills and ideas and regularly hosts darning days at her house. She is delighted to be back at this fabulous Alice Springs event again this year with a collection that focuses on zero waste pattern making and using up  some of  her existing resources

Grace Skehan

Grace Skehan is a textiles teacher who has lived in Alice Springs hand is now a Darwin resident. Her experience in the NT has shaped her label  "GracieDesignsNT" which uses a mix of recycled products, sustainable fabrics and Indigenous printed fabric. 


She says "I love the challenge of making old or secondhand clothes look funky and different. There is also so much fun in wearing a garment that you know is a one off. You never have to walk into a room and see someone else wearing the same thing!".


Margaret Johnson

Margaret's passion for the hand-made flourished from many childhood hours spent with her talented mother and grandmother, as they sewed, crocheted, embroidered and introduced her to recycling fabrics to give them a new life. Drawing on this influence, and the magic of op shop finds, Margaret continues this family textile crafting tradition, transforming textiles into one-off, sustainable and fun garments, headwear and accessories.

Jen Standish-White

Growing up in her native land Zimbabwe, Jen began fashioning her own clothes as a teenager in the early 1970s. After over 20 years in fashion and costume design and a lifelong love of natural fibres, Jen migrated to Australia, a journey eventually leading her to Alice Springs. A radical change of career followed; however, in 2013, Jen’s growing interest in promoting ethical fashion through the sustainable recycling of old garments from predominantly natural fibres, sowed the seeds for creating her own label. Jen deconstructs, dyes, felts, paints, recuts, tucks, or otherwise to create the transformed and timeless up-cycled range of unique clothing offered under her ‘Lokathula Couture’ label.

Sarah Hill

As a Masters student in Cross Disciplinary Art and Design with the University of NSW, Sarah has been inspired by her interaction with a diverse range of lecturers and students from around the world. I enjoy stretching the processes of fabric decoration and manipulation by using the materials and resources that I have available to me. The results then have an element of surprise and uncertainty.

Brigida Stewart and Amanda McMillan

This fashion partnership was born in 2012 in the creation of a collection to celebrate the opening of the new Batchelor Institute Art Studio at the Desert Peoples’ Centre in Alice Springs. Since then, under the Forkleaf label, the duo has been multiple winners of the NT Wearable Art Awards and in the top 10 in the Emirates Melbourne Cup Fashions in the Field. Brigida and Amanda have also taken part in fashion shows around the globe, including the 2018 Virgin Melbourne Fashion Festival, London Fashion Week 2017 and 2018, Tjungu Festival Yulara, and the Darwin Art Fair indigenous fashion runway.  They also hold an annual fashion runway event of slow sustainable fashion in Alice Springs.

Amee Porter

Always dabbling in various art forms forever, Amee has only recently found her calling as a paper maker and jewellery maker after coming home to Central Australia and the million acre cattle station that offers endless inspiration. She is loving creating pieces of jewellery out of the paper made from native grasses on the station and other various materials and objects found lying around, and using a number of techniques to make her distinctive Centralian work.

Christina (Nina) Long

Nina’s passion for working with textiles is in her blood, with her mum being a sewer, her great grandfather a tailor and a great aunt in a dress making business in the Block Arcade in Melbourne.  Nina's love of textiles began by making dolls’ clothes on a treadle sewing machine, and flourished when she worked for a millinery company for ten years. A regular entrant in the Alice Springs Beanie Festival, Nina loves fabric, fashion, colour, op shops and being creative.

Kimberley Zeneth

Kimberley Minerva Zeneth is a freckled poet who grew up in Alice Springs and returned seven years ago. She lives by a rare patch of green with her beautiful wife and a 22 year old black cat.

Artist’s note - Kimberley loves creating as ‘Rose and the Women who mean Business’. She  visits op shops with intent in all states and territories to create sustainable retro fashion

Beth Woodward

Often accused of hoarding, Beth finds all things second-hand and recycled to be hugely thrilling. A ‘textures’ lady, and a tip & op shop devotee, she loves the prospect of regenerating furniture, clothing, homewares and general ‘trinkets’. Beth feels privileged to contribute some decorative ‘homewares’ to the Sustainable Couture pop up shop, made from preloved cushions, pillowcases, rugs and tip-shop treasures.

Maryanne Munteanu

Since 2002 Maryanne Munteanu has worked as an

independent designer. Her label 'Gathered Pieces' has

become a contemporary design studio for concepts in

fashion, interior design, textiles and art. The creations are

defined by innovative concepts, as she combines

modernism with authenticity.

The creative process for Gathered Pieces begins by

draping recycled natural fibre fabrics, combined with

machine knitted samples to see immediately whether or

not the creation will take a certain direction or not. The

freedom to play without knowing the outcome is very

exciting and a very important process.

Shunning the six-month cycles of the fashion calendar,

'Gathered Pieces' aims to create garments that are timeless

and enduring.

Harriet Jakins

By day Harriet blends right in with the heels and pearls ‘ladies who lunch’ in Brisbane’s western suburbs. At night you’re more likely to find her at the rear of the local bicycle and motorbike repair shops, fossicking through their dumpsters for discarded rubber for her range of fashion accessories.


The only Brisbane housewife who does a weekly machine wash of bicycle tyres, she’s quirky, creative and the ultimate recycler.


The bounty from her stealth missions, combined with a passion for hoarding and an artist’s eye, has resulted in this range of hand-made fashion firsts – each one an original. 

Liz Wauchope

Liz has been painting and printing on silk, making garments and accessories since the early 1980's. She was born and raised in Alice Springs, and returns as often as she can.

In our mother’s day, mending was meant to be as invisible as possible, so the clothes would ‘look like new’.

For this year’s collection, Liz and Naina Devi have been inspired by Boro, the Japanese art of VISIBLE mending, which makes a virtue of the damage of holes, the patches used to fill them and the stitches used to bind them all back together.

In honour of the indigo cotton used in the Japanese versions, Liz and Naina have used old denim, mainly jeans, but also jackets, skirts and other clothes. Some of the denim has been discharge printed (or bleached back) with Liz’s screen prints.

Naina Devi

Liz Wauchope works with the wonderful Naina Devi, who studied fashion design and construction in India, where she lived until coming to Australia several years ago. Naina brings the technical and fashion design expertise and imagination to her collaborations with Liz Wauchope and Marg Easson. Naina, Liz and Marg discuss the designs for the garments and refine their ideas together, then Naina does the skilled work of sewing and finishing.

Simone Guascoine

The Op shop - a receptacle of redundant, discarded clothing and superfluous knick knacks. For some, a space to place unwanted goods; for others, like Simone, a veritable Aladdin’s cave. The juxtaposition of vintage dress patterns and appropriated clothing disassembled and reconstructed form the stunning outfits she creates.

Sally Hare

Sally Hare of Happy Hare evolved after turning negative and painful experiences into positive, bright, colourful opportunities. Using natural fibres such as cotton, linen, silk, wool and making one off items for many women.  She had a craft stall at the Vic Arts Market – South Bank for 10 years.  Sally now enters her textile creations into competitions to keep her interests and juices flowing and has passion, creativity for textiles, art, colour, design and fabric. She decided to go back to school full time to study an Advanced Diploma in Fashion Design and is in her third and final year.

Judi Bilkey

Judi came to fashion design later in life after buying a small gallery and selling her repurposed op shop clothing. Judi’s designs have grown out of a passion for recycling everything and her creations even include barbed wire and recycled metal sculptures. Judi has developed a real love of old curtains and linen to be repurposed as clothing.

Marg Easson

Marg is a recent textile devotee, led astray from painting by the multi talented Liz Wauchope. With a strong interest in environmental art she has been known to turn her studio into a eucalyptus distillery in an attempt to unlock the secrets of the humble gum leaf. For Sustainable Couture 2016, Marg will use instead indigo on recycled Indian cotton curtains.

Pip McManus

Pip McManus is a visual artist who works across a variety of media. She started her art career as a ceramicist but nowadays imploys whatever material or technology best suits the concept. She particularly enjoys engaging with other artists and the challenges of producing art for public spaces. Her video work Ichor won the 2008 Alice Prize. When the weather is right Pip harvests dates from her garden.

Julie Millerick

With qualifications in fine art, Julie has taught at Charles Darwin University and in remote communities, in textiles, silk painting and print making. As a practising textile artist who specialises in working with natural fibres, Julie pushes the boundaries of pattern-on-pattern by screen-printing her designs onto rich, often curious backgrounds such as cottons, silks and wools, many collected from op shops.

Kerri Lenehan

After completing diplomas in textile design and printing, Kerri then went on to study clothing design and millinery. Kerri revels in sustainable couture, using 'duchess sets' which graced the 1950s dressing tables of her mother's generation and embroidered linen tablecloths with crocheted edges from bygone eras, to create sophisticated and stylish garments.

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