Last Saturday we welcomed friends and fans from near and far to our Northcote store for our GOLDEN HOUR collection launch and meet the maker event!
. . . . . . .
With craft queen Kitiya Palaskas instore selling her beautiful handmade 'forever foliage', (plus custom-making a special gift for customers to take away!), Kylie and the team spent the day meeting customers and talking about the inspiration behind our the 50th collection.
A big thanks to our friends at Remedy for their perfect Passionfruit Kombucha and Northcote cafe Little Local for sweet and tasty morsels. Scroll on to see some pics for the day!
Once the champers came out, the party really started ;)
GOLDEN HOUR is our 50th collection and we want to celebrate with you at Northcote this Saturday!
. . . . . . .
Join us on Saturday 9 November from 10am-6pm at Obus Northcote for a very special event and to see in person some of the collection pieces you've been eyeing off so far.
Our friend and maker Kitiya Palaskas will be instore all day selling her fabulous handmade plants, and constructing a sweet handmade gift for customers too.
Plus, Kylie Zerbst (Obus' founder and print designer extraordinaire) will be instore to talk through her inspiration for the collection and offer her styling pro tips.
With drinks from Remedy, snacks from Little Local, tunes and a free OBUS X KITIYA PALASKAS GIFT BOX with any purchase at Northcote on the day – it's time to grab a mate and make a beeline for our Northcote store! We know you'll find something you love.
Hope to see you there!
We’re thrilled to be amongst a select group of nine Australian fashion designers recently tasked with creating a ‘high fashion’ interpretation of a lab coat, to highlight the incredible work done by female researchers tirelessly working to find preventions and treatments for breast cancer.
. . . . . . .
In 2019, it is estimated that 19,535 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in Australia – which is what makes increased funding for research so vital. With this campaign, we were challenged to create something much more stylish, creative and tailored for the female body, to challenge the traditional view of what a lab coat has to be.
Obus' production manager Alison makes the final tweaks to our GRANDIFLORA LAB COAT. The beautiful deluxe cotton drill was printed by our friends Frankie & Swiss.
Our design applies our bold, bright GRANDIFLORA print to our classic blazer silhouette. Says Obus creative director and founder, Kylie Zerbst: “Everyone has been affected by breast cancer in some way – either personally or through the experience of someone they love or know. I felt our lab coat demanded a strong, functional silhouette offset by a lively, celebratory print that is sure to put a smile on the face of anyone who encounters it.”
The good news is, these one-of-a-kind coats are currently up for auction. The money raised will go to Breast Cancer Trials (BCT) who have been conducting clinical trials research for more than 40 years. You have until Wednesday 27 November to put a bid in for our GRANDIFLORA lab coats, with the highest bid acquiring this one-off Obus piece! All proceeds from the auction will go to Breast Cancer Trials and their vital research.
The finished GRANDIFLORA LAB COAT, custom made for the Her Lab Coats auction, features a popular original Obus textile design custom-made in Melbourne. A truly one-of-a-kind item!
This month, as we celebrate the arrival of Spring, our store windows have been filled with lush greenery. But there's a twist. The potted plants are all handmade by Melbourne's craft queen and our friend Kitiya Palaskas! Today we ask Kit about her life as one of Australia's premier craft-based designers.
. . . . . .
Tell us about a typical day as a craft-based designer.
Every day is different! That's what makes my job so interesting. I work from home at the moment so my day usually begins with a walk to my local cafe for a coffee, then it's into my studio to go through emails, do some admin, and then get stuck into my projects for the day. On any given day I could be working on design or construction, delivering or installing a project on site, teaching a creative workshop, or shooting content. I thrive off a busy productive day but full disclosure, sometimes I can also spend hours procrastinating while watching Royal Family Dance Crew videos on YouTube... it's all about balance!
(Top) Kitiya in her studio // (Bottom) Kit has become known for her bright and bold felt illustration and typography creations
What has been one of your favourite personal craft or design projects to date?
Publishing my craft book Piñata Party. Writing a book has been a bucket list goal of mine since I was 12 so this was a huge personal achievement for me. At the same time, it was also one of the most challenging projects I've ever undertaken and I learned so much as a result.
(Top) Kitiya can make a Piñata like nobody's business // (Bottom) Some of the felt foliage that is currently gracing our Northcote, Fitzroy and City store windows!
What was the most fun thing about creating your felt Forever Foliage?
Watching my cats try to eat the leaves because they thought they were real plants! 😂
Your Real Talk Project is all about encouraging dialogue about wellbeing issues experienced by creative people. Tell us about how it began and what you hope it can achieve.
After struggling with various creative wellbeing issues for years (but never admitting it out loud) I realised it wasn't doing me any good to suffer in silence so I took a leap and started sharing my experiences online and in keynote talks at conferences I was invited to speak at. I received so much encouraging feedback and discovered that so many of my creative peers were also experiencing similar things, many of whom were also hesitant to talk about it. Real Talk grew out of a desire to contribute to opening up the conversation about mental health in the creative industry and forming a space where people could seek solidarity through shared experiences.
What's the best advice — personal or professional — you've ever received?
Everyone is on their own creative path, you'll get where you need to be at your own pace, and there's room for all of us to succeed in our own ways.
What are some of your favourite travel destinations for art & craft inspiration?
Mexico – hands down! The colour and vibrancy, richness and diversity in culture, playfulness, and pure joy for all things handmade are the ultimate inspiration for me. I could visit a thousand times over!
Welcome the warm weather with a $500 gift card to spend at Obus!
. . . . . . .
Simply spend $100 or more* during October to be automatically entered into the giveaway. With lots of fresh new prints and contemporary styles arriving throughout the month, you'll have more than a few reasons to enter the draw. Good luck!
*TERMS & CONDITIONS
Competition begins 12.01am 1/10/19 and ends 11.59pm 31/10/19. Any transaction at or over $100AUD in value (excluding shipping fees or redeemed Collect vouchers) made online or instore during the competition period will count as 1 entry to the giveaway, provided the entrant has supplied a valid email address or phone number for contact purposes. Prize cannot be redeemed for cash. Winner will be selected at random and contacted by 5/11/19.
As part of our partnership with west elm, Obus' founder Kylie Zerbst was recently invited to share her thoughts on building a conscious-brand, being a responsible consumer, and how personal style is evolving in a socially conscious day and age.
. . . . . . .
In front of an audience of design lovers at west elm's Prahran store, Kylie was joined on stage by west elm's head of visual merchandising, Rhys Duggan (the stylist behind our makeover!), and freelance stylist, Heather Nette-King.
Alongside a lively discussion about supporting companies that are transparent about their manufacturing, or sourcing materials that are organic, recycled or biodegradable, there was agreement between the panel about purchasing with intent. In both fashion and home wares, purchasing one special item that will last, instead of multiple‘throwaway’ items can mean a lot when it comes to being an environmentally-minded consumer. Kylie talked about always shopping with one's own values front-of-mind – whether that be supporting a local business, a business that focuses on the labour rights of its workers, one that is female-owned, or that is transparent about its product supply chain.
Rhys talked about the changes west elm are making from a social and environmental perspective. Their Vice President of Social Consciousness travels the world to ensure the artisans who make west elm's handcrafted items such as rugs, vessels, and cushions operate in in good working conditions and are, of course, paid fairly. She is committed to ensuring west elm continues to move in this direction and makes meaningful impact on these communities. They also discussed west elm's shifts in product manufacturing to establish themselves as a leader in the ethical and environmental homewares sector, such as ensuring all bedding is organic and GOTS-certified by 2020, and assisting over 50,000 workers across the world with continuing education and health programs.
Overall, the message of the evening was about how two brands, in different areas of design, can align and strive for better. Both Obus and west elm have brand values that permeate everything they create. There is still a lot to fix in the fashion and homewares industry and as a brand, Obus tries to continually improve each season – in whatever way we can. We hope that we also inspire others to change their habits and mindset, too
For Craft Victoria’s annual Craft Cubed exhibition, artist Louise Meuwissen took inspiration from our NIGHT BLOOM collection colour palette and using reclaimed jewels, beads and sequins, created a beautiful custom piece for our City store window. Join us inside her studio to learn more about her process and inspiration.
. . . . . . .
Tell us about your creative background. What led you to the work you are creating now?
I’m trained as a painter, and for a time was making a lot of paintings focusing on consumption and waste. By the third year of my degree at the VCA I was experimenting with embroidery, and now I work predominantly with textiles and found objects.
Essentially I started this style of work by ‘painting’ with found materials – collected yarns, beads and textiles The work I make still has painterly concerns like texture, colour, composition.
These works were really well received, and I enjoyed making them, and so this element of my practice evolved from there. For the past 6 years I have been experimenting with and refining sculptural textile works and wearable objects.
I’m also a collector by nature, and have always loved the treasure hunt of second hand shopping at op-shops and markets. I’m attracted to objects that contain a certain level of care, communicate something of a specific time or place, or otherwise feel particularly precious. I love things that are handmade, have bold or unusual prints, are made from luxurious materials, or evoke some sort of nostalgia.
The visual language of dress has always fascinated me, and is something that I had a lot of fun with in quite a performative way, with my extensive collection of vintage clothing and adornment. I still have a lot of fun with dressing – but now I direct much of this energy in to the work I make.
What I make now feels more sustainable for myself and the planet, while incorporating these other important aspects of my life.
Your work is so detailed and intricate - how long does it take to complete each piece?
Oh, thank you! I try to make them as detailed and intricate, and dense as possible. It really varies based on the scale of the work, the scale of the beads, and whether I am working in a colour palette that is more complex or subdued. I take a lot of care in the beads I select in each piece, forming the composition as I work. With the addition of every bead, I have to make a choice. But on average, I would say that to make a small wearable piece takes me between 4-30 hours, whereas the biggest sculptural piece I have made, Ecologies of Time, 2018, took 9 months to create.
Excitingly, the piece I have just made for the Obus City store in the Nicholas Building is the largest wall piece I have made! This piece took a couple of months to make from start to finish; from meeting with the incredible Obus team at their High St head office and looking at samples of the new collection, to conceptualising the piece, seeking materials and finally making the work. I hand sew all the sequins and fabrics individually. So, it takes a while!
It's sometimes difficult to tell the size and scale of a piece when we see images online. What is the smallest piece you've worked on, and the largest?
The smallest pieces I have created small stud earrings – little wearable sculptures – these measure about a centimetre across, and the very largest Ecologies of Time, 2018 has a diameter of a meter. At the moment most of the pieces I have been making are sculptures for the body. I have been making brooches and bangles, and these are usually about 7-15cm in diameter. I am excited to start some really large scale exhibition pieces in September!
Louise used textiles from our NIGHT BLOOM collection as inspiration for her piece.
You use preloved and reclaimed beads and accessories in your work. What draws you to working with these materials?
Beads are in abundance, and there’s the thrill of the hunt. I also get gifted a lot of them.
I’m drawn to objects that circulate in society and are targeted at women that are highly labour-intensive to manufacture, but also highly disposable – like jewelry. I’m interested in unpacking the complexities of the dynamic of how we sell images to people, of how we sell aspiration and notions of beauty. I hope to use these discarded materials, both high and low brow, to make works and sculptures that walk a fine line between ugliness and beauty - and have a sense of accumulation and weight.
Louise Meuwissen's installation will be on display in the Obus City store window at Shop 5, 37 Swanston Street Melbourne until the end of August, as part of the Craft Cubed Festival.
Your work is currently on display in the Obus City store window for the Craft Cubed Festival. What was the inspiration behind the work you created for this space?
I was really inspired by the bold forms, colours and painterly compositions of Obus textiles. I wanted to make a large scale work that would compliment the spring collection, and respond to the architecture of the Nicholas Building (the ceiling is amazing!). Undulating circular forms and voids are a consistent motif in my work. I was thinking a lot about yearning and desire, about eyes and looking, and about peacocking.
How do you integrate art into your everyday life?
I treat being an artist like my job – I love what I do, and it’s the main focus of my work life. Everything else fits around it. It’s more of a question of how I shape my life around my art!
My partner is a writer, curator and artist too. So it’s something that we do a lot of together, it surrounds everything that I do – I’ve made a conscious decision to build a life around art, and so work at it every day.
See more of Louise’s creations online at louisemeuwissen.com or on Instagram, and of course at our city Shop 5, 37 Swanston Street Melbourne until the end of August.
Today we reveal something a little bit special that has been happening in Obus' studio HQ in Northcote, Melbourne. With the help of our friends at west elm and Haymes Paint, our head office and design studio in Northcote, Melbourne has had a makeover!
. . . . . . .
Like our founder and creative director Kylie Zerbst, our head office team have a mutual love of colour, pattern and clean design. Over the years we have DIY'd updates to the space, freshening it with colour and adding functionality. But needless to say, when our friends at west elm offered to give our design studio a little bit of love, we jumped at the chance to add some of their beautifully designed products to the mix.
Our brief to west elm's Design Crew was simple: freshen the space with warm, tonal colours and select a range of products to ensure an efficient, productive workspace for Kylie and the design team. The results of their makeover blew us away – it's amazing what a few intentional and homely design touches can do to elevate a busy work space!
Obus founder and creative director Kylie Zerbst's desk in our busy Northcote studio. Kylie wears our BITTERSWEET DRESS (due August). Photo: Mike Baker. Styling: Rhys Duggan for west elm.
The place where our inimitable print designs are conceived, Kylie's desk was a key focal point for our studio makeover. Awash with collected inspiration and the tools of creative process, some key west elm additions like the Aluna Chair and the homely touches of the Asymmetry Lamp have added comfort to the space, while the Lacquer Tray keeps desk flotsam and jetsam contained!
[Above] Details from Kylie's Desk, including the Aluna Chair and Asymmetry Lamp from west elm. The studio wall has been refreshed in Wood Rose by Haymes Paint.
Always a hive of activity, the studio mezzanine is our team meeting space and design hub. Formerly a photography space, the white walls have come alive with colour. Painted in Haymes' Wood Rose, the north wall of the mezzanine now feels connected to the studio below. Directly opposite, the fireplace has been reinvigorated in Haymes' Comanche Dust, a team favourite hue! With a new set of comfortable Slope Chairs, some custom-upholstered Modern Stacking Stools, an Arched Floor Mirror, and a Sunstone Jute Rug to absorb noise, the space now feels like a design partner and a warm, comfortable space to meet.
[Above] Studio mezzanine – before: Formerly a photography space, the mezzanine was functional but not particularly visually inspiring.
[Below] Studio mezzanine – after: A revitalised space! Rug, light fixture, stools, mugs, chairs and planters by west elm. Fireplace painted in Comanche Dust by Haymes Paint. Photo: Mike Baker. Styling: Rhys Duggan.
A big thanks to the west elm and their Design Crew – especially Rhys, Lexi, and Chantal. Their classic, high-quality design pieces will have a home in our studio for years to come!
Proud of your new Obus purchase? Share your style on Instagram so we can see, and you'll be in the running to WIN a $250 Obus gift card!
. . . . . . .
We love seeing you out and about in your Obus. Our clothing has always been designed for with comfort, everyday adventuring and the special times in mind. It's lovely to see how you style your purchases across the seasons and bring creativity to your wardrobe.
Which is why we want to see more of YOU! If you're on Instagram, snap a pic of you in your Obus threads and tag us @obusclothing #obusontour. If you take a snap from today until Sunday 14 July, you'll be in the running to WIN a $250 gift voucher!
This competition is not endorsed by Instagram. Valid entries must tag @obusclothing and use the hashtag #obusontour from 27 Jun-14 July 2019 inclusive. Winner will be drawn at random and notified via Instagram week beginning 15 July. Prize is not redeemable for cash.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence is a community organisation that works to alleviate and prevent poverty in Australia - an organisation Obus has worked with for many years. This Winter, we are proud to partner again with Brotherhood in raising funds that support children and families to thrive.
. . . . . . .
Our 2019 Winter Coat Drive offers you two ways to support the Brotherhood. Donate a pre-loved coat at our Northcote, City or Fitzroy stores; or add a $2O ‘Brotherhood Gift’ to purchase online or instore.
In return for your donation, we'll give you 20% OFF any coat purchase!*
How Brotherhood of St Laurence help families and children
Astonishingly, 1 in 6 children in Australia live in poverty. Poverty is not just having too little money to live on. It can also mean they or their families being shut out from other aspects of social and economic life that people commonly take for granted: a job, a home, education, or being connected to community.
With your support, the Brotherhood of St Laurence can provide more children and families with quality educational services and learning environments that enable the next generation to achieve their potential. Their programs and services support disadvantaged people of all ages to build better lives for themselves.
What can your donation achieve?
$20 can provide four children with a nutritional breakfast every day for one week, helping them to be school ready
$20 can provide educational children’s books for our early childhood programs, helping parents to become their child’s first teacher
Coats that are donated instore will be on-sold to Brotherhood's Community Stores (op shops).