We had a chat to Sydney-based fashion & textiles grad, Jillian Boustred. Art, digital manipulation and industry collaboration are three things this gal is all for and aims to incorporate into her repertoire as she stretches her creative capabilities. We’re kicking the latter of with the help of Byron Spencer, but we’ll let her tell you the rest.

Grace / You recently graduated from Sydney’s University of Technology (UTS). How did the tertiary experience turn out?
Jilly /
My experience at UTS was really great. I learnt a lot about many different aspects of fashion, which is something you don’t always get in a course that is strictly design. There was also a strong textile component which is essentially what led me to explore digital print.

Why fashion?
I’ve always been interested fashion. I did textiles and art in school and then had no doubts about going into a fashion degree. I love creativity in all forms but I’ve always been drawn to fashion the most. I think it’s because it’s so tangible and something you are involved with every day.

Ink and painterly fluidity seems to be one of the cornerstones of your aesthetic. How did this come about?
I’ve always been an art enthusiast, particularly with regard to painting and drawing. I love big, expressive artworks; they have a fantastic sense of freedom. For me, painting is a form of escapism. I knew I wanted to create a print based collection so translating my artworks into digital prints seemed a really natural progression.

Is this where Dale Frank (Australian contemporary artist) comes in?
Yes, definitely. I did a lot of research into contemporary, abstract artists and their art making practices. I’ve always loved Cy Twombly, but only recently discovered Dale Frank. I think the sense of fluidity and use of colour within his artworks is amazing. They’re extremely emotive and have such a strong mood, which is something I considered when creating my own artworks.

With the evolvement of menswear across the global fashion landscape, have you ever thought to introduce your artful approach to design in exploring the male gender?
I do think exploring menswear could be really interesting, especially as I think Australian men are becoming more experimental in what they wear. I also think there is a lot of scope for print within menswear. I’d love to explore casualwear and apply really fun prints to simple, well cut garments.

How does collaboration fit into your process?
Collaboration is really important for me. I love being surrounded by creative people and being able to bounce thoughts of each other. It was great working with Byron on the shoot; he’s so creative and comes up with really amazing ideas. I think working in a team is a lot more stimulating than working by yourself.

Which industry figure do you most identify with? Why? I’ve always liked Josh Goot, particularly his initial collections. There’s a sculptural nature to his designs that I really appreciate. Internationally, I think Marni is a really beautiful label. Feminine but still strong, and they’re really experimental with textures and print.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
I think completing my graduate year and feeling proud of my collection was definitely an achievement. It’s challenging sometimes in design to truly stick to your aesthetic and produce a collection that’s a genuine reflection of your individuality. I think realising your strengths and working with them is really important. So for me, learning that this year was probably one of the more important things.

Where do you want to end up?
I’d love to have my own label one day, or a freelance print company. I think being a professional creative is basically the dream, working in a team to bring creative ideas to life – that’s what I’d find really stimulating.

What’s next?

I’m going to keep painting and drawing and see what I can come up with, possibly do a capsule collection at some point. I’d love to just work on anything exciting.


Words / Grace McBrierty

Photography / Byron Spencer
Fashion / Jillian Boustred
Hair and Make-Up / Margo Regan
Model / Saveja Ellison @ Priscilla's
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