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red stripe clothing's Lake and Janelle

photos by John Vidovich

Started Out? We started out in October 2001; we had a market stall for two and a half years in the Station St Markets Subiaco, then expanded to a real shop in April 2004. At first we were selling all locally made garments and accessories that were one-offs catering to various sub cultural styles (goth and punk mainly), mostly made by us and a few friends, we did and still do make things that we like and we do it because we love it! We think we are very lucky to have been given the opportunities and support that we were, and that combined with a lot of our blood sweat and tears (you’d better believe it) we have been able to graduate to where we are now.

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Changes since then? As having the shop changed Red Stripe from a hobby market stall to a real shop for serious we started to import items from around the world (mainly the US), the biggest change would have to be starting to retail several ranges of footwear that was unavailable in WA at the time. We still stock wares from about 15 local designers (including our own labels) as well as a huge range of imported footwear, clothing and accessories. We’ve opened an online store and we also wholesale our own ranges to several shops around Australia. Our styles have evolved with our own personal tastes so as a result the shop has also changed. We don’t get to sew as much anymore as running the shop has become a full time job.

What’s hot right now? There are some things that will never change in fashion, like PVC is always going to be a staple in fetish and gothic circles, and tartan is synonymous with punk rock clothing. Mini trends come and go but these are the classics. We incorporate so many different styles.. goth, punk, rockabilly, psychobilly, fetish, rock n roll, elegant gothic lolita, emo, cyber, etc etc.. and have such a diverse patronage that it’s really hard to name the stand out trends.. but tartan mini skirts, checkered stuff and fishnet gloves are quite popular at the moment.

Design influences? There are so many things that rub off on us it’s hard to pinpoint specific things or pigeonhole ourselves to any one thing, but we are widely influenced by music, fun, friends and lifestyle, and of course other fashion designers can be inspiring!

We’re influenced a lot by local designers like Cadillac Fever, Ignite Gear, Angelorium, Sinners Ink, Cathexis and Equinox (many of whom are our friends), we all egg each other on- it’s a good feeling! Also, a lot of the Australian and international labels we stock we really love and are inspired by, especially Beserk, Heavy Red, Devil Doll, Lip Service, Lucky 13, Tripp NYC and Steady. Alexander McQueen is pretty damn cool though. And Wheels and Dollbaby..

Is WA fashion hard to break into? Oooh aaahh, I think we were lucky because when we started out as fashion designer/ retailer virgins there was no one else doing what we were doing. Now it’s a bit different…

Red Stripe faves? We mostly like stuff that is wearable and can be dressed up or down, but we also have quite a lot of ‘show stopping’ pieces, I guess we’re a mix of day/streetwear and night time/special occasion. You gotta look good and feel good about what you are projecting. Fashion can kind of be thought of as another method of communication. Your clothes communicate something about you to others. Personal style? We all like different stuff, and we all like a mixture of styles as we don’t really like to be categorized into any one style. We wear all of the stuff so its difficult to choose… but if we had to pick right now.. nah it’s too hard! Can’t live without? Janelle: False eyelashes, especially ones with a bit of bling on them. The bigger, the better…

Lake: I can’t live without leopard print.. ANYTHING leopard print!! If I was an animal I’d be a leopard, then I would find a mirror somewhere out in the wilderness (think: the Coke bottle in The Gods Must Be Crazy) and look at myself all day long! Haha!

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