Jen Weeks and Donna Tripodi met over their well-worn paintbrushes at art school and instantly connected through a love of design and fabrics, and the frustration of not being able to find the right clothes! The pair founded Frock Me Out in 2013, and are still going strong in their home town of Adelaide.
Tell us the story of Frock Me Out. How did you get started?
We both felt like most of our favourite dresses out there were either too short, made from horrible synthetic fabric or just simply shapeless and unflattering. While Donna had been solving this problem by altering many a one-off vintage shop find, I started making my own. So when family, friends (including Donna!) and even random women in the streets were asking for them, what came next was only natural.
How do you manage the creative direction of the business between the two of you? Do you each contribute pieces to the collection, or do you work together on each design idea?
We collaborate on everything- dress design, fabric choice and now our latest and favourite project – print design. We find the process of bouncing off one another results in a more well-rounded and considered result. We are amazingly in tune with one another and are often in a state of excited agreement. And the not so fun parts – like our marathon ironing sessions – are made much more enjoyable over a glass of wine and lots of laughs. When we’re not working together there is a pretty constant stream of text messaging too.
The gorgeous Frock Me Out range of fabrics must be one of the key selling points for your label. What are the cornerstones of your textile choices?
We are both big fans of vintage inspired geometric prints and interesting colour combinations – and our general rule is that we both have to love it. Colour schemes that compliment a wide range of skin tones are a must also. We’re on both ends of the spectrum colour wise (blonde/pale and dark hair/olive skin), which is an ideal test for any print.
What do you believe women are looking for in clothing, and how does Frock Me Out meet their needs?
What we all want for our wardrobe is for it to be full of standout go-to clothing that fits perfectly and feels amazing. Well-made clothing in styles that withstand the test of time means a good wardrobe can be built upon for many years to come – full of well-worn favourites in staple fabrics as well as fun flattering prints that steal the show whenever they come out. A well-chosen classic wardrobe is both rewarding and sustainable. Boo to fast, disposable fashion!
We choose premium fabrics made from natural fibres that are long lasting and beautiful to wear. Our growing collection of flattering styles means that we can fit a wide range of body shapes and lengths. We love seeing our dresses on so many different shapes and sizes and how good they look. Our customers tell us they always get compliments when wearing them. It’s ‘that dress’ that you love to wear.
What is your own favourite Frock Me Out item, and what special place does it have in your wardrobe?
Jen – my favourite is the dark denim pocket dress – I have one with sleeves and one without. They always looks amazing on (even on those darker days…) and can be glammed up for a night on the town or worn during the day with thongs – perfect! My print favourites change all the time – lucky for me I get to wear all of them…
Donna – I love the retro vibe of my Charcoal Geo pocket dress. It looks great on it’s own or layered up with a long sleeve and boots. I get comments on it every time I wear it!
Apart from your own designs, what types of fashion and textiles inspire you?
We both have a love of design and gravitate towards amazing prints, mostly vintage-inspired. Fashion is a fantastic way to wear a piece of unique art or design – as long as it’s not on a sack dress… we both look terrible in them! It must be a flattering shape. We are working on our own range of prints at the moment and can’t wait to see them materialise (pardon the pun?) in dress form.
What are your fashion tips for the coming summer and what will you be presenting at Bowerbird?
Summer is dress weather! It’s an easy, all-in-one outfit – throw on a pair of shoes and go. Avoid the stinky sweaty polyesters and choose long lasting, breathable natural fibre-based fabrics.
We have a range of new exciting prints to show off and are working on a new dress design that we know is going to get big love – we’re hoping for it to be ready in time for release at Bowerbird! Wish us luck…