Meet the Maker – Jo McGovern and Rosie Mellor from O,speak.
O, speak. is a local women’s fashion label for ladies who want to express themselves through their threads. Our garments are locally produced in Adelaide using prints and colour pallets exclusive to the brand.
How would you describe your work?
O, speak. creates garments that are ethically made in Australia, to the highest of standards, in timeless styles that our customers will eventually wear through, rather than tire of. With our exclusive in-house prints and carefully selected colour palettes, set upon versatile silhouettes that do not conform to fashion fads, O, speak. acts against the fast-fashion trend.
Each collection is comprised of a broad range of styles, in order to accommodate and celebrate the diversity of bodies, and to encourage people to rethink the destructively narrow concept of ‘beauty’, so idealised throughout the media. O, speak. is a label enjoyed by customers spanning in age from 18 – 70, a range that is still growing, and we believe that this is owing to the importance we place on inclusivity. Each of our customers is completely unique and it is with this diversity in mind that each collection is created.
How did the O, speak. journey begin, what Is your story? Who or what inspired you to begin in your field?
It all began with a text message… Having studied fashion design and technology together at TAFE SA, we both then went our separate ways for a couple of years, gaining experience in the fashion workforce, both interstate and locally, before deciding it was time to join forces and collaborate. In November 2014, I (Jo) sent Rosie a message saying “let’s be creative together” and from there we just decided to throw ourselves into it and make it happen.
What are your current artistic influences and what inspires you to carry on doing what you’re doing?
We are influenced by many different aspects of the world around us. With each collection, there is an underlying current drawing inspiration from the strength and beauty of women, a consistent theme, paramount to our principles and values. We are also passionate about sustainable and ethical fashion, and the effects our garments have on the environment. We continue to find methods of improving and developing our design and manufacturing processes to ensure we are compliant with these standards.
What’s a typical day for O, speak.?
A typical studio day for O, speak. starts with a morning meeting and coffee at Nagev on Payneham Road. We plan the day from there, depending on where the latest collection is up to, then head to our studio in Maylands and get cracking on the list, whether it be patternmaking, print designing, liaising with local suppliers etc!
Which other designers are you looking forward to seeing when you come to Bowerbird Design Markets on November 25 – 27?
All of them! If we had to narrow it down we are particularly excited to see new things from Julie White and Pip Kruger.
What’s your favourite piece of your own work that will be available for at the Bowerbird Design Markets?
We are pretty excited about showcasing our latest Spring/Summer collection. A favourite piece from this would have to be the Patch Dress in the Molli Floral Print!
What advice would you give other aspiring artists and designers?
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Mark Twain