In 2020 Australian designer Tara Whalley was invited to premier her fashion collection at New York Fashion Week, and in 2021 she stole the runway show again at Paris Fashion Week. Tara's work has been featured in Vogue Australia, Elle Spain, Elle Italy, Frankie Magazine and The Design Files. Her work has won awards such as The Frankie Magazine Good Stuff Awards (Fashion), and has been selected as a finalist in The Design Files Awards and the Victorian Premier Design Award.
Tara's fashion journey began in earnest after graduating from BA of Arts Textile Design at RMIT in 2012. Upon graduating, she responded to an international design opportunity, embarking on the journey of a lifetime. Tara moved to the Guatemalan Highlands for a year to work with war affected Mayan weavers. These women depended on ancient traditional weaving, and natural dye
techniques to provide food, education, and basic medical care for their children. Tara worked with the women to create new products to generate income for them through their Mayan owned collective, and travelled to remote communities to meet them and their families.
On these trips into the rural areas to visit the artisans, Tara travelled on chicken buses and in the back of trucks, it's all there was. Tara would always take her paints and sketch book with her to capture these memories. Sketching and painting felt a little softer amongst the locals, than wheeling a camera around. It was this time in Guatemala that formed Tara's painting practice- translating experience into artwork for fabric print and a clear direction for the basis of her fashion signature style. Her work from that time led to some exciting collaborations, including her fabric prints that hit the runway at Vienna Fashion Week in 2013, and her internationally recognised exclusive footwear line.
Returning to Australia profoundly moved by this Central American experience Tara launched her print focussed label.
Her collections have reflected her travels and international professional opportunities - from Guatemala, Japan, San Francisco, LA to the Joshua Tree. Her latest print-focussed collection is a celebration of Australia, long road trips, antiques collected along the way, hiking the high country, exploring Australia on horseback and of course the beauty of native flora and fauna. Her collections are available in sizes XS-10XLovely, are made in Melbourne with natural fibres,
digitally printed to reduce environmental impact, utilise offcuts to minimise waste and feature Tara's hand painted artwork.