18 year old Aussie designer debuts at Vancouver Fashion Week

Vancouver Fashion Week kicked off its 30th season with a bang this week, presenting three designers on its first night alone. Among the designers taking the opening night spotlight was Australian newcomer Charly Thorn.

The 18 year-old Cooma native made her fashion week debut with a vibrant resort collection inspired by the luxury Australian lifestyle found on Hamilton Island.

Dressed in head-to-toe black, Thorn looked remarkably composed for a high school graduate who just made her international runway debut.

Amidst the (organized) chaos that immediately follows the closing show of the night, I caught up with the emerging designer to chat about her Spring/Summer collection, her exciting future plans and the one mantra she swears by.

What has your week been like leading up to fashion week?
Since I arrived in Vancouver, it’s been very relaxing! But last week we had a final fitting with all the garments, last minute jewelry shopping and made adjustments on a few garments. I was under the pump before getting on the plane!

How important is Vancouver Fashion Week to you?
Vancouver Fashion Week is a huge opportunity for young emerging designers like me and I’m very excited to be showing Australian natural fibers on the international stage.

You are one of the few designers to feature women of all sizes on the runway. What lead you to become more inclusive towards sizes found on the everyday woman?
Who else is going to buy my clothes? I want women to feel confident in my clothing and in themselves, no matter what size they are. Women of all sizes are beautiful and I think we need to celebrate this.

How do you want women to feel when wearing your clothes?
I want them to feel like themselves, beautiful, elegant and effortless. I want to inspire confidence in women.

Models walk the runway wearing designs from the Charly Thorn S/S 2018 resort collection.
“I want (women) to feel like themselves, beautiful, elegant and effortless. I want to inspire confidence in women.”

Do you have a certain process when it comes to getting to work on a new collection?
My process has evolved over a few years and obviously, I am learning more and more every time. I have also learned to trust my creative process as it tends to be very “up to the last minute.” Diamonds are made under pressure.

What are some finer details people might not know about your Spring/Summer 2018 collection?
I created a resort collection from 100% natural fibers and I am also juxtaposing Australian Merino Wool against beachwear.

If you could describe your collection in three words, what would they be?Luxury. Modern. Beautiful. I am very proud of the collection I created and couldn’t be happier with the show.

How did you prepare for your career in fashion?
I don’t know that you can be prepared in an industry that is so fast moving! I think having the right mindset and ability to adapt to change quickly.

How do you stay up-to-date on current fashion trends?
I listen to a lot of podcasts and audiobooks because I love learning. I don’t have a lot of spare time because I work two amazing jobs back home, but when I do I like to be learning about new, exciting businesses. I just finished Stephen Covey’s book 7 habits of highly effective people and LOVED it.

Following fashion week, what are your plans this coming year?
I would love to go to university or college to study fashion and business. I just graduated high school and want to study further. I plan to apply for plenty of scholarships both internationally and locally, and see where the world takes me.

Want to discover more about this emerging designer? Follow Charly Thorn on Instagram to keep up with her latest career developments.