Australian designer Brooke Da Cruz is ready to make a splash in fashion with her new sustainable collection, which features luxurious dresses, skirts, tops and pants.
The timeless collection is not only classic but also unique. Many of the garments feature stunning criss-cross elements, as well as intricate ties and clips, often paired with Brooke’s favourite aspect, an elegant open back. Brooke has an eco-friendly focus, preferring to work with natural materials wherever possible, such as organic cotton and silk. Each garment has been beautifully thought out and wear-tested to ensure they are both comfortable and flattering. The emphasis on conscious living allows the wearer to live ethically and freely.
Brooke considers herself a designer at heart, designing costumes for Queen Amidala from Star Wars in her diaries since she was 10 years old. She graduated with a design qualification in 2010 and in 2017 launched her début collection.
I caught up with Brooke to discuss her collection and hear about her ethos when it comes to designing for the women of today.
Brooke believes that clothing and style are about how the wearer feels and says she is driven to design because of her meditative state that arises when she enters into a creative flow, that ‘it’s the ultimate bliss.’
She explains a lifetime’s worth of inspiration has come together to create her début collection, from the everyday mundane moments to beauty in extraordinary travel. She claims the key to being inspired, especially while travelling, is appreciating the beauty in everything: ‘I literally sat down and sketched a rock for a couple of hours and explored its shapes and textures.’ The names of some of the garments give clues to the location of her original inspiration for that piece, from certain architecture to specific cities in the world.
It’s clear that as a hands-on designer, Brooke loves to wear the clothes she crafts, and hopes that any woman who aligns with her values would like to wear her collection, too. ‘I don’t feel like there is one person I would like to see wearing my pieces over another, just any woman with my style or ethos!’
Passionate about equality, Brooke bases many of her decisions about her label on bringing joy to the women wearing it, in the most ethical, equal way possible. ‘If I can combine my values with what brings me joy as well as many other women, then I feel like I’m winning at life!’
Brooke’s stance on ethical consumerism is one to be admired, and she says it is an issue that is close to her heart. ‘There was just no way that [the business] was going to profit from anything that causes harm.’ Like many of us, Brooke is concerned with the state of the fashion industry and believes we have a long way to go to fix it. However, she feels empowered that she may be able to be part of the solution, ‘I’ll be stoked if I can play a small part in curbing the way we work.’
Brooke explains that sustainable and ethical fashion wasn’t her initial reason to start her label, but it has become an important reason for now. ‘If the decisions I make can potentially help a few extra people to become more conscious of their consumption then that’s amazing!’
Many eco-friendly, sustainable and ethical collections that have appeared over the last few years have focused on plain basics, like T-shirts and shorts. Yet Brooke’s collection differentiates itself from the crowd by bringing a sophisticated eye to the world of eco-fashion. Her work is striking, full of careful design details, and doesn’t compromise on intricacy in the name of sustainability, proving again that eco-friendly isn’t synonymous with boring.
When I asked about what drove her to focus on sustainability, Brooke revealed it is her travels that have impacted her sustainable mindset the most. ‘I personally became more interested in the philosophy of yoga and the psychology behind dressing ourselves. The philosophy of yoga is a message of oneness between all things, and this has become a major part of the ethos behind my label, and is reflected in the fabrics I chose as well as the studios and factories I choose to work with.’
This yoga philosophy is echoed through the fabrics Brooke chose for her collection, which all have a flowing, easy-to-wear æsthetic and feel. The garments can be worn day to night, from early morning beach meditation to an evening cocktail party. It seems comfort is only inevitable in these yoga-inspired clothes. Some of her garments even metamorphose within themselves, changing shape by adding or removing extra fabric depending on how the wearer chooses to style the piece. This concept is reflective of her travel and yoga-inspired mindset, as Brooke maintains that her wearer should feel creative and free while sporting the clothes.
The Virtuoso dress, a loose, black, structured piece with cutouts in the back has become a staple for Brooke. ‘It’s a great day to night dress and is super comfy with sneakers to boots for the evening.’ A white beachy wrap, the Yin skirt paired with the Avra top have also been some of Brooke’s favourites from her collection, working for every occasion. She says she’s dying to bring out her strappy, open-backed Align jumpsuit for the summer too.
Brooke is excited to see the public wearing her clothing on the streets, and can’t wait to find out what kind of fashion statements are made when her designs are brought into the world through all of the women she has met on her journey so far.
She is looking forward to working with new sustainable fabrics in her next collection, including pineapple leather and alpaca yarns.
You can see all of the pieces from Brooke’s collection on her website, www.brookedacruz.com. •
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