Close Up with Fashion Designer Madeline Tait

Effortless Style by Madeline Tait 

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

I am originally from New Zealand but have been living in Sydney for the past 2 and half years building my portfolio and experience in the fashion industry. Over the past year I have been building the foundations for my own brand and have successfully completed my first collection in time to show at Fashion Palette on the 8th of October at the overseas passenger terminal.

My designs are about effortless style, mixing and matching and versatility.

Pieces are designed to be worn together or separate depending on the occasion whether it be day or night.

The designs have unique features that help them to stand out above the crowd but still follow trends in colours and silhouettes.

Who (or what) inspires you to do what you love in your own creative business?

I have always been inspired by art and films and a lot of my inspiration is pulled from my favourite movies and artists. I am also heavily inspired by the leaders of this industry such as Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Gucci.

They inspire me  to be at their level some day. Its like a sort of goal for me to reach.

Where do you get your inspiration from when you design?

 Firstly I get inspiration and ideas from trends and street style then I create my own story that incorporates elements from these trends combined with the things I love.

What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you?

Passionate, Driven, Honest, Focused and Organised

Tell us about your very first job and what path have you taken since then?

I started working in cafes/restaurants when I was 13, it wasn’t until I finished my Fashion Design Degree that I landed a job with a small boutique in my home town. I was sewing, designing and running the shop. It was great experience and I learnt  a lot  in a short amount of time and it kind of prepared me for bigger and better things to come. After 4 months I decided I need to follow my dreams so I moved to Sydney in hope for an opportunity to expand my knowledge. The rest is history…

Describe a typical day in your studio space?

Well I work full time for another designer and that consumes most of my time, but I have managed to create this collection by working in the mornings, evenings and weekends. I get up at 6AM  and work for a couple of hours before heading to work and then I come home at about 6.30PM cook dinner for me and my boyfriend, rest for about half an hour and then get back into it sometimes working until 1AM.

This has been my cycle for the past 8 months.

As an Fashion Designer, what is your biggest frustration?

At this stage my biggest frustration is not having enough time and man power, and from experience working within bigger companies the same things always happen, we are always working down to the last minute with minimal staff

Tell us about how you prioritise your studio work.

I set out a deadline at the beginning of the season to complete each different stage of the process. I work closely to these deadlines and follow the flow of work as it comes. Each step flows on to the next and its just a matter of continuously working so as not to fall behind.

Jarome Roach & Madeline Tait

Since you are working at home, can you please tell us about how do you connect with other artists, and your customers (i.e. how do you network)?

Facebook is my main point of contact with other creative’s from this industry. I have connected with models, hair stylists, buyers, photographers all through this social networking site. It has been a great way for me to get my name and designs seen by others in the fashion industry. I am also connected with other industry professionals through a few specifically fashion websites like and

Tell us about your next fashion parade with Fashion Palette in October?

I have been selected to be a part of this fashion debut along with 20 other designers from all different sectors of the industry such as jewellery, shoe, handbag and menswear/women’s wear designers. We each have a show allocated to us to have total creative freedom in styling and choreography. The shows are part of a 2 day event run by Director Sonya Mefaddi who’s vision is to share the worldly knowledge of industry professionals with the general public. I volunteered with the event last year and it was a truly amazing experience and the stories that were told by some of this countries best designer’s were very touching and many made the audience weep. Overall this event is about helping undiscovered talent to flourish in an ever competitive industry.

What advice can you offer other creative people who are just starting out and following their passions?

You should never lose sight of your vision, your dreams and personal flair. People will always put you down and tell you cant do it but if you believe in yourself you will outshine them. You also need to tame your creativity to suit current trends and your customer. Get as much experience as you can before venturing into your own endeavours. The more background knowledge you have the easier it will be to start your own label.

What dreams do you still want to achieve or fulfil in your life?

My dreams are to be on par with the industry leaders, my goal is to get as high as I can so that there is know where else to go. I want to be the best and if takes my whole life to get there then that’s what I will do. I want to create a fashion empire, I want to change the way people dress, I want to be responsible for creating a worldwide trend. It’s a dream that I will achieve.

What is your proudest moment so far?

Every step I have moved forward is a proud moment for me, I haven’t basked in the glory and wont until I have achieved greatness and worldwide domination.

Who do you most want to meet and why?

I would have loved to meet Alexander McQueen but unfortunately he has now passed away. He was my hero and his designs were the most creative and beautiful. His designs were from his heart. Next choice would probably be John Galliano another world great who is so unique and such a leader in his own right.

What is the most important lesson in life that you have learned?

Never give up, be happy with what you have for the moment because if your dreams are strong enough you know you will rise up. All the little jobs you have before becoming your own boss will help to shape your career. You will always meet people for a reason and they will always share some knowledge with you that will stick with you for ever.

What book are you reading right now, and do you have a book you would like to recommend?

I am not reading at the moment and the last book I read was the Twilight series, I haven’t time to read but I would always recommend the celestine prophecy as a must read for every individual. It will make you more aware of the life around you and what you make of it.

Where do we find you and your products?

 The collection I am working on is to be dropped into stores early next year for Winter 2011. As of yet I do not have buyers but am on the look out and will hopefully be stocked in high fashion boutiques in Australia and New Zealand. I will also be launching an online store to sell this winter 2011 collection. Follow my brand on facebook for regular updates and product information.

Vinh Van Lam
the authorVinh Van Lam
Vinh Van Lam, co-founder of ArtSHINE, is a visionary art coach and entrepreneur with a passion for fostering creativity. With a diverse background in art and business, he brings a unique perspective to empower emerging artists, enabling them to thrive in the dynamic art industry through the innovative platform of ArtSHINE.

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