Jillian Boustred is a exciting young independent Sydney label - headed up by the designer herself - the pieces from the label are an expression of feminine energy fused everyday simplicity. Jillian's namesake label has risen up slowly and surely amongst all the noise, and competition from bigger brands and has proven time and again that quality fabrics and attention to detail in both the design process and in production mean so much! Launching her first collection back in 2015, after graduating from a Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles at UTS, Jillian interned with some of the industries best - working for Kym Ellery with label Ellery (which is now Paris based, like our friends Perks and Mini!) which would have provided insight into the rigours of running a successful label, and I can imagine been more than enough to stoke the fire of ambition! Through diligence, and patience Jillian has overcome some of the pitfalls that can befall young creative energy - the business side of things. Each collection or series of clothes that Jillian produces builds on successful shapes and designs from previous seasons - the label has staying power through this discipline - it would be so easy to make many new bold designs - which as a creative soul, I’m sure she is bursting to do - however by building each season up, and constantly reviewing and refining there becomes a slow evolution of forms and such beauty, through fabric and finishing choices. In our opinion Jillian does dresses the best of anyone - and this season is no exception. We have a host of event dresses ready to knock your winter socks off, in preparation for a lush and long season of sun and flirtation.
In store is the Ariel Dress, in both forest and black linen, which is a slightly 80’s inspired shell button down dress. Starting off with a deep V-neck, graduating into a mid calf finishing - this dress has twin side splits - so you can dance and move to your hearts content! We also have a return of the Valerie Dress, in acorn and powder blue, the dress has a square fitted bodice style upper half, and a pencil style lower half, featuring eyelet ties at the back and a 3/4 length - it’s dreamy, flattering and looks equally good with trainers as it does with heels…what could be better?! Also in the mix is the Georgie wrap dress, which is a short sleeve midi-wrap dress - go from sun soaked beach hangs to dinner dates in an instant! A summer staple to be sure. We also have a mix of separates including the highly coveted Olivia trousers in black linen… watch out world!
We conversed over email and asked Jillian some of our most burning questions regarding her label… she doesn’t give it all away though! But who doesn’t love a bit of mystery?
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Your pieces have a beautiful timeless quality… is that something you are consciously thinking about when designing?
I usually think about the shape of the garment and how flattering / comfortable it will be, which is probably what leads them to have timeless qualities.
What does your daily routine for the label look like?
Everyday is really different and it just depends on what stage I am at - be it designing, sampling or production. All my garments are made in Sydney so that generally means a bit of driving around managing my production line, I also spend time doing customer service, managing my online store and marketing. It’s a mixed bag! But I do like that as it keeps me stimulated.
Do you have a team of people assisting you or is there still a lot of day to day stuff that you do solo?
I do have an intern who helps me out but majority of the work is still done by me. I do outsource quite a lot of the sampling and production process now, as that can be really time consuming.
What has been the most challenging thing about running the label?
It’s quite hard to wear so many different hats, I come from a design background so I’m not great when it comes to business and accounting!
If you weren’t designing clothes, running a label… what would you be doing?
I actually am not sure! I’d hope I would be designing for another label, possibly one overseas – it would be interesting to see what the industry is like in another country. If I wasn’t doing design maybe something in marketing or fashion imagery, I’ve always like photo-shoots and coming up with creative concepts.
When you are at the studio - what are you listening to?
I usually listen to very mellow music and just put a spotify play list on. I love Maggie Roggies and Haim so I often have them on repeat.
I read in an interview you used to make clothes even as a teen …do you have any pictures of this time to share with us?
Haha no I don’t think I do. Possibly on my parents computer at home there’d be a few. I did used to sew all the time when I was younger and I’d sell the clothes to people at school. I had a pop up shop at our house one time and invited people from the neighbour hood.
I noticed in your earlier collections you used lots of print and colour - do you imagine a return of self made prints at any stage, or was that more of a time/place thing?
I used to do a lot of print and textiles at Uni when I was studying fashion. I love art so I would sort of try combine that into the clothing. But with the label I have found that there is more of a demand for more wearable basics so I have kind of honed in on that.
What is the greatest thing about living in Sydney in your opinion?
I love the weather and the beach. I am also originally from Sydney so all my friends and family are here which is pretty lucky!
Would you ever consider taking Jillian Boustred to an international audience? Is that something you are interested in, or is your focus more on the local context?
I would love to take it international and that is something I hope to work towards in the future. At the moment I am really trying to focus on Aus and NZ.
Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy day(s) at Jillian HQ!
Photography by Kaitlyn Bošnjak
Words by Gussie Vinall Richardson & layout by Shelby De Fazio