Tori- Anne Gill is as per any girl who comes from the country, but in between scrubbing sheep troughs and driving the header, she is busy working away on her label, Dark Thorn, preparing for September 2018, when models will debut her label in Paris Fashion Week.
The 22-year-old from Mundoora started printing t-shirts in 2013, in a studio out the back of her family farm and has now expanded to an online store where all three of her collections are for sale.
In July this year, Tori received an email from Oxford Fashion Studio, inviting her to showcase her work at a runway show on September 29 in Paris.
“I thought it was a hoax to start off with but then I did some research, asked around and it was true.”
“They have scouters that go through designers all year, picking and searching a few and they stumbled across me.”
“It doesn’t feel real yet, it feels like I am not going, until I am there then I will be like ‘oh my gosh it is happening’”, Tori said.
Tori’s work is inspired by what she has always wanted to wear, but was unable to find.
“I have always loved the Victorian Era and all those times past, so I reincorporated that into design pieces.”
There is a thorough process involved in the creation of a collection and it can take almost a year until Tori has her hands on her pieces that, just months ago were sketches.
“I usually do a collection at a time and it will take me a year to do that. I will have to design it all, go through and pick pieces that will fit into a collection, refine them and make them perfect.”
From Tori’s intricate sketches, her finalised designs are sent to Sydney, where a seamstress works to perfect her final product.
“[It starts at the] sketchbook, then I refine, go through and refine it even more with trims and embellishments, then I will pick fabrics and from then it goes to pattern making, graphing, spec sheets and then a sample, then it goes into the photography and then it gets manufactured.”
Tori’s family have been of great support for her and her work, but it is the women who have really provided her with the sturdy footing to pursue her passion.
“My Nanna is a seamstress, my Grandma is a pattern maker, my Mum sews. That in the sewing aspects is mentoring. But I started at Colour Cosmetica Academy and they have always mentored me and helped me out”
Tori’s Mum, Annette Gill is thrilled with this opportunity that she has been provided with.
“When she first told me, I thought ‘oh it must be a scam, you know with all the scams coming around’, I said go and research it and just see. When it came back that it was true, I just couldn’t believe it. I was just over the moon, so we are going.”
“She would spend probably a good six hours a day, working on her designs. If not here, she is up in her bedroom, still working on designs. She has got books and books of designs that she has already sketched, ready for the next collection”, Annette said.
It is still 10 months away, but Tori and her Mum have booked their flights to be at Dark Thorn’s Paris Fashion Week debut, but for the moment, her clothes will not be on the runway.
Tori requires $32,957.41 AUD to partake in the Fashion Week and is calling for the help of the Mid North region to get her there.
- Runway cost – $6,834.74AUD
- Pool Models – $4,008.34AUD
- Runway Photography – $1,353.18AUD
- Runway Videography – $1,353.18AUD
- Studio Photography – $1,747.20AUD
- Backstage Photography – $334.03AUD
- Total: $15,630.67AUD
- Showroom: $1,019.22AUD per garment x 17 garments = $17,326.74AUD
- Total: $32,957.41AUD
“If you go onto the Go Fund Me page, it breaks down how much each piece is costing me, between the runway fees, the models, hair and makeup, photography, videography and the show room costs $1000 a garment and I have got 17 garments.”
“People don’t realise that I work on the farm. They think I am some girly girl designer, but no I am out there cleaning sheep troughs.”
“I kinda take it by ear, I don’t really think too far ahead because everything changes all the time. I never expected to go to Paris. From now on I am going to be doing some shows to raise money and some photo shoots as well.”
If you would like to help Tori and Dark Thorn Clothing get to Paris, please donate to her Go Fund Me page.