You may have spied these lovely Japanese inspired creations in the windows of High Street in Fremantle, but you probably never thought they were designed by a local Perth lady! Today we catch up with Sheree – designer and owner of fashion boutique Love in Tokyo.
Official Job Title: Designer/Owner of Love in Tokyo
Summarise your career background and how you’ve come to where you are now:
I’ve had a varied career background but mostly within design related fields. I spent quite a few years lecturing at Central TAFE in Building Design, mainly teaching illustration and design; worked as a contract Architectural Illustrator; artist; lead light designer; jewellery designer; textile designer and for the last 8 and a bit years designing garments for the labels Love in Tokyo and Sheree Dornan and running the Love in Tokyo boutique. I originally started out wholesaling nationally and overseas in Europe and the UK, and for our store Love in Tokyo but I now design and make exclusively for our store. I prefer to not mass produce, and instead to have an artisan approach, producing limited edition or one off pieces. I do miss the architectural side of my career life and I am working towards creating more interior based textiles for soft furnishings and maybe venture into wallpaper, rugs and interior styling.
Beautiful, interior, digital print textiles and goods by Sheree.
Where do you work?
I have a studio behind the the large antique timber wall in Love in Tokyo, Fremantle, where I design and make the garments, and a warehouse type studio in East Fremantle, where I can print and paint and generally make a mess. I also work at home on textile designs, generally in the morning or evening.
Block printing and beading (above); inspiration (below).
What is the best thing about your job?
Mostly everything! When you are working on your own business it is very rewarding. Designing new textiles, re-merchandising and sourcing for the store, taking photographs… my mind never stops! My husband and business partner John is a great leveller for me; he makes me stop and smell the roses.
Take us through a typical day of your work:
My day usually starts on the computer as soon as I wake, answering and sending emails and at the same time maybe editing photographs or changing colourways on a textile design. I tend to multitask a lot. Then it’s to the store and I go through what needs to be done for the day with our gorgeous Love in Tokyo staff like ordering new pieces from the other Australian designers that we carry as we usually top up stock weekly, and try to get as much done in the studio as possible.
A piece of work in progress.
What are you currently working on?
New textile prints and designs for the Fremantle Fashion Collective parade for the Perth Fashion Festival in September at the Fremantle Town Hall.
Models in Love in Tokyo creations.
What has been your proudest achievement?
There have been a few. One would be when I first started designing fashion, I won an award at the Perth Fashion Festival design awards. We also won a national award from Ragtrader Magazine for our Love in Tokyo store. And I was recently approached by a London based author to be included in his next book on textile designers… that was very exciting!
Digital textile exhibition.
Which local artists/designers/creatives do you admire?
There are so many local creative people who I admire: artists, fashion designers, textile artists, architects, jewellery designers, creative business minds, I can’t really name them all. In the textile and fashion area, Kelsey Ashe and Megan Salmon are two in a list of many.
Any advice for those trying to enter into the creative community in Perth?
Opportunities for creatives are amazing now. Be passionate and work hard to achieve your dream, anything is possible if you apply yourself.
A recent window display at Love in Tokyo (so lovely!).
What do you love about Perth?
The river and the coastline are beautiful, and the lifestyle here is anything you want it to be. I particularly love Fremantle.
What does Perth need?
To be not so divided. People need to explore and enjoy both the north and south of the river. Cross those bridges!
Perth’s best kept secret?
High Street west end, Fremantle. Beautiful heritage buildings and great shops and galleries.
Most frequented coffee spot?
In Fremantle I have a few favourites: Hush, The Attic, Moore and Moore and I can’t wait for New Edition coffee corner.
In Perth: Zekka and Tiger Tiger.
Rottnest or Margaret River?
Both… for different reasons. Sheree.
Interior of Love in Tokyo, High Street, Fremantle.
Thanks so much Sheree for giving us your time. I’m absolutely loving that amazing chair in the first picture! Wow, so lovely! And what wonderful use of colour in all of her garments!