Colourful, whimsical and essentially feminine, the Cameo aesthetic celebrates the joie de vivre.
“Cameo prints are always unique and can be inspired by anything from the brushstroke of a painting, to the wooden grain of a tree,” Cameo designer Kathryn Forth says.
“We usually start each collection by considering a common thread or theme,” she explains. “It’s generally inspired by a movie or a beautiful image which we have seen and loved.” Weaving this thread through each collection, Kathryn plays with bold shapes and a strong colour palette to encapsulate the unique Cameo style.
“We experiment with new fabrics and techniques constantly,” she says. “We develop most of the fabrics in Cameo collections which means that the look, colour, print and feel will be unique to the brand.”
“When we start mapping out a collection we will think of three or so design details which we find interesting, and we focus on making them a constant throughout the collection,” Kathryn explains. “These base design details are the starting point for all shaping, and design lines in each garment.”
Cameo’s quirky cut outs and unique design features have seen the label garner an international audience, with designs worn by the Kardashian sisters as well as Whitney Port, among others. Kathryn says next she would love to see Solange Knowles flaunting some Cameo designs to match her playful personality, as well as Florence & the Machine front-woman Florence Welch. “She is a breathtaking performer and I am a huge fan of her music,” Kathryn says, of Welch. “She has a very unpredictable style – sometimes embellished, sometimes boho, sometimes classic.”
An eclectic style that fits well with the diverse and ever-changing output from Cameo, but as Kathryn point outs, producing 11 collections a year means the label is under pressure to keep pace with the frenetic fashion world.
“We obviously keep a sharp eye on what is happening in the fashion world globally and try to identify any common threads,” she says. “But then we will always try to inject our own unique spin so that we can be at the forefront or even aid in creating trends.”
Along with her inspiringly broad and creative approach to style, Kathryn offers strong advice for young designers hoping to enter the industry. “My advice would be to work incredibly hard. And keep working on your designs until the last possible minute,” she says. “When you are creative you never feel like your work is complete, you never feel like a design is complete and you will always want to make changes. The longer you give yourself to work on something the closer you can get to perfection.”
Cameo is a cult favourite Australia-wide, as well as globally, with the label espousing the motto that no two “Cameo girls” are the same. Found in thousands across the globe, Kathryn explains the Cameo ambassador takes risks with her styling. “She knows the brand well and embraces the creative concept behind each garment and lays further expression upon it.”
“Each time she wears a Cameo piece, it continues to evolve with her own unique personal exploration,” Kathryn concludes. “She is ever changing as Cameo is ever changing.”