Designer Profile – TETTMANN.DOUST

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Anyone who knows me knows I am an absolute sucker for unique and interesting print design.  If you add skillful pattern making, luxurious natural fabrics and Australian made to the list, well…. I’m yours!

 A couple of years back (before I had even started LiLT Blog) I came across TETTMANN.DOUST at a fashion show I attended, where designers Naomi Tettmann and Elke Doust were awarded the Stonnington Emerging Designer Award.  I remember at the time I was absolutely “wowed” by the duo’s collection (a sentiment which hasn’t changed with their more recent work). Their designs were truly unique and their digital prints were exquisite. I hadn’t seen much quite like it and I’ve remembered their name ever since.

 And so a couple of weeks ago I had the absolute pleasure of visiting the girls’ Studio for a sneak peek of their new “Underland” collection, which will be launching at the Virgin Australian Melbourne Fashion Festival on Saturday the 22nd March.

 The new collection is collaboration between TETTMANN.DOUST and artist Naomi Bishop, whose artworks, inspired by the landscapes of underground caves, have been translated into bold digital prints.

 The collection is beautiful and sophisticated with touches of intricate embellishment and seriously delicious fabrics cut into interesting silhouettes.

An absolutely must see, you can still buy tickets to the TETTMANN.DOUST runway show HERE, and make sure you check out my interview with the ladies below.


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Tell us a little bit about yourself and how Tettmann.Doust came about
Our collaborations began when we met in 2003. We have since worked together in many forms, both professionally and as friends on arts based fashion projects. The label was a natural progression. We have very different backgrounds, Naomi having been involved in fashion from a very young age (inspired by her mother), and myself coming to it a little later, with a prior background in interior architecture. We both worked together at Melbourne label Gwendolynne for some time before starting our own business.

 What inspires your design and creative decisions?
Namely the natural world, the sciences, and other creative disciplines. We love and find great motivation in collaborating and exchanging creatively with other artists and designers.

 How would you describe both your personal styles?
Naomi: Black, understated, relaxed, androgynous but…not afraid of a floral frock every now and then! Elke: Colour and print heavy but always with a base of black. Bold but restrained.

 What are 5 essentials in your wardrobes?
It’s TD all the way (even at the gym)…but Elke takes her Deadly Ponies overnighter everywhere (even in the day), and Naomi is always wearing jewellery by both Julia Deville and William Lewellyn Griffiths.

 Who are some of the people that inspire you and why?
Our friends, as many of them are also pursuing their creative aspirations. Seeing others make their way in tough to crack industries is a huge inspiration, as well as support.

 If you could design a garment for anyone in the world, who would it be?
This is tricky! There are many starlets we’d love to make frocks for, however we are both currently really appreciating Mia Wasikowska’s acting talents, not to mention her look.

 What are the top 3 resources, which you turn to for inspiration?

1. Friends, fellow creatives

2. David Attenborough docos, and all other nature inspired film showing beautiful imagery

3. Nature

 What is the best place to shop in Melbourne?

 What is next for the label? Where do you see the brand going in the future?

 Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to start his or her own business in fashion?
Get some money behind you, get some experience, and know your market before you start. We have found that creating a support network has also been very valuable.  And…stick to what you love and focus on it, hard.

Photos by LiLT Blog and Tettmann.Doust