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Threading family and fashion

juicy_4With a little help from mum, Adelaide designer Ching Lai launched her debut label, Juicy Peach in 2005.

Since then, the label has grown significantly and mum is permanently based in Hong Kong where she liases daily with Ching to assist with manufacturing and fabrics – something she clearly enjoys.

“I love the texture of silk and chiffon, the feel of luxury and I find a lot of brands out there are very expensive specially silk,” she said. “That’s why I want to do something that’s more affordable and still good quality.

“Most of my designs are very simple and feminine, I love summer and I love designing summer beach dresses as well as garden party dresses.”

So how does she transfer these luxury silks into design?

“Sometime when I look at a fabric and the patten I already have an image in my head, then I will start a simple drawing,” she said.

juicy_3“Then I will get the sample made from that and I’ll keep changing it until I think it looks prefect to me. After that I start making it into different sizes and colour to sell them at my shop in Adelaide.

“Most of my styles are very soft and light, perfect for the beach and summer, so I find Adelaide is not big enough. I want more people to see my designs.”

With a name like Juicy Peach, we had to ask what the inspiration was behind it.

“The name… I can’t really tell you much because when I first opened juicy peach, I just wanted a name that would make people stop and look, something that people can remember,” she said.

“When I first opened the store I didn’t think it could go this far, I just love what I do now.”

From just a small idea, Juicy Peach has grown into a burgeoning fashion label and Ching Lai will showcase the stunning new silk and chiffon dress collection at Fashion Exposed for the first time in Melbourne.

“Sometimes I have customers from the Gold Coast and they absolutely love my dress designs – I think because of the weather there – so I’m hoping by having a presence at Fashion Exposed I will get more people from different states,” she said.

With Fashion Exposed on the agenda, there’s an exciting future ahead.

“I would love to do more in dresses and I’m hoping if I get more people liking what I do, it will really give me motivation to do different things,” she said. “Maybe doing more things for the Australian winter.

“At the moment I’m working at the store as well, so hopefully in the future I can afford to just do the design. Then I won’t need to work as retail because that really takes up a lot of my design time.”

View the Juicy Peach collection on stand 3016 during Fashion Exposed from 25-27 August at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

For more information, visit fashionexposed.com

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