‘Two Flat Whites’ talk with one of the hottest new fashion designers in Australia, Bethany Joy. Her fashion is a celebration of beauty, artistic vision, luxury and femininity – fashion evocative of nostalgic glamour yet continually fresh. Mixing graphic shapes with beautiful fabrics to create evening and cocktailwear women crave.
If you sign an autograph what do you write? And where do you call home?
My full name (Bethany Joy Monsted) in my loopy, curvy running writing – I’ve been doing it for so long I think I’ve forgotten how to print!
Home is Sydney, but I did live in QLD for a few years, which was an interesting experience. I love Sydney though, so many of my family and friends are here and I really enjoy the cultural scene here too – there is always something interesting to go and see.
In your own words, what do you do?
I am a fashion designer. I design very feminine, sophisticated and interesting evening and cocktail wear, which I adore. I started my label Bethany Joy this year, so I suppose I am a business owner and entrepreneur as well! If I where to put what I do into my own words though, I would have to say, “I work hard at what I love!”
TV Show – The Dream Stone, My Little Ponies, The Trapdoor and Art Attack
Hobby – drawing, drawing, drawing!
Food – I used to love those sweet cup cakes with the little rice paper cartoons you would stick on top of the wet icing my Mum used to make for parties… so cute!
Fear – Spiders. Big spiders.
People - I never had hundreds of friends when I was growing up. That never interested me, but I did have very close friends. Most of who I am still close friends with now. Family has also always been very important to me. My parents and brothers from day one have been such a huge support and inspiration… and often a great form of entertainment as well – everyone is so creative. Everyone is into their own blend of the arts, music, film, dance, design, writing and acting – so there was (and is!) always something interesting going on.
Defining moment – Realising I could actually draw at age 7 when everyone else was still enjoying the art of stick figures. I was amazed!
Schooling memories, chore or cherished?
I was never raised to believe that my school years would be “the best years of my life” or anything like that. At the Monsted household it was all about getting to where you really wanted to be. School was simply a stepping stone to college, which in turn was a stepping stone to my label.
From the hours of 9am to 5pm, what do you get up too?
It varies alot depending on the time of year. At the moment I am working on my Autumn/Winter 08 collection which means alot of fabric sourcing and trips to the
city which is fun.
Where can people see your work?
For love or money?
Definitely love. Money will come if you follow your passion and work hard. I really adore design; I can’t imagine my life without it.
What future endeavors are in the pipeline?
Well, I just held a fashion parade last week at the Ruby Rabbit for a monthly event called Fashique… so now I am thinking about next season, and what sort of way I can display my work to the world.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Doing just as I am now, only on a larger scale. My goal is to export Bethany Joy to the best boutiques world wide. I’d love to have a few talented people on my pay roll by then as well. That would be fabulous.
If you could invite 3 people to chat over coffee, who would they be & why?
That’s a hard one! I think if I could ask anyone I would have to say Gabrielle Chanel (who founded, of course, the amazing House of Chanel. What amazes me more though than even her innate sense of style is that she did everything she did in a time when women where not expected to enter into the business or the fashion world at all).
Claude Monet (I adore his art! So so beautiful! I nearly fainted when I saw his works in Canberra about five years ago in an exhibition – they where that breathtaking. Would love to pick his brain, find out more about him and his concept of beauty) and Audrey Hepburn, just because!
Coffee or Tea?
Tea, but not black! A lovely pot of peppermint tea or a cup of chai latte totally makes my day…