Home is where the heart is for fashion duo

Magpies and cockatoos nest on mint green dresses, dogs stare longingly at emerald shirts, cacti grow on blouses, and fish swim along the hems of flowing dresses.

The signature pieces of Queensland fashion label Jericho Road Clothing are alive with Australiana, bringing rural life to city streets and shop windows nationwide.

Designer sisters Chloe Rowe and Kate Russell grew up on a 20,000-acre beef farm in Blackall, near Longreach, where they spent long days outdoors under blue skies and pink and orange sunsets.

“We draw a lot of inspiration from home. It’s such a beautiful part of the world, ”Rowe told AAP.

Their imaginations ran like girls in the outback, the first spark of what was to come.

They remember painting strips of butcher paper hanging from fences, altering the shop’s clothes, and seeing their grandmother knitting sweaters and coat hangers.

Now these childhood influences are carried on the shoulders of their clients.

“We have countless people living overseas who tell us, ‘I love this dress because it reminds me of Australia,'” said Russell.

“It’s a real connection to home.”

A collection of shirts and workwear pays homage to a country icon, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, with a print of jets soaring in dusty clouds.

All proceeds from the Outback Skies project, as well as a fundraiser they organized, went to the service, earning an RFDS Local Hero Award this month.

The Flying Doctors are close to the sisters’ hearts, having come to their father’s aid when he was shot down by cattle at the local junk sale.

“Everyone knows someone who has used the service, so you can see the disconnect between city and country health services,” Russell said.

“But if you can get hurt, be on a plane and back in town in less than two hours, and it costs you nothing, that’s phenomenal.”

The recognition comes six years after the brand was created, a happy coincidence when the duo traded education for fashion.

They created an Arizona cactus print fabric and made 100 dresses in a simple style.

When the boxes of clothes arrived at Russell’s apartment in Brisbane, they decided on their name, a nod to the street they grew up on, and created an Instagram account.

The dresses sold out unexpectedly.

The business grew from Russell’s dining table to his guest bedroom and then to a warehouse and office in Brisbane.

Rowe and Russell’s clients are men and women, teenagers and octogenarians, farmers, teachers, doctors and city dwellers, all united by Australian nostalgia.

“One person who works in a children’s cancer ward said that our clothes have brought smiles to so many faces. He was really moving, “Rowe said.

“You smile at a stranger and it puts him in a good mood, but we do it with a dress.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *