east coast faces
If you could get frequent flyer points for driving between Townsville and Ingham, Trish Bellero would have reached platinum status long ago.
The winner of the 2018 Townsville Fashion Festival’s Award for Designer Excellence consults with clients in her glamorous custom-designed South Townsville studio, but she also hightails it up the highway to her other home, a farmhouse just outside Ingham, whenever she can - sewing up a storm with her 18 year-old cat and new rescue pooch Zoe, for company.
And although she and many of her clients have taken out Fashions on the Field wins over the years, Trish is now focusing on bridal, rebranding her business with a glamorous, urban edge not seen in traditional bridal salons, creating custom gowns with the unique intricate and embellished imported fabrics she is known for. And yet, among the wedding dresses in her 16-piece TFF showcase Trish included racewear, ‘because I know that’s what the ladies are looking for right now,’ which also means that while brides might be the focus for now, Trish Bellero will always be the go-to for custom designs for weddings, parties, anything…
TELL US MORE…
passions : waterholes, going out on the boat, and travel. ‘When I go away I like to go to a city, because it’s so different from here. It’s probably something to do with the age I was and the circumstances but a long time ago, 2004 I think, I won a trip to America for Fashions on the Field, I went with a girlfriend. I loved every city but I loved New Orleans. I haven’t been to Europe yet but I’m planning to…’
beginnings : I grew up on a cane farm, I had amazing parents, but I never thought I’d end up in the fashion design business, I went to uni and studied journalism but life circumstances - I eloped at a very young age, had a child, and was living in Sydney. Because I had the sewing skills that I’d always done since I was a child just for pure enjoyment, and because I couldn’t buy what I wanted to wear – people started to ask me to make things for them, and it just went on from there. I moved to Cairns and the same thing happened there, I started to do some pretty avant garde stuff back in the day, running around in the back garden spray painting things, but at some point when I was about 30 I decided I needed to learn a lot more about the finer points of dressmaking, we used to have a fashion course at the Barrier Reef TAFE here so I did a year full time and learnt so many skills that I’d been bluffing, and continued from there. For a long time I did hospitality on the weekends, but I’ve been pretty much making a living from fashion ever since.
style : minimalist, monochrome, sleek, tailored – I don’t think I’ve ever worn a full skirt in my life!
favourite era: now – I used to have a business card with the caption ‘tomorrow’s look, today’ – I’m very excited about the future and the evolution that takes place with fashion, people are much more interested in being authentic these days
music : of course I like all the classics that I grew up with but I love a lot of the new stuff as well…
most treasured item : my favourite Adidas sneakers, a couple of items of jewellery that were my mothers, my Nudie jeans, and a great leather jacket that I’ve had for a long time, I got it in Oxford Street in Sydney, it’s Italian, and has a detachable hood, but what I love about it most is that it’s lined in a striped T shirt jersey-type material, so it’s so comfortable!
outlook on life : I just consider myself so lucky that I have something in my life that I really love and enjoy. Even preparing for the fashion festival in such a short time was gruelling, but I loved it.
future plans : I’d been designing and making clothes for so long I had a bit of a break, because sometimes I think you just need that. I went to live down at the Gold Coast for a while, I wasn’t planning on doing bridal but I kind of ended up going in that direction because people were asking me to make theirs, and I took a fresh look at it and realised how different the industry was to how it was only five or ten years ago. Not only are the garments different, but people are doing what I always believed, which is being authentic on the day, not being in ‘fancy dress.’ They want their beautiful, statement piece to be an extension of their own style, and it’s really exciting, it’s a different vibe altogether, and I love it. I love my work, I don’t know what I’d do with myself if I didn’t have it.