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DESIGN & STYLE

Variety Hour Studio Pop-Up

Melbourne designer Cassie Byrnes' bold print-led designs have found a temporary home in Fitzroy.
By Marissa Ciampi
August 15, 2018
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Variety Hour Studio Pop-Up

Melbourne designer Cassie Byrnes' bold print-led designs have found a temporary home in Fitzroy.
By Marissa Ciampi
August 15, 2018
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Local Melbourne label Variety Hour has opened a six-month pop-up shop along Fitzroy's Gertrude Street, and we're excited to finally get our hands on its bold, print-focused designs.

Behind Variety Hour is textile designer Cassie Byrnes, who started the lifestyle label back in 2016 and has been working the design market circuits until this year. Early 2018 saw Byrnes take on a two-week pop-up store along Johnston Street and it gave the designer a taste of the bricks-and-mortar variety. Her pieces have recently gained international traction as well, having been stocked in US-based retailer Anthropologie.

All of Byrne's designs are hand-painted, designed and manufactured in Melbourne, using 100 percent degradable fabrics — giving the label a lean toward ethical manufacturing.

"At Variety Hour we usually deal in small batches and rely on a lot of local suppliers," says Byrnes. "Starting out as a textile designer I've always moved away from fast fashion...Melbourne has such a rich heritage of textile design, I also sort of feel like it is my responsibility to try and keep that alive. When I get to work with local suppliers, seamstresses and pattern makers, I feel like perhaps in some small way I am contributing to supporting the industry."

The result is a truly exclusive collection, with each pattern development taking 100 hours or more, followed by months of fabric sampling and colour development. The Variety Hour pieces are accessible to many shapes and sizes as well, coming in a wide range from sizes 8–18.

"To me, fashion is all about the customer and making them feel fabulous," says Byrnes. "I love being able to make women feel beautiful, no matter age or size. Each Variety Hour piece has its own unique placement and pattern [and] my dream is that everyone who wears one can feel excited, bold and confident wearing prints."

Located within the Seventh Gallery space, the store is home to the label's Honeymoon collection, along with some brand new designs.

The Gertrude Street pop-up will remain open for the rest of the year, allowing Byrnes to gain a better understanding of the people she's designing for. For now, there's no future shops lined up for the label, so best to go check it out while you can.

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