Fashion rebrand drafted up in Julia Creek

Sheree Pratt launches Draft & Co fashion label in Julia Creek

Life & Style
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In an evening that would do justice to any New York Fashion Week show, Julia Creek businesswoman Sheree Pratt launched her new fashion label Draft & Co last Saturday.

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Georgia Guild, Vanessa Slacksmith and Abbie Pratt revelling in their runway role for the night. Pictures - Lindy Hick Photography.

Georgia Guild, Vanessa Slacksmith and Abbie Pratt revelling in their runway role for the night. Pictures - Lindy Hick Photography.

In an evening that would do justice to any New York Fashion Week show, Julia Creek businesswoman Sheree Pratt launched her new fashion label Draft & Co last Saturday.

The town's campdraft arena was re-imagined in keeping with the brand's country roots for the sold-out runway show that provided the first glimpse of her flagship designs.

"It all went so well," Ms Pratt said. "I think being able to be together again was part of the excitement."

It was an important milestone for Ms Pratt, a mother of three who is an electrician by trade but who has always loved clothes and playing with designs.

Originally from Cloncurry, she moved to Julia Creek when she married her husband Tim Pratt and has been part of the community there for 15 years.

Three years ago she bought Gumnut Designz, an Australian fashion label originally created by Sally Towne, which has a Brisbane factory and custom orders made at Lismore.

"I always loved what Sally did, I love clothing and the idea of buying Australian made," she said.

Her passion has been to design clothing that could be worn in both the country and the city without branding the wearer as country.

"I don't want to be defined by an area," she said.

The new brand, Ms Pratt says, is "an amalgam of the heritage of Gumnut Designz, where wearers can expect well-fitted garments, crossed with some bold innovations to match the Draft & Co branding."

The rebranding decision came as she was keen to make the clothing label her own rather than something she purchased.

Drawing inspiration from the rich yet understated palette of the outback, the garments boast natural cotton, linen and silk fibres.

They sway between classic cotton tailored shirts to relaxed silhouette silk and T-shirts, staple items for every occasion.

I love dressing for comfort but I also love turning heads and that is what Draft & Co will do. I try and do lighter cottons for northern clients - Sheree Pratt

These innovations were under the spotlight at the runway show before an 80-strong crowd, featuring an exclusive first look at the brand's chief lines, 'True Colours', 'Thrive' and 'New Breed'.

An ode to the brand's roots, the backdrop for the occasion was the local campdraft arena at McIntyre Park, with the runway down its centre and festooned with lighting.

"It's a bit like my clothing, it was dressed up in a different way," Ms Pratt said.

The evening also featured a boutique shopping experience and refreshment stands and championed local talent and businesses.

Clothing from Julia Creek boutique Gravel and Grace was on show along with floral installations by Flinders and Mitchell, canapes from Godier's Café and live music by local duet Sam Slattery and Taylor Daniell.

"If tonight is a sign of what is to come for Draft & Co then it is obvious we can expect great things from a wholesome, Australian-made brand," said event attendee Georgia Knight.

She said Draft & Co was a welcome infusion of energy and creativity into an already vibrant community.

Ms Pratt said she was passionate about playing her part in the economy and was dedicated to an in-house approach to designing, manufacturing and distributing items.

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