Cassie Byrnes left her hometown of Mackay in far North Queensland at 18 years old, packing up the car and heading down the Bruce Highway to Brisbane. Six years ago she moved even further south, to Melbourne, where she has been building her thriving career as an artist, textile and surface designer, most recently opening a bricks and mortar store for her textile fashion brand, Variety Hour, on Gertrude Street, Fitzroy.
Cassie has now been away from her hometown almost as long as she lived there, and in hindsight, her reflections ‘of a wild sunburnt childhood in north Queensland’ take on a more magical spin. Her most recent fashion collection, Tourist, is inspired by the mix of nostalgia and curiosity that defines her relationship with ‘home’. ‘I wanted to explore my relationship with Queensland by taking a tourists’ perspective, blurred with the vivid iconography living in my childhood memories,’ Cassie elaborates.
With this in mind, it seems like a natural fit that Melbourne-based designer and illustrator Alice Oehr, who finds a generous portion of inspiration in the garish and gaudy, would make the perfect collaborator. Alice lent a painting of a crocodile she’d made for her dad to the collection. ‘I’ve actually never worked with another artist before on any Variety Hour prints – Alice was always my number one choice if I ever did,’ Cassie enthuses, ‘I see so much potential in her work for fashion print’.
The 20 piece Tourist collection is made in limited quantities, and will be dropping in-store and online over the next 2 months.
155 Gertrude Street