Angela White is a fashion and costume designer originally from Hobart, Tasmania and now living in Sydney. She has designed costumes for films, physical theatre and television shows including Phantom of the Opera, Underbelly Razor, Mary Poppins, I Will Survive, The Sapphires and Gatsby.
Angela runs Revamped Fashion workshops, which allow people to bring in old clothes of their own or from second-hand shops, and add things to them, remove things off them, or cut them apart to make a whole new outfit. Parklands High School was lucky enough to have Angela visit us and do a workshop with us. The whole fashion class loved it and we ended up with some really awesome outfits! We used lace, studs, buttons, paint – you name it.
Ellie: What inspires you to ‘revamp fashion’?
Angela: I’ve always loved making things and keeping my hands busy. I love to revamp things because it often doesn’t cost anything and I end up with an original garment, that’s my own style, and it’s finished in a few hours.
ES: What is your all-time favourite fashion trend and why?
AW: This is a great question Ellie! People who know me may say that my favorite trend is PINK. I think my favorite trend is PUNK. Combine the two and I’m in pink punk heaven. I love punk fashion because it’s all about revamping. I adore the raw edges, the creativity of reconstructing things, and courageousness of the statement that it makes. To me punk fashion is hard but it has humour.
ES: What was it like touring with the television series I Will Survive with host Hugh Sheridan, also known as Ben Rafter from Packed to the Rafters?!
AW: I Will Survive was my favorite job yet. What an incredible way to travel and see our beautiful country! I was Assistant Costume Designer to Oscar winning designer, Tim Chappel. Tim is one of my idols and it is an absolute pleasure and honor to work with him and catch him in his element! He’s an incredibly fun and imaginative man and I love seeing how he views nature and his surroundings. Hugh Sheridan is amazing! He’s an incredibly talented singer, dancer and actor and I adore his mischievous nature. Hugh is such an entertainer and was a lot of fun to travel with.
ES: How does it make you feel, doing something you love for a living?
AW: I’m so incredibly grateful every day. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to check that it’s really me living this life! I’m very proud of what I’ve created for myself. It’s taken a lot of sacrifice at certain times. Starting out I worked long hours for little money. I’ve been living away from my family, had to stay home and work instead of going to parties with my friends, and I couldn’t afford to go away on holidays. My family and friends are so incredibly supportive and now that I’m getting the ‘BIG’ jobs it just lights me up inside knowing that they’re just as excited about my success as I am! Their support keeps me motivated.
ES: After your Revamped Fashion workshop at my school, you left our class inspired and full of new and clever ideas – which is obviously what you hope for! I can imagine that is must be a wonderful feeling, leaving other people with your excitement and inspiration to revamp old clothes.
A: I really do love what I do and now that I’m teaching workshops and sharing my experiences with others I’m feeling even more fulfilled. It’s very important to me that I can create opportunities for young people to follow their dreams. Even if their dreams are in an industry other than fashion and costume, I hope the participants can walk away feeling inspired, not only to Revamp their wardrobes, but to Revamp their lives!