Marshall enjoyed his taste of fashion but wanted to grow and so started looking at options elsewhere. He decided Melbourne had great manufacturers, suppliers and fabric options. He moved in 2019. He did move back to Tasmania when COVID hit but moved back to Melbourne just before the second wave. When the second wave came and his studio shut, he spent two days lugging machines to his apartment. "Every space was used in the house."
However, Tasmania still stayed in his heart, even after moving back to the mainland, and it runs through every piece of work he creates. "I do still really love Tassie and do still call it my home. I am very much still inspired by everything that goes down there." Marshall's work layers garments and focuses on practicality, making sure it is sustainable and can be passed down."I think sustainability in the fashion industry is becoming such a big problem now," he said. The fashion designer wants to bring manufacturing back to Australia so the population knows where its garments are being made, how they are being made, and with what. "In my collection, it was all pretty much wool based fabrics." Model Rylie wearing Jye Marshall's work. Picture: Annie Jeffreys "It's one of Australia's best fibres and is also sustainable." He said that wool fibre is "such an Australian identity".
Marshall was lucky enough to be accepted into Melbourne Fashion Week 2020 with his collection Sea salt and self-reflection inspired by utilitarian design influences from Tasmania and his economic upbringing.
He said he wanted to share Tasmania's quirks with the rest of Australia. However, his application process to the event was different to the usual due to the pandemic. "I thought that it was going to be cancelled but I was fortunate enough to be able to submit a fashion look book." Marshall got creative and added a scannable QR code which included a video pitch and a place where the selection committee could watch the looks.
The show itself was also an unusual experience, held online as a digital collection. "I think going forward now I will do a lot more digital collections just because you have that ability to reuse it again," he said. The designer plans to use his experience with Melbourne Fashion Week as a launch pad to "ramp up" his work.
"I want to start my brand here and take it to the world and see what the international market thinks of our Australian clothing."
The designer was recently awarded the Designer of the Year at the Whitehouse Institute of Design and is a finalist for The Australian Fashion Foundation Scholarship Awards in which the winner will receive $20,000 USD and an internship in New York.