Golden Palomino Vintage Ashley TellToday’s HOT Chat is also a guest post by Poppy, a Melbourne blogger who I met at the Nuffnang Christmas Party and the author of Poppy Gets a Life (which you’ll see is a MEL: HOT Read). Poppy’s blog is all about her move off the corporate ladder into a job where she has the time and energy to enjoy a life outside of work – including all the cool things that Melbourne has to offer.

Poppy’s HOT Chat is with Ashley Tell, owner of the fashion labels Darling Clementine and Golden Palomino Vintage. Thanks Poppy and Ashley!

Pioneer of the pop-up shop before they even became a trend, Ashley Tell has a lifestyle that would make anyone envious. For eight months of the year she travels home to California and then on to Europe buying fabrics, sourcing vintage clothing and keeping up with global trends for the upcoming season. She travels to Berlin, Milan, Paris and Rome before returning back to Melbourne to set up her Golden Palomino Vintage at the Suzuki Night Market. Her wholesale label, Darling Clementine, is distributed throughout Australia during the summer season by Maximum Agencies.

P: Ashley, how did you end up in Australia?

A: I was raised in a small country town in central California.  I was always obsessed with fashion growing up so when the opportunity to do a bit of modelling came up, I jumped. I came to Australia from New York for a shoot. I was booked on a working visa with the anticipation of staying for only three months. That was over ten years ago. Now I feel like I’ve established myself in a little corner of the market here in Australia.

P: Tell me about the clothes you design.Golden Palomino Vintage Ashley Tell

A: I’ve realised I’m better at editing than starting something from scratch; I’m better at working with a piece which has some limitations and then evolving it.

The Darling Clementine label re-cuts vintage fabrics into three or four new styles each season. Golden Palomino Vintage is more focused on true vintage although I have a few racks of reworked vintage too. I enjoy the vintage thing because it’s more of a challenge. I’m not just going to China and ordering off the book.

Both labels try to use sizes that are pretty much one-size-fits all, and I aim to keep it inclusive. I’m a size 12 – 14 partly due to my height.

My workshop is just out the back of my apartment and I employ a local manufacturer. I do all the cutting myself though. I prefer it this way; being hands on. That’s also why I use simple designs. I don’t really think of myself as a fashion designer. I prefer simple, on-trend styles that don’t re-invent the wheel.

Golden Palomino Vintage Ashley Tell

P: Where did the name Golden Palomino Vintage come from?

A: When I did a little capsule range for Sportsgirl years ago, I had to think of a name within that meeting and it was the first thing that came to my mind.  Most of my childhood was spent on the back of a horse. I’ve had the artwork and name sitting collecting dust for years, so I thought “why not use Golden Palomino for my market stall?” I like to stick with the equine theme as I’m from the country and love the horsey thing.

P: Why do you choose to run Golden Palomino Vintage out of the Suzuki Night Market?

A: I enjoy the fast pace of markets – always have. People often ask why I don’t open a store. I’d go crazy. The market allows me the flexibility to travel during winter months and source new pieces for the following season.

P: Tell me the best part about your job.

A: Having the freedom to run part of my business out of places that I want to visit more regularly. For example, I love Mexico, and feel really strongly about helping out smaller manufacturers. So one season I had a bunch of simple peasant dresses made in a small village south of Oaxaca.

P: Tell me a bit about the time you spend overseas each year.

A: I usually spend three months in California with my parents. They aren’t getting any younger, you know. My mum is an interior designer and loves pottery. I guess I got the creative thing from her.

California has some large vintage wholesalers, and I’ve built up my network of contacts there. Europe has a few as well, but it’s often easier for me in Cali.

My partner is Italian, so we spent part of our time in Australia, and part in Italy. Golden Palomino Vintage Ashley TellHe is a professional tennis coach and visits every year for the Australian Open, which is where we met.

P: Do you have any goals for 2010?

A: To be more organised, and to visit two new countries every year. This year I’m hoping to make it to Iceland!

You can catch Ashley at Stall 128 at the Suzuki Night Market (held at the Queen Victoria Market) on Wednesdays from 5.30 – 10.00pm until 24 February. If you miss Ashley’s stall this year, make sure you sign up the Golden Palomino Vintage mailing list.

In Melbourne, Darling Clementine is stocked at Cactus Jam.

Photo credits: Golden Palomino Vintage on Flickr