The made-to-order Instagram brands the FJ editors have bookmarked


Some things are worth waiting for.

We’ve undoubtedly reached peak saturation fashion-wise. One quick browse through TikTok or Instagram confirms that we are inundated with options. The trend cycle has accelerated beyond comprehension – a micro trend can now rise and fall in a matter of weeks – and clothing has never been more readily available to us. In the infamous words of Miss Ariana Grande, “I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it”.

But, as anyone with even a passing interest in fashion knows, a well-considered, thoughtfully made item of clothing is worth its weight in gold. So it’s no surprise that the made-to-order model is becoming increasingly popular. This slower, more considered approach to clothing offers consumers an appealing alternative to mass-produced (and often poorly made) trend-based items.

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By taking a breather to consider what you really want, and how it fits into your current wardrobe, you’re able to put your money towards items that will go the distance. Importantly, supporting brands that operate on a made-to-order model means you’re throwing your support behind businesses that prioritise slow fashion and ethical practices, something that many of us are eager to do.

Here at Fashion Journal, we value this slowed-down approach to fashion and the designers who are making it look so appealing. With this in mind, we’ve each shared the made-to-order Instagram brands that we have bookmarked, so you can opt for a more considered approach to your next purchase.

Giulia, Fashion Journal’s Managing Editor



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A post shared by SSCHAFER (@sschafer_)

Sschafer is one of the most exciting labels in Melbourne’s creative scene right now. Designers Stephanie Schafer and Hunter Williams have the raw creativity, the long-term vision and the excellence in execution that make Sschafer pieces worth the outlay.

I’m pretty conservative with my wardrobe, so while I’m admiring the genius of the boxer jean, I’ve decided to do so from afar. I’m instead working my way towards the unisex drop jean (worn high waisted, of course), paired with the denim bustier for special occasions. 


Lucinda Babi 


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A post shared by Lucinda Babi (@lucindababi)

Local designer Lucinda Babi is serving the people exactly what we want right now. Her often-ruched, often-asymmetric designs (many with overlocked 3D stitches) sit firmly at the centre of the zeitgeist. What I love most about Lucinda’s work, however, is you can see her progression as a designer from her first release to her second.

It can be frustrating waiting for pieces made-to-order, but Lucinda capitalises on the benefits of post-order production, asking customers to submit additional details (like their preferred sleeve length) with orders. 


Amy Crookes


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A post shared by @amycrookes

I expect to be reprimanded for this inclusion, as Amy Crookes is not technically made-to-order. However judging by comments on her Instagram, no one is really quite sure how to purchase her footwear (my unrequited DMs to the designer confirm this). I’ve had the Parsons and UTS graduate bookmarked since I first came across her self-titled “sexy, stretchy footwear” on Instagram and am holding out for her first release.

She’s just launched a capsule collection of apparel on Nordstrom, so I’m hoping it’s not too far away. Amy’s cut her teeth in all the right places, working as a design intern at The Row and now as the Production and Studio Manager at Romance Was Born. She’s one to follow. 


Cait, Fashion Journal’s Digital Editor

E Nolan


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A post shared by E NOLAN (@enolanmelbourne)

E Nolan is a firm favourite here at Fashion Journal, and for good reason. Founded by Melbourne designer and tailor Emily Nolan, the womenswear label creates the kind of suit you would gladly drop a month’s rent on, safe in the knowledge that you will wear it for a lifetime. But it’s not just the beauty of her bespoke, made-to-measure suits that has solidified her place as a favourite among Australia’s fashion set; her personalised, one-on-one approach is a key ingredient to her success.

The E Nolan Dressing Room in Melbourne’s East is where she meets with numerous women each month, working with them to create pieces that will form the backbone of their wardrobes. Inspired by our Managing Editor Giulia (who swears her E Nolan suit is the best investment she’s ever made) I’m putting my pennies away for my very own timeless two-piece.


Studio Marlene


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A post shared by STUDIO MARLENE (@studio.marlene)

I have a real penchant for button-up long-sleeved tops. I like that they can be worn as a cardigan or a top and that the way you button them can change the feel of your outfit. So when I laid eyes upon Studio Marlene’s debut release, The Marlene Shirt, I knew I needed to have it. The Melbourne-based label was founded by designer Emily Mae Pool earlier this year and focuses on producing individual pieces rather than collections.

It works on a seasonless pre-order model, only making a certain amount of each drop, based on demand and their capacity as a small team with limited resources. While I’ve yet to luck out and score myself a Marlene Shirt (and the pre-orders have now closed), there are new pieces on the horizon, so watch this space.


Ella, Fashion Journal’s Account Manager

Bodicia B


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A post shared by bodicia b (@bodiciab)

The brainchild of Eora-based fashion design student Bodie Keeley, Bodicia B’s intricately designed pieces are pushing the boundaries of ‘scrap’ femme dressing. Featuring asymmetrical silhouettes and earthy colour palettes, all pieces are constructed from recycled and deadstock fabrics with the brand’s principle focus on keeping waste to a minimum.

Balancing her studies with the demands of running her own label, Bodie challenges herself to create one-off custom pieces that fall within her capabilities and time. I’ve got this velvet dream on my current wishlist which I plan on showcasing at every post-lockdown dinner party I can get to.


Krystal Deans


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A post shared by Krystal Deans (@krystaldeans)

Krystal Deans’ eponymous label was born out of a desire to create elevated yet timeless garments that capture the essence of the modern woman. With consciousness at its core, each stage of the design process is approached with a level of thought and finesse to ensure every garment stands the test of time. 

With 95 per cent of all pieces made-to-order, the team established The Waste Management project, an initiative that looks to reduce overall textile waste while challenging them to get creative by incorporating offcuts into their re-imagined designs. Situated along the Great Ocean Road on Wada Wurrung land, all design and manufacturing operations are undertaken in the brand’s quaint studio allowing for unique customisations such as leg, hem and sleeve length adjustments at a small cost. 


Izzy, Fashion Journal’s Editorial Assistant



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A post shared by Sexiaz ✨ (@sexiazlingerie)

Family-run label Sexiaz has been providing a rainbow of lingerie to local hotties since 2005. Mum Vee Richards started wholesaling bikinis, intimates and costumes to the sex worker community, with the brand’s popularity really taking off in the last two years. Vee’s now employed her daughters Arielle and Kali as models, social media managers and – most importantly – ‘kini dealers’. 

After customising your order from a range of styles, colours and coverage levels, you can have it hand-delivered by one of the elusive bikini sisters (if you’re a Melbourne local – they don’t drive around the country, unfortunately). My brown ruched crop makes me feel like an early 2000s superstar.


Oats The Label


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A post shared by OATS (@oatsthelabel)

Oats is another family-run affair (we love to see it); a talented Melbourne-based mother-daughter duo specialising in thoughtful womenswear. Ethically handmade in their local studio, the collection features a range of feminine basics in contemporary colours like cobalt blue, mulberry, sparkly brown, bright green and lemon.

They’re the kind of stretchy-cool pieces you can layer with everything and at under $200, they make for a very justifiable purchase. The only issue? Getting your hands on one of the highly-anticipated drops. Keep those post notifications on.


For more on the appeal of made-to-order fashion, try this.

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