Alabama Blonde’s “Matrimony”: Melbourne’s New Edge

Alabama Blonde is a mix of soft grunge and heavy metal while using latex, leather and my favourite word – FRINGE! The experimental Melbourne designer recently came out with a third collection called Matrimony – a nod to Australia’s recent political stance on gay marriage. The show held was in an iconic queer space – YAH YAH’s – with a stunning collection supported by a beautiful gospel choir. Still keeping on brand, the collection was edgy – full of latex and a beautifully diverse cast, scouted by Alabama herself.

Last year Alabama, known to the casting world as Emma Fleming, was nominated by the Casting Guild of Australia for the Achievement in Casting Award, specifically for her work as a Casting Director in achieving greater diversity in the Australian casting industry. Her casting of the film ‘Matrimony’ proved why her casting is recognized as progressive, diverse and something which Australia needs more of.

Alabama Blonde

How did Matrimony come to be?

I suppose it came from a major realisation that I had. It came from me realising how fulfilled I am by my work, my friends, my family… and myself. That Matrimony is such a powerful word – which isn’t exclusive to finding that infamous ‘significant other’ half that completes you. I am complete as I am. I haven’t always been complete as myself, and I probably still have moments when I am not, but I am always pushing myself to do better, do more, challenge myself, question myself & the work I am doing/I am yet to do, the person I was and am and strive to be etc… and then I have moments of contentment with myself when I acknowledge where I am at & how far I’ve come to get there. I am that other half. So, I wanted to embrace that realisation & put it out there in a positive and empowered way – and also acknowledge and champion the journey that it takes to commit to yourself, all of yourself, completely – despite all the odds, negativity, pity, judgement & moments in between.

Alabama Blonde

The team behind Matrimony held a panel night where we invited a lot of our collaborators, most of whom have experienced rejection in traditional forms of marriage/matrimony. We discussed their experiences and how they came to be where they are as individuals or partnership’s which haven’t been recognised or respected in society. The whole idea of fighting to have your love for another, or yourself, not respected and acknowledged is such an unbelievable reality that people live with. We discussed what the words marriage vs matrimony mean to them, what are the reasons to get married, and if anyone on the panel would ever like to get married. It was a beautiful, shocking, deeply personal, eye-opening evening, and a complete privilege to be a part of. Out of that evening ‘Matrimony’ the film, & accompanying show, was truly born.

Alabama blonde

Are you planning to make a move to LA or Berlin anytime soon?

I love Melbourne. It is definitely somewhere where I feel very supported, inspired & at home. We have such a strong & hungry creative community here – I feel very lucky to have this as my base. But I would love to spend some a lot more time in LA for working holidays + make my way back to Berlin at some point soon.

Alabama Blonde

What’s next for you Alabama?

I will be in LA in November/December to do some exciting collaborations with Subvrt, so I am working towards that at the moment. There’s definitely a few people over there whom I am keen to work with & many ideas that I want to roll out while I’m there. I’m trying to squeeze in as much as I can into a couple of weeks in November/December.

Alabama Blonde

Do you ever find yourself struggling with creating fashion?

I guess not really, because I don’t tend to create unless I’m truly inspired and have something important to say. I tend to let my inspiration, life & voice lead when I do create work as opposed to working towards a fashion calendar, or time etc. I wasn’t planning on showing anything else this year after du Mal & VAMFF & then Matrimony came along & I had to honour that inspiration.

Alabama Blonde

What are you bored of seeing in the fashion world right now?

Creations for the sake of creating, plagiarism, lack of integrity, beige and muted anything.

Alabama Blonde

Are there any particular individuals you want to dress?

Anyone who feels uncomfortable in their skin & craves a moment of unapologetic excess! Anyone who has been told “you can’t sit with us” – and anyone who is brave enough to say “you can”.

Also, Cher, Boy George and my grandma! If only I could have a moment with Prince. The list could go on – I love empowering people through garments. It’s so powerful & really is the core of why I love what I do.

Alabama Blonde

Where do you find your inspiration?

Life, still heartbreak. Always heartbreak, injustice…music has always been a major inspiration for me also.

Alabama Blonde

Are you planning anything really big for next year’s fashion week? NYFW perhaps?

I don’t think I’m quite there yet – but thank you for the suggestion. I have an idea – I’m just waiting for it to fully recognise itself. I think LA will be somewhere where this idea/inspiration will be fully realised. Watch this space!

Alabama Blonde

You might get this a lot but where did you start out?

It started with my parents telling me that I needed to work hard, to not have a backup plan and be true to myself.

Then while graduating university I met the ladies of Duende at an underground fashion show in 2015. They stuck with me, they said yes to me, yes to my death and my mourning ceremony, yes to my vagina candles, yes to having them scented with evil. There is literally no idea I have had that they couldn’t make happen. So, Alabama Blonde started with an incredible amount of YES, constant lack of sleep, an incredible amount of wine & a painful amount of love, commitment, faith & zero apologies.

Alabama Blonde

Is there anything you would want the younger generation to know before deciding on going into fashion?

Do it for the sheer love of it, become a sponge to life and be patient. I am terrible with patience. I wish I could work 25hrs a day 8 days a week. It all comes down to a good whiskey, a killer playlist & a passionate team. You can’t do it on your own.

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Interview: Bailee-Rose Farnham


Artistic Directors:

Alabama Blonde @alabamablonde

Kate Fox @katefox.xox

Hana Schlesinger @hanaschlesingerphotography

Kelly Tee @kellehtee

Briar Rose @theebriarrose

The Furies @the__furies

Casting Director:

Emma Fleming @alabamablonde

Head Editorial Photographer:

Hana Schlesinger @hanaschlesingerphotography

Photographer for ‘Dollhouse Scene’:

Images: Angus + Rolly / Angus

Hailey Moroney @haileyharpermoroney_

Head Stylist: Kelly Tee @kellehtee

All garments by:

Alabama Blonde @alabamablonde – Matrimony Collection

Custom Wedding Rings + Studded Boots by:

Antonia Pantazis

Jewellery @kick_in_the_eye

Studded Boots @antoniahhhh

Styling Assistants:

Hailey Moroney @haileyharpermoroney_

Iki San @____iki

Director of Hair Design:

Shannon Bunn @shannonhmu

Hair Assistants:

Ryan Brown @brownyryan123

Rachel Brown @brownyrach

Valentina Arjona @valentinaarjona_makeup

Makeup Artists:

Ollie Savage @theolliesavage

Lemonade Luuize @amelialuuize

Chloe Rose @xs.rose

Set Design, Styling & Construction:

Kate Fox @katefox.xox

Production Assistants:

Rose Katic @saintdaisy

Arty Taylor @artyficial

Treanda Seaburn @makeupbytreanda


Agent Cleave @agentcleave

Jaxon Augustus @jaxonaugutus

Hana Schlesinger @hanaschlesinger

James Varley @varleyparty

Milo Love @love.agent

Angus Green @angus__green

Rolly @boyroro

Lia Vice @vicejewellery

Tanya Grant @swarvay

Abby Drielsma @abbytattoo

Jye Sabbath @jyesabbath

Taylor Medwin @diienastii

Liss Lyssum @lisslyssum

Shay Langley @shaylangley__

Levi Love @levilove___

Alabama Blonde @alabamablonde

Kyle KM @kylekm

Scott Justin Parker @scottjustinparker

Mercy Rose Watson @mercyrosewatson

Cheyenne Dawson @chainlow

Eva Akhurst @crazydelicious__

Shot at:

Yah’s Yah’s, Fitzroy Melbourne, Australia @yahyahsfitzroy

BTS Footage:

Renee Leah @reneeleah

Rob Corica @robcorica

Alabama’s film Matrimony will be shown at our short film night Weds 5th of Dec at The Lash in Los Angeles. Get your ticket here!


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