5 Things We Learnt From Life InStyle Sydney 2018

Sugarcane Trading Co. Life InStyle display 

Sugarcane Trading Co. Life InStyle display 

We love a trade show, there’s something about the energy in the room when Australia’s top designers come together to show off their latest wares.

From handmade homewares to lovely linens we were happily lost in the exhibition halls of Sydney’s Hordern Pavillion at Life InStyle last month. Here’s what we learned.


In homewares, especially textiles, natural fibres like cottons and linens (read: lots of linens!) is looking very strong.

I love a mix of textures – velvet sofa with a natural khadi/ linen cushion - a blend of polish and raw.

This is definitely a trend I am happy to see.

Linen at Life InStyle Sydney 2018

Linen at Life InStyle Sydney 2018


I am pleased to report a big swing towards handmade goods in 2018.

“There is nothing more authentic or soulful than a handcrafted piece using indigenous skills that have been passed down through generations,”  says Caroline Poiner of Cloth & Co.

“Our focus is primarily on hand crafted textiles; whether it be hand spun and hand loomed cloth or using traditional dyeing techniques like bandhej, shibori or ikat.

“Apart from the social impact and the importance of community, artisans and the handcraft sector plays a key role in environmental sustainability. To me, traditional craft is the way of the future.”

Cloth & Co. wares Life InStyle 2018

Cloth & Co. wares Life InStyle 2018

Creative Director of Studio OneThirty, Sarah Kalidis echoed the importance of handmade.

“Handmade products are important to me as they signify our fundamental want and need to forge something from our bare hands; a tactile process where we as the maker leave our mark,” she says.

“It is about a journey of creation; from the vision through to reality. Handmade products have uniqueness that cannot be replicated with machines; it is the inherent chips, etchings, imprints that give character to a product.”

At Sugarcane Trading Co. co-founder Sally Murali says they deal exclusively with handmade.

“In a world of mass produced and fast fashion consumer goods, we see the beauty and sustainability in the handmade process and how it can inspire us all to slow down and appreciate true craftsmanship and the value of a well-made product that can be treasured over time,” she says.

Studio OneThirty display Life In Style Sydney 2018

Studio OneThirty display Life In Style Sydney 2018


I am happy to see that the cool and comforting tones of grey and naturals will be continuing into summer 18-19.

But also, the greenery of plants is transcending into prints and designs as well. The greens and inky blues of indigo are so calming and relaxing.

Mr Jason Grant's install at Life InStyle Sydney 2018

Mr Jason Grant's install at Life InStyle Sydney 2018

“Greens, olives, lilac and mustard yellows will have their time to shine this year,” says Sarah.

“Blush is still on trend, however the introduction of soft pastels will further enhance a dusty palette.”

Caroline says Cloth & Co. have “ventured into washed shades of colour this season, drawing on a subtle interpretation of the current trends.”

“Shades of deep berry and teal are on trend; shades of indigo/blue are ever popular and there’s always a place for black and white.”

Life InStyle Sydney 2018

Life InStyle Sydney 2018


We love a neutral pallet with a colourful bloom thrown in as a highlight.

“I think we are seeing a return to bolder hues this year as the muted colours of previous years are replaced with richer tones,” says Sally.

“The controversial Pantone 2018 Colour of the Year - Ultra Violet is surely contributing to this,” she says.


Many of the brands we spoke to said they were very inspired by neighbouring offerings.

“There were many brands I found inspiring at this year’s Life InStyle,” says Sarah.

“One in particular is Seljak Brand;  makers of recycled wool blankets using off-cuts from Australia’s oldest wool mill in Tasmania. Beautiful and thoughtful design that has a positive impact on our environment,” she says.

For Sally one of the most exciting products was by Eco Bling. “They are an eco fashion label that creates gorgeous handmade accessories from upcycled waste and materials and they plant a tree for every piece sold.”

Be in touch if you are looking to work with artisans. I have a wonderful network of suppliers and artisan groups in different parts of India. I am the link between passionate creatives in Australia and equally passionate craftsmen/women in India.

For more information click here or email hello@indotexaustralia.com.au.