Full time lawyer turned full time designer, Laura Chong, took some time out of her extremely busy schedule in the lead-up to MBFF to chat to me about her debut at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane in a few weeks time.

Swapping the courtroom for the runway, Laura’s design philosophy is all about pushing the boundaries of ‘corporate wear’ and allowing women to feel that they can dress like Queens of the Urban Jungle…

Fortune 400 Wool Coat

Allie: Laura, can you tell me a little bit about your what lead to the establishment of your label, 400 Co.?

Laura: Well, I’ve been designing since I could walk and was always making my own clothes all through school and then on into Uni with dresses for Law Balls and that kind of thing. And then, once I started to work full time as a lawyer, I began to have less and less time to make my own pieces … and I guess creativity got the better of me! That coupled with me feeling like I was a bit bored of the standard corporate wear for women and wearing what everyone else was wearing … so it really grew from there. And it literally grew in the office. I started to make some pieces and then the other girls would ask me where I got my clothes and started to want to wear them too; it was great! It’s amazing how clothes can make you feel good and can bring a sense of confidence From there, I just decided to focus on the business and build the brand and here I am!

Metalic Blue Jac & Gill Reversible Jacket with Master of the Universe Shirt

Allie: You’re showing at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival this year, can you tell me about this and how your preparations are going?

Laura: Yeah, I still just can’t believe it. I applied thought that it was likely nothing would come of it. And I was accepted and into the established designers showcase! I only applied for the emerging designer group! So we’re in the process of getting the sample pieces together at the moment and I’m working with amazing millinery designer, Meredith McMaster for the show.

The Woman of Wall Street Dress

Allie: Can you give us a tiny sneak peak as to what we might see on show-night?

Laura: Yeah, sure! Our theme is Queen of the Urban Jungle; think ‘modern woman unleashed in the city.’ I heard this amazing quote the other day: “We were once wild, don’t let them tame you” and that just perfectly describes the theme. Guaranteed there will be a little bit of animal print in there somewhere. The whole thing is a complete dream come true. 

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Allie: And what about post-MBFF?

Laura: Post MBFF I’ll be showing the new collection at Bulimba Festival for a couple of days and we’ll have a pop-up shop too. In October, I’ll also be doing the Zonta Fashion Showcase at City Hall supporting Anglicare and the homeless.

* Laura is showing her collection as part of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane at City Hall on Wednesday 27th August at 830pm. 

A huge, huge thank you to Laura for sparing some time for us this week; we can’t wait to see your collection!

Stop by next week for more fashion news and fun….

A xx