Around 43 per cent of Australian fashion labels do not believe they will survive the impacts of COVID-19, but some labels are riding out this storm, Gun Shy being one of those.

Led by Melbourne designer Kathryn Jamieson, the label is known for its over-the-top, camp faux fur collections, which have been worn by the likes of Conchita Wurst and Kate Ceberano.

“I moved over to Berlin, ran out of money, so decided to sew up some stuff which I took to one of the markets, and completely sold out of everything I made,” Kathryn tells me. “That’s when I realised that I loved doing this, so I came back to Australia, studied for a while at RMIT, then started Gun Shy. I didn’t have a plan, I just wanted to make and release a collection.

“It really exploded because of the fact that Violet Chachki discovered me as soon as I opened my Instagram account. She got a jacket and a stole and wore them to New York fashion week.”

I was curious to ask how COVID-19 had impacted on the label.

“At the start I didn’t feel like I could work, it was just so stressful, when people closed up and stopped spending.

“So, what’s happened since is that I’m in the process of setting up my home studio, and I’m not the only fashion designer to do that, a lot of us are moving out of our retail spaces. I’m just slowly making and doing stuff from home, really.”

This season, Kathryn has not released a new collection, the first time since she launched her label.

“Instead, I’m making these colourful Seuss Scarves to cheer us all up and bring a bit of fun and joy during these dark, crazy, rollercoaster, uncertain times.”

Kathryn is optimistic about the future, and what may happen on the “other side” of COVID- 19.

She concludes the interview by saying that, “On the other side of this, hopefully it will be a time when independent designers can thrive, because people will be turning to those people rather than big businesses and fast fashion.

“I really hope the world does slow down and that we don’t go back to normal, because normal sucked ass, and got us into this situation in the first place.

“I’m really just hoping for a slower, more beautiful world”

To check out Gun Shy’s online store, head to

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