Dyspnea: Paralysis

If there was ever a time to dig into your dress up drawer it’s now and Dyspnea is a label that’s bringing back princesses, mermaids and vampires with a crazy twist. Think The Little Mermaid decked out in diamonds, sparkles and fluffy pom poms.

Established in 2012 by Perth designers Jameen Zalfen, Rachel Motteram and Aimee Cherie-Kendall, Dyspnea has gathered a large fan base already, with over 12,000 followers on Instagram. After showcasing their line ‘Reptilia’ at Perth Fashion Festival in 2013, the girls were quick to develop an SS14/15 line for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia this year. Showcasing ‘Paralysis’ in the New Generation show, Dyspnea was a definite crowd pleaser; gaining significant media attention after the week.

I had a chat to Zameen, one half of the newly turned duo about fairies, sparkles and making the world a fluffier place, one crop top at a time.


Launched in 2012, Dyspnea has already gained an amazing response, what was it like showing at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia in April?

It was an adrenaline ride – such an incredible experience. Watching the models out on the runway in our clothes was an out of body experience. We would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

How did the label begin?

We started out making outfits for ourselves to go out in, it then lead to stylists requesting loans and before we knew it we were making a collection for Perth Fashion Festival.

Dyspnea is Greek for ‘shortness of breath’, is that what you were getting at with the name?

We accidentally stumbled across the name and once we discovered the meaning it was just too perfect!


What inspired your SS14-15 line ‘Paralysis’? 

Rach has these pretty crazy visions, she was telling us pink and red are our staple colours at least a year ago – we also had a pretty mad obsession with fairies, mermaids and vampires. It’s just a big Walt Disney milkshake!

What three words sum up Paralysis? 

Enchanting, psychedelic and coma-inducing.

The flosstart crops have received an overwhelming response, how long does it take to handcraft one of your crops? 

We liked the idea of making a pretty piece of Dyspnea available to all of our customers. There are a few steps involved in completing the crop – we allow 2 days.


You’re an incredible team; do you have different roles within the production process? 

At the moment we are based in Sydney and Perth. One of us takes care of meetings, emails and our customers in Sydney while our studio is based in Perth where all sampling and pattern making is done. We communicate 24/7 and both have the same brain and thought pattern, which makes it easier but we’re regularly flying back and forth during the design process.

What’s the best part about working in a team? 

We build on each other’s strengths; one of us will have an idea and the other one will just snowball on from that. It’s great working with your best friend. You have tiffs and disagreements but at the end of the day we are all about Dyspnea.

Who’s the Dyspnea girl?

Everyone and anyone, any crazy little weirdo beautiful out there. We love our dyspets.


Instagram has been integral in the launch of your label, why do you think social media is so important? 

We couldn’t live without it! Instagram has been a platform to expose our label internationally. Social media reaches out to every human on this planet.

Do you have any plans for the next line? 

Bigger and fluffier!

If you could deck any celebrity in Dyspnea who would it be?

We have always had a crush on Rihanna….and seeing Iggy Azalea in our pieces would be unreal!

Where do you see Dyspnea in the next 5 years? 

All over the globe.


Images shot by Ben Sowry.

Follow Dyspnea on Instagram @dyspnea_ for fluffy inspirations or visit www.dyspnea.com.au for stock enquiries.


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