Fashion / Fashion Feature

Jessica Gomes on coming home, sustainability and working with Australian brand Auguste

Jessica Gomes Auguste

Australian fashion and model Jessica Gomes go hand in hand. After a turbulent year living in and out of lockdown in Los Angeles, this formidable force has finally landed on Aussie soil again – and for good reason. Making up for lost time, Gomes is back to doing what she's always done best; supporting Australian fashion. The first step on her lengthy bucket list? Announcing her latest role as the face of sustainable Byron Bay brand, Auguste.

Fronting the campaign, which was shot by a secluded lake on the Tasmanian coastline, Gomes and the Auguste ethos intertwine; creating a homage to the Australian landscape that feels otherworldly. For the Poetica collection, Auguste has championed four fabric innovations, including; cupro, a regenerated cellulose fibre derived from cotton linter that feels like silk, but breathes like cotton; certified organic cotton, that is 100% biodegradable; hemp and certified organic cotton blends; and Merino Wool.

Here, we chat to Jessica Gomes about returning home, the importance of working with sustainable brands and creating magic with Auguste.

Welcome back home Jess. After such an uncertain year, how does it feel to be on Australian soil again?

I think everything that happened in 2020 to me in Los Angeles was so traumatic and was so intense, I think that it's just nice to be home in amongst the simpleness and it's been very healing. Auguste’s new Poetica collection is such a homage to the Australian landscape, so this shoot related to me on a personal level after being away from Australia for so long.

I feel like now I'm really appreciating my home country even more in the simplicity of life here and it is incredible how beautiful the landscape is here. I'm from WA so I have that kind of poetic Tim Winton taste for the landscape and I really enjoy healing amongst this land.

Australian people are so sweet and lovely and everyone is so warm. I'm just so excited that I'm home with my friends and family now. It means so much to me and that's the most important thing; just living a simple life and just being with loved ones. Plus the ocean is so healing I just want to swim in there every day.

Jessica Gomes Auguste

Auguste’s new Poetica collection is such a beautiful homage to natural beauty and the Australian landscape. Is this something that resonates with you on a personal level after such a long time away from home?

It’s been so wonderful to come back and work with Auguste, being a beautiful Byron Bay brand. It was really fun to go down to Tasmania and shoot the Poetica campaign. I loved the vintage silhouettes and it’s really feminine and really coincides with the contrast of the Tasmanian landscape. I also love that everything is made really sustainably and thoughtfully; lots of organic cottons. It was a beautiful trip. I am obsessed with Tasmania.

You shot the collection with Auguste on the Tasmanian coast. How did it feel for one of your first projects back home to be so connected to both homegrown fashion and to the ocean?

We shot the campaign by this beautiful lake, it was so incredible to be isolated with just chickens and animals, waking up and seeing the sunrise. We all stayed together in this little cottage and the crew was so lovely. The designer Ebony and I connected so much and were all just were drinking coffee and having deep and meaningfuls. Then I’d pop on a dress and we’d shoot some shots. It was a great vibe.

Tasmania is just otherworldy to me. It’s so beautiful and I'm really just enjoying being in nature at the moment and really taking it all in.

Much of Auguste’s brand ethos is rooted in environmental consciousness. Is it important to you to work with brands who are making an effort to operate more sustainably?

Yes, definitely. I think it is really important now to be very intentional with who I work with and be working with brands that are conscious of how they are treating the planet. I'm definitely taking into consideration a lot more with who I work with and I think that it's always honourable when brands are taking a sustainable approach because a lot of brands still aren't so it's definitely really important to me to be associated with brands like that.

Jessica Gomes Auguste

One thing that attracted me to Auguste is that they’ve always been super thoughtful in their production and fabrics. I really connect with the designer Ebony, the way the products are made and the femininity of the brand so it was exciting for me to shoot with them and be a part of this campaign. They had these incredible vintage-inspired prints and silhouettes which suited me so much because I’m a bit curvier. They use incredible fabrics like hemp and organic cotton and merino wool too.

Even though you do split your time between LA and Australia, you’ve always been such a relentless supporter of Australian fashion. What are your hopes for the Australian fashion industry this year?

I think that I've obviously been in the fashion industry for a long time in Australia and I kind of really love where it's going at the moment to be honest with you. I think people are really conscious and really evolving and I'd really love to see the fashion industry go into a more conscious sustainable route.

It's not just all about trends or pushing things forward, I think I have always just really connected with Australian brands because it matches with the ethos of my life and I've just grown up here so I have that relationship ingrained in me.

I'm particularly loving all of these Byron Bay brands like Auguste, and a lot of new brands that are popping up.

I'm more leaning towards bright fun feminine clothes now. I'm kind of like really whatever makes you happy. I think that we've come from such a dull chapter and it has been nice for everybody to stop and think. Now more than ever, I'm more interested in what the brand story is and how is it made. Is it sustainable, where is it from? I want to hear the back story.

I also want clothes that are fun and colourful. I don't just want to be in black anymore. I just want to have fun with fashion and get out there and express myself and be psychedelic. That's where I'm at right now with fashion. I'm sort of really into the Aussie brands, I’m not even looking at international brands at the moment I'm sort of just loving buying local.

Jessica Gomes Auguste

I want to support local small brands just naturally, so that's kind of my frame of mind at the moment and what I'm connected to.  I want to support people that are awesome and that want a positive change. For me, I’m loving being sunshine and rainbows I know that that might sound a bit dorky but before I used to be like I need to have this designer and it needs to be this brand and now I'm just like whatever I feel and whatever I think is cool. I'm really just tapping into what I like. I really found that now that I'm in this new phase and new chapter of my life, what I want to wear, it's not really about oh that's such-and-such bag. I think it's just about expressing yourself and wearing whatever you want and I think that's super rad and why not?

See Jessica Gomes in the Auguste Poetica collection here.

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