A previous teacher… now Perth fashion designer, Karen Elizabeth Young, presents upto 90min of inspirational fashion and textile content!

Karen has achieved:

  • National winner Womans Day Design 1993
  • European 3rd place Design 1993
  • Finalist, WA Small Business Awards 2021
  • Boola Bardip gown display at WA Museum 22-23
  • Pan Pacific Runway 2022
  • Display at Kings Park Aspects Gallery Sept 2023
  • QT Hotel Runway Nov 2023

“Its a joy to combine my fashion career with a love for teaching… and bring ‘real world fashion’ to the classrooms.”


Up to 90 min presentation including:

  1. A detailed power point presentation addressing
    1. Karen’s journey as a fashion designer
    2. The 8 steps of garment production
    3. Environmental impact and solutions
    4. Trade and career tips
  2. Many visual materials
  3. A display of 3 gowns with explanation of techniques & embellishments
  4. A student “step by step” rapid sketching session
  5. A template pack for teachers.

For costs/details, please email enquiries to [email protected] or text 0414 878753

WWCC, Ed Dept Police clearance, ABN registered


September 2023


Celebrated Perth fashion designer Karen Elizabeth Young and renowned Western Australian artist Helen Ansell are thrilled to unveil a truly unique collaboration: “Floralia”, a stunning blend of high fashion and visual art, beautifully installed within the Aspects Gallery of Kings Park.

This exquisite gown was designed and constructed by Young. It features native Australian flora and fauna intricately hand painted by Ansell. The gown showcases Ansell’s renditions of wildflowers and birdlife, including the Western Australian Wattle Bird and Honey Eaters, amongst an array of delicate Gum leaves, Grevillea, Bottlebrush, Everlasting flowers, Scarlet Banksia, and Kangaroo Paw.

Complementing the gown is a floral headpiece and waist corsage, handcrafted by Young. Various native Australian faux stems are entwined to create a striking head crown and costume accent.

“Seeing what Karen creates and having an opportunity to work with her has been such an inspiring process” says Ansell.

Young, a rising achiever in the Perth fashion scene, returned to design in 2021 after a period of teaching and personal recovery from breast cancer. She has made significant strides in the industry, winning an Australian Design (1st) and European (3rd) title in 1993, was a WA Business Awards finalist in 2022 and recently showcased her new collection “Dior Noire” at the Ch9 BCRC-WA ‘Couture for a Cure’ event.

Ansell, an established acrylic artist from Mullewa in Western Australia’s famous wildflower region, has long held a relationship with Kings Park’s Aspects Gallery, stocking it for over seven years with her fine art prints and Australian-made products, featuring native flora and fauna. This installation however, marks a first for Ansell in painting directly onto designer fabrics and collaborating on such a unique piece.

This new partnership and venture builds upon the recent success of the “Boola Bardip” gown, designed by Young and housed at the WA Museum Boola Bardip throughout 2022.

Born from the creative aesthetic of Young, “Floralia” continues this artistic journey, incorporating a peplum design, mimicking the gumleaves that form such an iconic part of the lush surrounds of Kings Park.

With the artists’ combined talents, “Floralia” is not just a piece of wearable art, but a homage to the unique Australian flora and fauna and an extension of the artists’ shared appreciation for the beauty of Kings Park.

“We have fond memories of the parklands since childhood and invite you to share our visual impression of ‘Floralia’,” says Young and Ansell.

Model: Maxine Hamilton
Photos: Tony Tasam Photography


June 2023


Building on the back of her success with the Boola Bardip Gown (displayed at WA Museum Boola Bardip 2022), Karen was approached by another WA artist, Helen Ansell, to collaborate in a couture gown. This time embellished with handpainted wildflowers and birdlife.

Karen began with a symbolic sketch of sculptural gumleaves, followed by pattern making and cutting. The pieces were then intricately handpainted by Helen and crafted by Karen, into a detachable ensemble and matching floral headpiece.

From sketch to wearable art… “Floralia” was created ! An 11 layer tulle skirt, lined silk satin bodice, detachable handpainted overlay and finished with a waist corsage and matching headpiece.


January 2023


D’OR NOIRE is a French term that translates to “golden black”. It is a limited edition capsule collection designed for those extra special moments that invite glamour, drama and allure. D’OR NOIRE pays hommage to the film stars of the 40’s, updated with modern edge.

We go behind the scenes with Designer, KAREN ELIZABETH YOUNG to describe the elements that make this collection so captivating….


Gold and black are timeless and associated with glamour and luxury. I felt that a seasonless, 2 tonal approach allowed me to design with mood and feeling , rather than be distracted by print. Gold is a statement colour. Black maintains the balance and gives the chic elevation needed.


The range incorporates exquiste fabrications of luminous metallics, laces, satins, sequins, chiffon and tulles. These textures keep with today’s look, whilst having the ability to stand the test of time. These exquisite fabrics are often combined within one design, to create very distinctive pieces.


The capsule feels expressive, feminine and dramatic. I worked with draping, flow and proportion to create flattering silhouettes. In some cases, I’ve also included belted accessories and trims, as a complimentary design element.


Emerging model, Kiki Bagashaw was captured artfully by fashion photographer Jurgen Niit. The campaign was styled by Australian stylist, Kyles Delic and myself. Kiki was beautified by accomplished hair and makeup artist, Vickie Aldridge, who used a composite of golden colours and earthy tones to compliment the gowns.

I feel the result accurately captured the French essence of classical glamour.

Thank you to all those who contributed!


October 2022


Karen Elizabeth Young’ was invited to parade a new pre-release collection at the prestigious Ch9 fashion ball held at the Pan Pacific Hotel, (Perth) to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Research Centre-WA.

Since her label launch in 2021, Karen has participated in several fashion events throughout Perth, was a finalist In the WA Small Business Awards and has reached the prestigious status of a gown display at the WA Museum Boola Bardip.

Karen was delighted to release her “D’or Noire” (Golden black) collection for this CH9/BCRC Gala Ball. It is an alluring collection that incoporates exquisite fabrics, feminine silouettes and timeless wearable designs.

All garments are produced in Perth, with handcrafted attention to detail. They may be purchased online or direct from our studio, by appointment.


2ND APRIL 2022



To celebrate our first anniversary and new website, we are giving away…


Designed by Karen Elizabeth Young, Perth WA.

Be a Cinderella for more than one night! Look stunning in your choice of couture from our Glamour range… $1000 worth of hire for a year!


  1. Follow us on Facebook OR Instagram.
  2. Subscribe to the “KEY Club” on our website.
  3. Tag 3 people in a comment line on the FB or IG competition page. (One entry)

* For more entries! Tag sets of 3 different people on new comment lines.

OPTIONAL! It would be lovely if u could share this post to your story😘

T’s & C’s

  1. Check our website for our current “Glamour Hire” range.
  2. Winner must be a Perth resident, for garment collection/return purposes.
  3. Competition will close at 5pm (AWST) May 31st, 2022. Winner will be drawn by Google Random Number Generator.
  4. Winner will be notified personally (via DM) and also announced on our social pages – June 1st 2022.
  5. This prize will be valid until June 1st, 2023. It is the responsibility of the winner to ensure they use the prize before this date. Any left over value, will be forfeited.
  6. This prize cannot be substituted for cash.
  7. You may use the prize entirely yourself or share it with upto 2 others of your choosing. (Eg daughters, friends?)
  8. You and any others sharing your prize, must follow us (FB or IG) and subscribe (to KEY Club) for at least 12 months.
  9. When hiring a gown:
    1. A bond must be paid. (This is refundable if gown is returned on time & undamaged)
    2. 4 days hire (eg Fri-Mon).
    3. ID is required.
    4. Drycleaning is included.
  10. You must show a photo of yourself wearing the gown/s on your social pages and tag us.
  11. KEY has the right to withdraw the prize and refuse ongoing hire, if any garment is mistreated, ruined or stolen during the 12 month period.




The Boola Bardip Gown, designed by Karen will now be displayed at The WA Museum Boola Bardip for at least 6 months, commencing in February 2022.

A sincere thank you to seamstress, Jasmine Ng, and artist, Sammy Wyborn, for sharing their creativity and skill in this project.

We are very grateful to the museum staff for making this possible and hope the public enjoys viewing our work!

Please read about this venture in the Perth Now article HERE.

Karen Elizabeth Young




New aspiring Perth Fashion designer, Karen Elizabeth Young, collaborated with renowned indigenous artist, Sammy Wyborn, to create a spectacular hand painted ball gown, revealed at the Kaleidoscope World Fashion Event, at The WA Museum Boola Bardip, on Oct 24th.

Karen’s label was discovered on Instagram by the organisers of the KWF museum event and she was invited to participate as 1 of 10 Perth and international designers. Each designer showed three garments, in a prestigious multicultural runway.

Karen wanted to produce something spectacular for this grand occasion. She therefore designed a ball gown inspired by her home state of Western Australia and the Museum name “Boola Bardip”, meaning many stories. Karen wanted the gown to reflect the beauty of WA floral and fauna, but also be a symbolic “story” of unity between our two cultures: Indigenous and Non-Indigenous. Her design represents both the modern and traditional.

To achieve this “story”, Karen set out to find an indigenous artist to paint elements of the dress. She found Sammy, from a general search she did for indigenous artists on FB…. but certainly felt their union was destiny.

Sammy originated from Broome WA, and won the 2019 Kullarri NAIDOC Artist award and the 2016 Shinju Arts Award. It so happens that Sammy had some experience in clothing too. Sammy did the artwork upon the Volunteer Sea Rescue group uniform t-shirts in Broome and has produced other clothing items. Karen loved her sense of colour, style, interpretation of wildlife and portrayal of story.

Karen also contracted the services of Soo Nygen, a Perth Couturier originally from Singapore, to construct the gown. Soo, now retired, was owner of 3 renowned bridal stores in Perth and Melbourne in previous decades.

The collaboration on the gown for the museum show was a very exciting one! Karen, Sammy and Soo worked together, to truly reflect a harmonious blend of their own unity and multicultural stories.

The gown was worn by indigenous model, Simone Panina Ware, who was also adorned with jewellery provided by Linneys.

Karen and Sammy were delighted to have this prestigious WA company on board, to accessorize the gown with exquisite gold and pearl jewellery, also reflective of the beautiful WA environment. It also turns out that Sammy did a jewellery apprenticeship with Linneys several years ago. Another sign that the universal stars were aligning!

“No gown has ever been created before, to truly represent WA heritage. We wanted ours to be the first! It was an honour to be selected for this spectacular event”, said Karen.

Karen would like to thank Sammy and Soo and all those involved with the event, garment preparation, media, PR, models, jewellery, makeup, hair and photography.

Karen Elizabeth Young Karen Elizabeth Young Karen Elizabeth Young Karen Elizabeth Young Karen Elizabeth Young


28TH AUGST 2021


Again, word of mouth travelled quickly after Karen’s launch!

This time, Karen was delighted to be hosting a fashion parade at the WA Italian Club for events extraordinaire Mr Pat Luca. Mr Luca is synonomous for holding memorable events and it seems Karen was a very worthy inclusion.

Karen is fast becoming known for her quality label and runway shows.

With the assistance of 10 professional models, Karen once again did not disappoint. A packed ballroom audience was delighted by the selection of 30 garments from Karen’s resort, metro and glamour collections.

Professional photographer Tony Tasam, volunteered his time at this charity event to capture images for Karen.

Thank you to all the models, dressing room helpers and Mr Tasam for your skill and professionalism. Also to Ms Cara Louise, Ms Janine Maree and Mr Luca for your support.


31ST JULY 2021


Following Karen’s label launch, it wasn’t long before word spread and she was sought after for her designs.

A new Perth model agency, “Freelance Management”, approached her to dress models for their company launch.

Karen was eager to help out another new Perth business and she dressed approx 15 models.

The night aimed to showcase model and acting talent and bring fashion operatives together for networking.

It was another successful night for Karen. Her designs were worn beautifully by the models and well received by the audience.

“I’m really thrilled to receive compliments and positive reactions for my designs. I love what I do. Thank you to the agency and models for their inclusion. It’s a pleasure to support small business in Perth.”

“Conquer With Courage” CHARITY LAUNCH

7TH MARCH 2021


Aspiring new West Australian Designer, Karen Elizabeth Young (K.E.Y), took a courageous leap in more ways than one!

Karen had spent the previous 18 months conquering stage 3 breast cancer, but decided to conquer her design dreams next. During her BC treatments, Karen set about planning a charity fashion event that would not only provide a launch for her designs, but importantly recognise others with BC and donate to research.

Karen decided to call her event “Conquer with Courage”. She set about singularly organising the venue, sponsors, models, entertainment, staging, prizes, ticketing and advertising, whilst designing and sewing many of the clothes. She was also determined to have a charity event that would acknowledge a local Perth BC centre. After much research, she approached the Breast Cancer Research centre -WA, discovering that this organisation was entirely Perth based, but making global achievements in research and BC treatments. “It meant so much to myself and others to secure their support. I’m a local Perth girl, my heart is here and so is this company. Their value in research and subsequently saving lives, is immense.”

Karen found the perfect location next and set the date. The outdoors boardwalk at ‘Soul On The Point’, East Perth on March 7th provided the perfect location in terms of size and picturesque river surrounds. “It was so much hard work but this is where my teaching skills came in handy! I don’t shy away from work or details. It was a little touch and go for a while with covid lockdowns, but everyone was so positive, encouraging and supportive of this event.”

Karen decided she would prepare not just one collection for the runway, but two. “I wanted to give attendees value. They were giving me their trust and support. I felt they needed to be appreciated for that. I decided to have two parades, with pre show drinks, nibbles, entertainment and intermission.” Two collections, “Riviera” and “Shimmer” stunned a keen audience and a standing ovation followed. 68 garments were paraded by 12 models, at this very glamorous event, in front of 300 attendees.

“It was a huge success, I couldn’t have wanted for more. The sun shone for the first time that whole week, I had so many people wanting to come and many others who volunteered their time to help. I feel very blessed. I was able to achieve my dream, donate money to a worthy cause and recognise the courage of all those battling BC. It was an amazing day for all of us.”

A big heartfelt thank you to all those that supported and contributed to the “Conquer With Courage” 2021 Event.




Read the Perth Now article.

Karen Elizabeth Young








Ironically it was a breast cancer diagnosis that changed Karen’s life for the better. “Cancer was the kick I needed to fulfil my dreams and follow my true heart.” Karen managed to overcome breast cancer after discovering a 5cm lump, resulting in 18 months total of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation.

“I received expert treatment at Fiona Stanley Hospital… their treatments and procedures are fabulous. Medical staff, friends & family gave me tremendous courage and support.

“Initially the shock of discovering I had a malignant tumour was very frightening. However I held a positive mindset from the onset and was determined to beat it. I concentrated on my aspirations and did not let BC define me.” Karen followed medical advice and mentally prepared herself for the effects of treatment. “Sometimes the worst part for many women is losing their hair… we can often lose our dignity with it. But personally speaking, I looked upon it as a new opportunity to experiment with new looks (using wigs, scarves, hats etc). My own hair has now grown back stronger and thicker too. Bonus! “

Karen feels her positive approach and focus helped pave the way for a successful outcome. “I used Cancer to reassess my life and worth. It was time to put things into perspective, unlock myself and take a chance on me!” Karen used her treatment time, to plan her personal and career goals. She also found herself wanting to support other friends and people she met, who had BC.

“Unfortunately BC is all too common. During my own ordeal, I had 2 other friends who were diagnosed. I felt the need to plan an event that would recognise the courage of many women/men with BC and those who devote their careers to research.” Hence Karen began to use her treatment time to design clothing and plan a large charity fashion event. ” I feel very fortunate and grateful I had a successful recovery. It’s time now to go get the dreams I had suppressed for so long, but to help and inspire others along the way.”

Karen Elizabeth Young Karen Elizabeth Young Karen Elizabeth Young Karen Elizabeth Young


June 1993

Read More

Karen’s accomplishments in fashion began in 1993 when she won an Australian Fashion Design Competition, sponsored by Woman’s Day magazine. She had entered a sketch of a striking black and white evening gown. Her prize included construction of the gown by a Sydney couturier, and a trip to Europe to view her gown in a global competition held in Brussels. Here, Karen’s design achieved 3rd place, amongst 52 countries.

Ironically, she was a primary school teacher at the time, with no formal training in design. Just a love of drawing, sewing and memories of childhood creations.

“As a child I was always drawn to fashion. My mother made me lovely clothes, until I acquired her skills and made my own. I loved spending hours looking through fabric shops, pattern books and clothing stores. I was very artistic as a child but eventually persuaded by family into a teaching career. I followed my parents wishes, but always dreamed about fashion. When I saw the design competition in the Women’s Day, I knew this was my moment! “

Karen followed her instincts and proved to herself and many others, she had natural talents for professional fashion design.

“It was a very exciting time for me and a thrill to see my Australian winning gown, paraded on a European stage. I was delighted to come 3rd, behind France and Italy. But funnily enough it was the outfit I wore, that caused the biggest stir! I could literally hear increasing murmurs through the Brussels audience as i proceeded towards the stage to collect my trophy. I had also designed a matching 2 piece ensemble of lace shorts and an off-shoulder top for myself. Those unlined lace shorts were a little “daring” back then, but remain very current in today’s trends and a sentimental favourite to me. I often have a quiet giggle recalling the attention they received.”

As exciting as those achievements were for Karen in 1993, the timing still wasn’t conducive to begin a fashion career. Karen was soon to be married and needed the security of teaching.

“In hindsight, I wasn’t regretful of a teaching career. It was very rewarding and I acquired confidence, leadership and people skills. It also gave me time and opportunity to expand my creative skills”.

However, a shock diagnosis with Breast Cancer in 2019, motivated Karen to follow her true calling and re-ignite the dreams she had buried for so long….

Karen Elizabeth Young Karen Elizabeth Young Karen Elizabeth Young Karen Elizabeth Young