I'm constantly writing my own observations about Perth. But I'm keen to get different perspectives on living and working in this city from interesting, knowledgeable locals. In the first of what I intend to be many interviews Donna Holmes, who owns the Donnah fashion label, has kindly responded to my questions about the local industry:

Matt: I'm interested in what the Perth fashion scene is like. Is it comparatively friendly and supportive or highly competitive? How would you describe it?

Donna: The Perth fashion scene is very supportive of each other. Perhaps this is because it is a smaller community than our eastern states counterparts. There are numerous fashion bloggers who follow emerging designers and there are always opportunities for students to submit their work for competitions e.g. for fundraising events such as STYLEAID. I have worked with local fashion photographers and models which works as a really nice relationship as they build their portfolios. It's a win, win situation and is a great way to get to know different people in the industry.

Matt: What's your opinion of the various local training courses and institutions that teach fashion design? Any places that you would recommend highly? If so, why?

Donna: I completed my Diploma in Fashion and Design at Challenger TAFE in Fremantle. I was extremely lucky to have had tutors teach me who had an enormous amount of experience in each of their fields of expertise. Perth also has both Central and Swan TAFE institutes as well which I've heard to be great; however I really valued the way Challenger managed to combine all the necessary skills required to start a label, in particular pattern-making.

Matt: How have the climate, lifestyle, and environment of this city influenced your designs?

Donna: The lifestyle of Perth has certainly influenced my designs. This beautiful environment that we live in and laid back lifestyle is a perfect backdrop for my label which is relaxed, versatile and incorporates an element of luxe by using beautiful natural fibres. My clothes work with people's lives e.g. young mums with an early appointment or work, then later school pick up. Some pieces can be worn to the beach and dressed up for evening, gorgeous to wear for lunch, visiting wineries and socializing. Simple elegance really.

Matt: Are there any local designers who have influenced you strongly, or do they tend to be national, or even international figures? Can you elaborate on how these people have influenced your work?

Donna: I'm always thinking about fashion and I guess I gain inspiration in different ways. I love finding beautiful clothes and some of my favourite designers are local labels Morrison, Fleur Wood and internationally Magali Pascal, Lulu Yasmine and Isabel Marant.

However, it's usually after I'm returning from one of my amazing relaxing trips from Bali and have been immersed in the lifestyle over there that I get the urge to come back and get started on some new designs!

Matt: Please tell me more about your label, Donnah. How long has it been going? What kinds of garments do you specialize in and how would you describe them?

Donna: My label DONNAH (pronounced simply "Donna") was established in 2010. My designs tend to have an unstructured and relaxed feel, made with beautiful silks and a mixture of cottons. I'm not into trends as my clothes are more of a lifestyle choice that never goes out of fashion. My collections consist of beautiful classic pieces that can be re-invented with each season. My goal is to establish DONNAH in the online world, with purchasing being most accessible through my website.