O.T.T by Lia .T is an art/event/design house that designer and artist Lia Tabrah founded in Melbourne in 2008. O.T.T (Over the Top) is the acronym to accurately describe Lia’s unique designs that feature her signature bold patterns, kitsch motifs, striking textures and eye-catching colours. Motivated by the glamorous excess of the 1980s, Lia finds her muses in traditional Australian emblems and popular culture. She reinterprets these iconic Australian shapes and gives them a unique twist, transforming the unassuming grotesques into high-concept fashion pieces.
Lia’s background in visual art and gold and silversmithing inform flamboyantly crafted, outrageous pieces that are designed for those who are drawn to conceptual fashion that embodies the art of humour, storytelling and a unique, eye-catching boldness.
Lia founded VERMIN in 2019 after collaborating with Kirsha Kaechele from MONA Museum for 'Eat the Problem' exhibition and printed publication.
In 2020 Lia formed a VERMIN partnership with Perina Drummond.
The VERMIN journey into Indigenous communities turning the elusive cane toad to a luxury leather product. We begin this journey on a recent trip to the tropical islands of the Torres Strait, an Indigenous community on the northern tip of Cape York Peninsula, one of the many communities affected by this introduced species. After numerous conversations with local Indigenous rangers and pest control officers, our research continues to see firsthand what the cane toads are doing to the local wildlife and environment. We commence our research into turning these pests to luxury leather.
VERMIN is committed to providing First Nations peoples and communities in the top end an opportunity for employment in their local community and a pathway into fashion and leather industry by reversing this environmental destruction. We are also committed to administering the most ethical, sustainable and environmentally friendly solution in our leather-making process.
Follow our journey here www.verminthelabel.com
O.T.T by Lia T’s designs have been featured in both Australian and International Fashion press including:
The Guardian – Australia
The Age – VIC
Herald Sun – VIC
The Sydney Herald - NSW
Fallen Magazine - National
Fashion Journal - National
British Vogue - UK
Z!NK Mag - USA
REVS magazine - Finland
1883 - UK
Plaza Kvinna - Sweden (cover)
ABC News - Australia
VICE - USA
Desktop Magazine - Australia
In addition to this, Lia has been featured on ABC Radio, Australia and ABC TV - The MIX, Art Nation and Sekai Fureai Machi Aruki television show, NHK, Japan.
Art and brand development:
Lia’s design career has been heavily influenced by her on-going art practice that adopts both sculptural, installation and performative elements, all of which contribute to her O.T.T by Lia .T brand.
Lia has exhibited extensively across Australia, Asia, UK and Europe. She has developed and curated many solo and group events and exhibitions including:
Toad Busting! - Melbourne Design Week exhibition
Deb "Spoons" Perry - “CROC OFF” - Performance collaboration
AZARIA bar - Immersive bar Installation - Carlton Club
CRIKEY! - Collaborative fashion launch with Kate Geck - Glow Golf, Melbourne.
TOAD BUSTING! (2020) Melbourne Design Week. The cane toad has been a major pest and threat to native wildlife since its introduction to Australia in 1935. Designer Lia Tabrah and creative Perina Drummond travelled to the Top End to work with Indigenous park rangers to ethically source cane toad leather for Melbourne designers and artists to create custom works for Toad Busting! Lia invited iconic Melbourne designers and artists which included Constanze Zikos, Lisa Waup and The Huxleys.
PATTERNATION (2014) was a large group show featuring Australian visual artists and designers over two generations. Emerging, established designers and design legends included Ken Done, Linda Jackson, Reg Mombassa, Desert Designs and Metaverse Makeovers, who are renowned for their innovative use of pattern. The show was a festival highlight and the exhibition was celebrated by high profile patrons and young influential designers.
TRASHION (2015) was a workshop with Australian Fashion legend Jenny Bannister titled TRASHION for young artists at Signal and the National Gallery of Victoria sponsored by City of Melbourne. TRASHION was a series of workshops working with household trash and upcycled goods to create sustainable wearable art.
Lia is a celebrated and respected artist and designer in the Australian Design and Fashion world and regularly works with iconic Australian designers including Kate Durham and Jenny Bannister.
Lia has also worked with names such as Rebel Wilson, Dannii Minogue, Client Liaison, Em Rusciano, Big Freedia, Julian Burnside, MONA Museum, Rockhampton Art Gallery, City of Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Fashion Week and Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival.