AN INTERVIEW WITH LIFEWITHBIRD’S BRIDGET MESSNER
LIFEwithBIRD's Bridget Messner talks to Stylebk about her design process, advice on starting a label, and the inspiration behind the latest AW15 collection, SURFACE.
1. When was the moment that you realised you were creative?
I feel creativity has always been part of my DNA. I loved playing dress ups with my sister Alice (Alice McCall), and creating costumes out of bits of fabric. My mum was a fashion designer so she taught us how to sew from an early age, and that the possibilities were endless with a pair of scissors, bit of fabric and a sewing machine. Growing up I used to make clothes for my dolls and barbies, and later in high school I made my formal dresses with my mums help. My year 12 formal dress was an adaptation of a Tom Ford Gucci cut out dress that I loved. I had the magazine pages of fashion campaigns all over my bedroom wall at the time and was obsessed with all the iconic 90s fashion houses and models.
2. Did you try any other careers or projects before your current profession became successful?
I went straight on to study photography at PSC in Melbourne. I spent three years full time there and loved the course and finished with a diploma of photography. My assignments were mostly fashion focused and I used to shoot all the RMIT students clothes for their final assessments so the crossover with fashion was always there. I then went on to be an assistant stylist which I really enjoyed. When I met Nick within a few months of dating we started LIFEwithBIRD. I kept styling and also worked retail to make ends meet while we got the label off the ground over the next three years.
3. What is your go-to snack?
Fruit at the moment. I’m pregnant and craving lots of stone fruit in particular. I also have cravings for cherry ripe bars or any chocolate I can get my hands on!
4. What are three items that you always carry with you?
Phone, notebook and sunglasses.
5. Do you have a mantra that you live by?
Not really. I do believe in the power of positive thinking though and that anything is possible. My husband and business partner Nick is my rock. He astounds me everyday with his talent and drive which makes me want to strive and conquer constantly.
6. What is one piece of advice for someone wishing to pursue a career in fashion design?
Be prepared to work hard, be a sponge through work experience, and not put too much pressure on yourself. It’s a really hard industry, but if you are willing to do these things you’ll find what makes you happy once you have allowed yourself time to learn and grow.
7. What is your favourite flower?
I love white peonies but they’re only around for two months of the year. I also love white freesias which have such a beautiful subtle perfume.
8. What is your signature scent?
Comme des Garcons Series 1: Lily. It is so light and refreshing. I always come back to this scent.
10. When you design, who are you designing for?
We have two lines that we design for seasonally. The main ready-to-wear collection which we see as the empowered, bold and confident woman, and the LWB line which has a wardrobe staples and layering kind of feel to it. Both collections have their own signature and when designing we come up with the direction of the range, the colour palette and fabrications, and then map out the range plan. Its quite a methodical process. We start by placing the must-have silhouettes for the season and then building the range around it. So its not really about a specific person as much as its about a mood or a story that we want to tell for the season.
12. What skills are important to start your own fashion label?
Focus, patience, determination.
13. For your most recent collection, where did you draw inspiration from?
SURFACE AW15 looked at building materials and under layers of construction and architecture. We were really inspired by the textures and fabrications we utilised down to their core, how the fibres were constructed, and how we could manipulate the garments through clever pattern making and illuminate seams or darts. What becomes apparent on the surface may not actually be as simple as it looks.
14. Name a designer, past or present, that you admire?
Maison Martin Margiela, who is one of the avantgardists who in the 90s was doing his own thing. He and the Antwerp six were so inspiring to us when we started our label. Pushing boundaries and deconstructing in ground breaking ways.
15. Describe your design aesthetic in three words?
Controlled, Clean, Concept-driven.
16. What do you love most about being a designer?
The process and the journey. Its still amazes me when I see something that started off as an idea come to life and worn by someone who appreciates it.
05.03.15 | Ecod Shop | News
An interview with Susannah Fairley of FAIRLEY jewellery
We talk to FAIRLEY jewellery designer and founder, Susannah Fairley about inspiration, celebrity pals, travel and summer essentials.
1. What inspired you to get into the jewellery business?
From a young age I always wanted to be involved in the creation of beautiful fashion and accessories . I think I probably made 500 daisy necklaces, tiaras and bracelets while living on our family farm in Rochester. On my travels as a child I loved to collect interesting pieces that caught my eye from shells at the beach to old coins found in our local tip in the country. I had been working on FAIRLEY for a number of years part-time and on weekends whilst working for other organisations and I stopped working at the end of 2012 to launch FAIRLEY on a full time basis.
2. How do you describe your style?
FAIRLEY is luxe bohemian jewellery that is priced at an affordable level using the best materials without compromise on quality. I love designing distinctive pieces by combining the beauty of semi and semi-precious stones, the history of ancient coins and artefacts and the elegant simplicity of gold and silver and using various techniques to give the jewellery its distinct textures. I am definitely conscious of trends in the fashion world however am not driven by them. I love chic simple classic pieces that are timeless and this strongly influence the design process when doing new ranges for FAIRLEY.
3. So all of us at ECO D. are a little start struck by your Instagram account! You’ve got pics with some big names including Gigi Hadid, Ellen Degeneres and Olivia Wilde just to name a few! How do you find yourself mixing with these mega stars?
Instagram has certainly been a fantastic vehicle to showcase our range and we love posting photos of people wearing our jewellery. Our celebrity clientele has certainly grown very quickly. Some have reached out to me on social media, some have commented on our jewellery when wearing it and others I have approached both in Australia and overseas. Whilst every situation is different, the one constant is that no one will wear your jewellery unless they love it whether they are a celebrity or not! We are excited when we see anyone wearing FAIRLEY, whether it be international celebritiers like Gigi Hadid, Olivia Wilde, Selena Gomez, Megan Gale or anyone just walking down the street or at dinner. Just a couple of weeks ago I met Kris and Kylie Jenner at a hotel in La Jolla, we struck up a conversation and they were really excited to receive our new season Scripture bracelets.
4. Aside from the above, if you could bejewel anyone/have them as a brand ambassador, who would it be and why?
There are so many amazing glamorous and stylish women in the world but if I was to name one it would be Angelina Jolie. She is so chic and has a natural beauty. She puts herself together beautifully but in an effortless way. When designing I aways keep in mind that the jewellery should be an extension of yourself, something you feel comfortable in and I can imagine Angelina in a number of FAIRLEY designs.
5. I understand that you draw a lot of your inspiration from your travels. Do you have a favourite spot?
I don’t really have a favourite spot but draw inspiration from everywhere I travel. Recent trips to Mexico, Thailand, Fiji have certainly influenced some of my recent designs and campaigns. Other than travel to exotic locations, I draw a great deal of inspiration from my stone sourcing trips, where I will sometimes design a whole collection around a new stone that I discovered on my travels.
6. What influences can we expect to see in upcoming collections?
The AW2015 collection is all about using lush creamy textured finishes with beautiful milky coloured stones such as aquamarine, aventurine, and sapphires and some classics such as black diamond and ruby. I have bought in some more finer pieces to create a layering effect and have experimented with some new ancient jewellery-making techniques to recreate an ancient look.
7. Coming in to Summer, tell us your top 5 Summer essentials?
1. An amazing pair of emerald green cateye sunglasses from Thierry Lasry
2. Oprah Winfrey’s new book “What I Know For Sure"
3. FAIRLEY Samara Sapphire Stackable rings - the pastel colours go back with any summer outfit
4. Slim Secrets protein bars (Snack Attack is my favourite) are great for on the go or days at the beach
5. La Prairie SPF30 is a summer must to protect you skin
22.01.15 | Ecod Shop | News
SPRING RACING CARNIVAL WINDOW INSTALLATION
We are very lucky to have had the talented fashion designer Anna Lindell, who is also one of our staff members, design a gorgeous piece celebrating the Spring Racing Carnival in our Armadale boutique window!
Anna describes her method and inspiration behind the stunning piece:
"What interests me in terms of fashion is how we all use clothing to identify ourselves. This always comes through in my concepts when designing. I tend to step outside the norm where form follows function, and rather look at clothing more as a sculptural matter. My designs are also characterized by manipulation of classic fashion textiles as well as incorporation of unusual materials which are not commonly used within the fashion industry. This 2014 Spring Carnival design is inspired by Australian wildlife and flora. The colours used were chosen to express my interpretation of the positive energy and atmosphere occurring along the carnival season. The design is made using a wire base, which has then been decorated using recycled wadding as well as Australian grown lemons and flowers."
If you haven't been by ECO D. Armadale, be sure to check it out!
30.10.14 | Ecod Shop | News
An Interview with Alice Stone From Lily and Lionel
1. Tell me a little about what lead you to start Lily and Lionel?
I've always been obsessed with scarves, and saw a real gap in the market for beautiful, digitally-printed scarves made in amazing fabrics. Both my grandparents, the original Lily and Lionel, were involved in textiles and so I wanted to continue their names and pay tribute to them and my relationship with them.
2. What inspires your designs and how do you translate that into your scarves?
All our prints are inspired by the beauty we see around us, whether that's nature or our favourite destinations from travels around the world. A lot of our prints are created from photos we've taken and therefore have sentimental value as they capture particular wonderful memories.
3. Do you have a favourite print/ scarf?
I think I would have to say our Italian Job scarf. It was one of the very first iconic prints we made and it earned us a double-page spread in British Vogue in our early days as a business which was really exciting. It always reminds me of when we dared to try something totally new and different, and succeeded.
4. What is the most unusual use for a scarf that you have seen?
A lady once told me that she hurt her arm and hated the hospital-regulation sling she was given, so she used one of our prints as a sling instead. It's the ultimate example of turning a bad situation into an opportunity to make a true fashion statement! We also have lot of customers who purchase our prints and frame them in their homes. It's a really lovely use of our scarves, and it's so rewarding to know that people are choosing our pieces to complete their interior décor.
5. We know that Lily and Lionel scarves are favoured among celebrities. If you could choose a celebrity to align the Lily and Lionel brand with, who would it be and why?
I love Olivia Palermo's style - she's not afraid of mixing bold prints and colours to put together a look. It's an attitude that really embodies our brand.
6. What can we expect from the SS15 Collection?
We have some really exciting new developments for next season. I can't give anything away yet but I will say, stay tuned with ECO D. to find out more...
21.10.14 | Ecod Shop | News
STREET ART AT HQ
Our Hawthorn store & head office building had an exciting make over recently. We wanted to transform a normally dull white wall into something fun and exciting with a summer vibe... Enter: Daniel Wenn!
Daniel Wenn is a graffiti artist and graphic designer from Melbourne with a real reputation for eye catching street art!
Dan has been involved with graffiti since he was 10 years old and has built up a business around his passion; street art/graffiti - 90 Degrees Graffiti Artists for Hire.
Dan and the 90 Degrees crew produce murals of the highest quality in a diverse range of styles for residential and commercial clients. His personal style is a mix of traditional graffiti lettering with cartoon graphic elements and original character designs. More recently he has focused on painting in a photo-realistic style. All of his work is built on original concepts and well researched themes. Whilst we wanted a bright coloured summer inspired mural, we left the brief rather open and Dan's creative talent did not disappoint!
Dan has had numerous works published in graffiti magazines, Vogue Living, Broadsheet and recently had a feature article in The Herald Sun. You can see his work around Melbourne at Hellenic Republic, Jimmy Grants, Forester’s Beer Hall, Captain Baxter, The Meatball and Wine Bar, Feast of Merit and now ECO D. !
If you haven't had the chance yet, come down to 716 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn to see Dan's brilliant work!
For more information on 90 Degrees Graffiti Artists, visit www.90degrees.graffitiartistsforhire.com.au.
30.09.14 | Ecod Shop | News
Our New Look Mosman Boutique
Our Mosman store has had a facelift and looking better than ever, with thanks to Tamsin Johnson; the brains behind the new look store.
Sydney based interior designer, Tamsin Johnson, has a distinctive way of mixing interior styling with unique furniture pieces to create spaces that are eclectic and refined without feeling over designed. She has an elegant contemporary taste and her palette is clean and fresh, open and light.
The inspiration for the ECO D. Mosman store design was very much focused on creating a clean backdrop for the collection. The intention was to let the clothes do the talking.
Tamsin explains that the approach was to bring the store back to a lovely clean and fresh canvas with a modern and urban edge. A slightly sporty approach was taken with the inclusion of the folded metal and rubber joinery surfaces. The carpeted and linen draped fitting rooms are spacious and comfortable creating a little oasis away from the busy streets outside. It's an inviting boutique environment providing customers with the comfort to focus on creating their seasonal wardrobe with personal service.
04.09.14 | Ecod Shop | News
The Story of Lily and Lionel
The story of Lily and Lionel starts with a family in London.
Lily, a dressmaker extraordinaire and her husband Lionel, who supplied apparel to London's most glamorous stores, founded the family's heritage of working in textiles. After graduating from the London College of Fashion, their granddaughter Alice Stone, Creative Director of Lily and Lionel, continued the tradition with a collection of iconic, digitally printed scarves.
Each print created by the Lily & Lionel design team is inspired by the discovery of beauty in every corner of life. It's all about the big reveal: as you unfold your scarf, the colours will expand into a striking scene. More a keepsake than a simple accessory, these pieces bring the feel-good factor with the softest luxury fabrics. And so the story ends with you, wrapped up in your scarf wherever and however you like.
05.08.14 | Ecod Shop | News
The Maison Scotch CHIQUE L’AFRIQUE
The Maison Scotch CHIQUE L’AFRIQUE Spring '14 collection is here!
The theme of this collection blends delicate batik prints with a streetstyle 80s spin. It’s a wild mix of textures, block and tiger prints and sportswear detailing, in vibrant colours like limoncello mixed with softer tones of blush, coastal blue and strong black & white. Make a statement in the urban jungle by combining a quilted jacket with an 80s relaxed fit sweatshirt and a skinny jean. Look out for Maison's iconic printed skinnies in updated soft stretch quality, longer length cardigans and basic tanks: your new statement wardrobe pieces!
24.07.14 | Ecod Shop | News
Jac + Jack New Now
Jac+ Jack introduces New Now a monochrome series representing the black and white palette of the new season.
Black and white resonates throughout the label’s Spring 2014 collection. Movement, texture and sheerness add complexity to the strong and effortless palette.
Spring 2014 represents an overhaul and distillation of the brand aesthetic across the decade since the label’s first collection in 2004. Designers Jacqueline Hunt and Patrick Blue create an articulate modern wardrobe, beautifully rendered to elevate the experience of everyday life for the new season.
The New Now campaign is now in store at selected ECO D. boutiques.
21.07.14 | Ecod Shop | News
David Bailey x The Bleach Room
World renowned David Bailey, collaborates with The Bleach Room
David Bailey, world renowned photographer, has, for the very first time, allowed some of his archive prints to be featured on t-shirts in a collaboration with The Bleach Room.
Bailey has hand picked six portraits from his famed 50 year career. Grace Jones, John Lennon, Johnny Depp, Mick Jagger, Michael Caine and Boy George are the feature portraits which, with the help of The Bleach Room create the fusion where art meets fashion.
This exciting collection is exclusively available in Australia at ECO D. boutiques and online store.
21.07.14 | Ecod Shop | News
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