ARTICLE Nicole James PHOTOGRAPHY Scott Espie
Fashion designer Lucy McIntosh tailors for the classic with minimal modern designs that are ultimately feminine. Lucy's design style follows through into her workspace where she fills a carefully bare exposed loft, with details that are essential for carrying out her designs for maximum inspiration.
It's such a great achievement to have a presence at New Zealand Fashion Week. How did it all start and how long have you been in the fashion industry for?
The business has been trading now for almost three years. While it hasn't been very long, I have achieved a lot within that time, and NZFW was very much a natural progression. It was the next step in our plan.
I had been talking about it with my PR company, Ciel PR, for two years before we finally made the decision to show.
What motivates the style for your collections?
I design for women like myself. I don't design for a specific age bracket, as the 'Lucy McIntosh' woman is not defined by her age; it's more about an attitude.
I design for a woman who is strong, beautiful, talented and driven.
I have this very distinct image in my mind of who she is; so I think that motivates my style.
What was the inspiration for the interior decor in your workspace?
I wanted to create a space that was a little different. i needed it to be a multitude of things: from a showroom for our wholesalers to a workroom and a creative space.
The multifunctional planter boxes were an idea I came across through a friend, and then Steven from Object Design made them for me.
It was all about creating more space within the room. I find clothing racks that sit on the floor consume too much space within a room.
Was the space easy to remodel?
It was. It was really a blank canvas when I moved in. There wasn't really even any lighting to speak of so I had the chance to think through all the details before we began any renovations. It was a natural progression designing the space and the exposed brick was a great starting point. I realistically had to work around the brick.
What features are important in your space?
Having this custom racking system is the best feature in the workspace for efficiency right now.
The next step is to create the pattern table to emulate the racking system function, and it will have a lot of hidden storage. As a designer, clutter is inevitable, so having this system will ideally eliminate some of this.
Which key items are vital for fashion design?
I feel like 90% of my time is taken up at my desk, as a lot of my day is actually emailing people, organising and designing. So having a good creative desk was very important to me.
I am all about minimalism and while in the past I have not been very tidy, owning my own fashion business requires me to now be tidy and insanely organised. Other than that it's the pattern making table and sewing machines.
What do you love most about the space?
The physical space we have created by having hanging shelves and racks. Clutter doesn't inspire me.
I feel on edge when I see messy spaces. There is nothing better than having a clean and clear space to work from.
Is there anything you would change about it and what would be the ideal space?
Oh yes, I have a lot more plans for the space! Having only been in here for four months now, I plan on renovating further over the summer.
My ideal space is somewhere that inspires me to want to be in there everyday.
For a designer, the hours are very long so the energy of the workspace is important for mental health.
I think about my employees and interns and I want them to be able to work to their fullest and be happy in there too.
Have you got anything big coming up in the future?
We do. At the moment we are putting together a High Summer capsule collection, which launches this month. There are lots of future ideas in the pipeline to expand our business too.
Lastly, which are your top three favourite pieces from your collections?
Favourite would have to be the Meddle jacket from our AW15 range. Then close behind would be the Skull top or dress.
Then would be the floral Krule dress - all to be included in the AW15 range dropping into stores and online early February 2015.
For more information, visit the Lucy McIntosh website.
All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.
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