After meeting in the Northern Territory and studying together at university in Queensland, Clea Garrick and Nathan Price moved to Melbourne and joined forces to create innovative fashion label Limedrop in 2005. With their quirky prints and cutting-edge designs, they soon became one of Australia’s hottest fashion labels: developing a loyal following in Australia and around the world, winning prestigious awards and receiving international exposure when Lana Del Rey wore their pink ‘Bustier Dress’ (from their SS 2012/13 collection) in her Sydney concert in June. They are just about to release their latest SS 2012/13 collection, which includes colorful geometric prints, clean lines and stylish yet breathable fabrics. I sat down with Clea and chatted to her about her exciting journey, her love of design, and her forthcoming collection.
CLAIRE: You have really strong themes and concepts that guide your designs – how important is the concept when you’re designing?
CLEA: We definitely start with the concept when were building a collection, because we want to tell a story with the range. A lot of the time it’s trying to capture that feeling of travel, and the excitement of ‘the new.’
CLAIRE: Your last collection The Adventure was inspired by Peru and other exotic places – what influenced your new collection?
CLEA: The new [SS 2012/13] collection is called The Discovered and it’s based on ancient civilizations, [especially] influenced by Egypt, so we’ve got this crazy ‘Egyptian Eye’ print, and ‘Crystal Caves’ is our other signature print. Our jewellery range is launching too; it’s geometric rosewood shapes mixed with hand painting and resin. We haven’t focused on jewellery too much before now; we just had the cherrywood range. So this is going to be our new update, which is long overdue!
CLAIRE: You’re launching The Discovered range at Perth Fashion Festival in September – what can we expect from your new collection, and what other materials are you using for summer?
CLEA: We’re using a lot of silk twill in the digital prints, and we’ve also got a lightweight cotton and linen… I think linen is cooler than not wearing anything! And we’re still using really interesting textured synthetic fabrics… we’re always looking for something unusual that breathes. There are a lot of travel pieces that can just be rolled up and popped into a suitcase and are really easy to care for. We also have a lot of day to night pieces; I think dressing in a way that can take you from day to night is a really Australian thing to do. It suits the Australian lifestyle and our casual dressing.
At the moment, we are working on a range of scarves from our archive prints, including the clouds and the gold coins, all our classics.
CLAIRE: Is there a specific man or woman you have in mind when you’re designing?
CLEA: I like the idea that anyone can wear Limedrop. My mum even wears Limedrop, and I think that’s pretty cool.
CLAIRE: That is cool. So how did you to get into fashion? Did you make clothes and jewellery when you were growing up?
CLEA: I was really into sewing my own outfits when I was younger. My grandparents owned racehorses and the racing culture was pretty important to them, so they would go to the races a lot. My grandmother would make all the suits and dresses for the whole family each season, so that influenced me a lot.
CLAIRE: What are you doing in the lead up to Spring Racing Carnival?
CLEA: We’re making some really nice floral headpieces, so they’re a bit of fun, something a little different for the racing season.
CLAIRE: They sound like they’d be a great alternative to a hat.
CLEA: Yeah, they’re just really girly and pretty!
CLAIRE: So you were always into fashion when you were growing up, but studied marketing at university – what inspired you to take the leap into fashion design?
CLEA: I really like making things. And I like the idea that you can have a different perspective on something, and I guess that’s the most exciting thing about Limedrop – our perspective on fashion. [Originally Nathan and I] studied marketing together in Brisbane, but Nathan was the one that encouraged me to study fashion. So I put together my folio and applied for that. And I’d always wanted my own label.
CLAIRE: And after you got into fashion you and Nathan realised that you could be better as a team?
CLEA: Yeah definitely, [Nathan’s] has a really great business grounding and thinks innovatively about marketing, and I think that’s been the key to Limedrop’s success. We want to have genuine interactions with our customers and offer them something that they’ll really like, and that they can have in their wardrobe for a really long time. I can imagine myself when I’m sixty wearing the cloud blazer, and you could have that any time of your life, and [Limedrop] is about those key special pieces.
CLAIRE: So when you’re thinking about creating those ‘special pieces,’ what’s your creative process like – do you and Nathan work together?
CLEA: In the past we’ve designed together, but… I’m doing more of the designing now and taking a bit of the marketing on as well… So it’s exciting times.
CLAIRE: It sounds like you’ve got a lot coming up! What else are you up to right now?
CLEA: We’ve just been selected for the Australian Fashion Excellence Showcase in London, so I’m going to London Fashion Week! We are part six Australian designers that are going over and then were also going to Beijing where there’s another showcase there, so that’ll be cool.
CLAIRE: And will you be appearing at MSFW this year?
CLEA: Yeah, we’re doing MSFW on the 7th September and our show is Designer Runway three, and we’ll also be speaking at one of the business forums. Then on the 8thSeptember I’m off to Paris and London, and Beijing on the 15th.
CLAIRE: It looks like anything is possible for Limedrop!
CLEA: Yeah, it’s pretty exciting!
Limedrop’s SS 2012/13 collection will be in stock in the next two weeks, and you can find Limedrop in Melbourne at Lenko, Milly Sleeping and Archie, in Sydney at Capital L or online at Pitbull Mansion, The Old Scholar, Stylemilk, Distant Room, Comeback Kid and http.www.limedrop.com.au.