Walking into Lady Petrova‘s Flinders Lane store is like being inside a real life doll house. From the whimsical staircase in the centre, the delightful treasures hidden around (including Clueless-printed candles!), to the amazing unicorn mural created by Jessica Singh, every inch of the space lures you in and beckons you to unleash your inner Lady. What better place then, to play dress up with owner/designer, and eponymous namesake, Lady Petrova Hammond and chat about her favourite pieces in her wardrobe?
After launching her label, finishing as second runner up in the debut season of Project Runway Australia, and having dressed style icon Lana Del Rey, Petrova has achieved an amazing amount since 2007, and is continuing to grow her label, having just launched her online boutique, which received so much traffic on opening day, the server crashed.
Welcoming us in with a bubbly ‘how are you, darlings?’, Petrova quickly demonstrated that she is the embodiment of her label, happily discussing the pieces that she loves, and what is must-haves in her closet; the first of which is the stunning ‘Kingdom Come’ jumpsuit from her label she’s wearing. “It’s reversible, so sometimes when I’m out, I’ll run to the bathroom and have a quick change!”, she laughs.
As Lorde plays over the speakers, soundtracking our morning, Petrova shows us around her space. Omnipresent throughout the store, (and perched on top of her head) are the fabulous flower crowns made up of lush flowers of every size imaginable and are made by Lady Petrova’s mother, affectionately referred to as Queen Jillian. During our visit, Petrova interchanges between large rose crowns, to delicate daisy headbands, mentioning that they are a definite staple in her wardrobe.
Other pieces Petrova points out as favourites from her latest collection, Sisters of the Crown, including the ‘You Shall Be Queen’ dress, a floral shift with detachable cape, and the very beautiful ‘Precious Petals’ organza cape, filled with petals and perfect for trans-seasonal weather. “I love a good cape!” she adds. The idea of casing the petals within the capes lining came from inspiration taken from the Edwardian and Victorian practice of trapping secret messages within items.
All ladies love accessories, and Petrova is no different. The store boasts a huge collection of jewellery, bags and clutches (including a super fun tennis ball clutch), as well as shoes and beauty products. Petrova points out the ‘Coco’ heels, a collaboration between herself and Alex & Alex. Designed specifically for the Lady Petrova lady, the heels come in a matte lilac and patent leather apricot style, and an on-trend holographic snakeskin and turquoise leather style.
What makes a lady’s outfit complete is the perfect shade of lipstick, and as the first Australian stockist of cult favourite Lime Crime, there’s plenty of shades to choose from in the boutique. Petrova’s favourite shade is Airborne Unicorn, a blend falling between purple and pink.
When asked about how she curates her wardrobe, Petrova answered very honestly, stating that she mainly wears her own label, because she “doesn’t really like shopping” and is happier spending her time designing, and watching crime shows. “I call it, ‘crime-ing, wining, and designing'”, she says with a laugh. “People probably wouldn’t expect me to like [crime documentaries], but I think you need a balance”.
All of Lady Petrova’s designs are made in limited runs to prevent any same-dress-at-the-party nightmares, with some designs one in 20, and others like the ‘Mermaid Has No Tears’ dress, an aquamarine dream with a delicate pearl beaded neckline, are one in ten; adding to their specialness.
All of Petrova’s favourite pieces and wardrobe staples are available on the new e-boutique, at ladypetrova.com, and in store, which you’ll find at 3/237 Flinders Lane in the CBD. Be warned though, you’ll want to spend all day (and your credit limit) in her whimsical, fashionable dollhouse.
Images courtesy of Jacob Medina