What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
I have had so many highlights and it feels like each year I have two or three amazing things happen, it is very difficult to pinpoint one specific event.
If I take the past couple of years, the highlights have been being chosen by CNN to have a three-part documentary made on my creative process and the way travel inspires and informs my design decisions. We filmed one part in India. When it aired it was watched by 23 million viewers worldwide.
Also being chosen from 25 designers to design the Air New Zealand uniform and although it is not high fashion, I found it a hugely creative challenge that I am proud of. Of course, having international celebrities buy and wear my clothing has always been a buzz, as they can wear anything by anybody but they have chosen to buy mine.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Inspiration comes from many conscious and unconscious influences. Places or people that touch me in some way. I am especially inspired by vintage fabrics with handwork not seen in contemporary fabric. Embellished and bejewelled historical garments and construction techniques; iconic women of history (Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn); travelling and all the sights, the sounds, the landscape, the culture, the architecture; watching people; visiting art galleries; going to live theatre; all music and movies (both contemporary and historical).
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is eclectic, usually with a dynamic tension between hard edge and soft - for instance a strong jacket shape with a soft piece underneath. It is romantic, detailed, layered and textured.
I love the theatre of fashion and sometimes my style reflects this.
What is the favourite piece of clothing you own?
It is very difficult to pinpoint just one piece but I love jackets and coats and have kept many from previous collections. If I have to choose, I would say my red stain opera coat that is heavily beaded and embellished.
What is your best piece of fashion advice?
Only wear it if it makes you feel fantastic.
What other designers are you looking forward to seeing at NZ Fashion Week?
I love Stolen Girlfriends Club, Ruby, Zambesi - and I'm thrilled to see Cybele back at Fashion Week this year.