From seemingly the beginning of time, fashion has coalesced around a few capitals: Paris, New York, Milan, London, Tokyo. But as Internet has opened the world, we’ve seen an outpouring of creativity in apparel, showcasing the quirks and traditions of places far beyond those major nodes. India, Scandinavia, and Australia are thoroughly on the map, and Latin America and Africa are experience something of their own fashion renaissances. Still, noteworthy lines from more far-flung and remote regions remain a real rarity.
This makes us all the more excited to introduce Georgia Alice for SS15, the eponymous line from New Zealand native Georgia Alice Currie. Working from Auckland — a city known more for its outstanding coffee than forwarding fashion — she designs the line with the principle that “within every outfit, there should be something jarring or at least a clash — basically an element of interest.” The label’s current collection, DUNEY, is now in store and features frayed silks and denims, exaggerated silhouettes and evocative names like “Priest Shirt” and “Captor’s Dress.” The names bring to mind a mix of pirate anarchy, escapism, the sea and New Zealand itself to top off one of the most original, well-considered collections we’ve seen all year. Most pieces are even NZ-made.
Alice spoke with us about making in her country, which she describes as the most beautiful in the world, her creative process, and what she does when not working on the label.
- Hometown: Christchurch, New Zealand
- Current location: Auckland, New Zealand
How do you take your coffee?
This depends entirely on my mood.
What’s your Sunday ritual?
Sleep-ins, breakfasts out, walks, friends, and breathing.
Describe your style in a few words.
Denim, shirts, black, white, grey.
Tell us a little about your background and yourself.
I was originally studying to be a ballerina until I was 18 years old, and then I quit. Fashion was my next challenge and I am so happy that I went down this path.
How did Georgia Alice get its start?
This all began when one day I just decided “I want these clothes in my life” — the clothes I loved and wanted to wear. I decided to start a brand, make them and go for it…
Tell us about life in New Zealand. What’s your neighborhood like?
Oh, New Zealand is the most beautiful place on earth – it’s super for relaxation. I can walk 20 minutes and be at a beach or I can drive 3 hours and be in the Coromandel. You should look it up, and it’s the most magical place…
My current neighborhood is called Ponsonby. It’s kind of like a little hub near the center of Auckland. All my friends live here or in the surrounding suburbs, which I love. I am, however, about to move to Newton, which is more industrial and this is where I will be living at my new GA headquarters. APARTMENT LIVING!!! I am not sure how I will cope without a garden, but there is a park just down the street.
Anything particularly local about the brand? Do you think it would be any different if you were based in, say, Melbourne or London or L.A.?
I think living in New Zealand helps keep things grounded. Having the space, I do here helps me collate ideas and hides me away from distractions. This allows me to be completely focused and in a GA world.
Is it a challenge to have things made in NZ?
Sometimes it can feel a little isolating, but mostly I just feel lucky to be able to do what I love from NZ and it still be supported overseas.
There’s something so tactile about the SS15 collection — the wools, the layering, the thick denim, the raw-edged silk. What’s the thinking behind it?
Dynamic textures are my favorite to play with, as opposed to pushing color: the finer details are more interesting, textures create levels and interest, like fireworks… its little explosions happening throughout the range.
Tell us a little about your creative process. Where do you find inspiration? How do you start a new design?
It’s a mixture of things… films, music, and travel. I wish I made more time to slow down and read, but inspiration tends to kind of just find me and like lightening, I start a new range.
What do you do when not working on Georgia Alice?
I like to swim, be near the ocean. So in summer, I spend most of my time exploring beaches or splashing about in pools and playing with friends. I guess GA is kind of my most favorite thing to do – so even if I am “not working,” it’s always there and I am always thinking about it.