Interview
The Life & Style of

Alice McCall

We talk inspiration and unwinding with the woman behind the label

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@LibertyLondon

She’s the London-born Australian designer who can cite Beyoncé among a slew of celebrity fans and, for Spring/Summer 2017, Alice McCall is bringing her distinctive brand of feminine charm to Liberty. Finding her footing as a sought-after stylist before launching her eponymous line in 2004, Alice McCall has ushered in a powerful take on pretty that’s anything but straitlaced: think ethereal silhouettes offset with flashes of skin, ruffling and dynamic embroidery. Here, fashion’s hottest Aussie export lets us in on the art, the icons and the escapes that contribute to her unique sense of cool.

DESCRIBE THE ALICE MCCALL GIRLThe alice McCALL girl isn’t just one particular type of girl. Our product is very eclectic and I love the idea that there is not just one defined alice McCALL woman. The brand embodies diversity. Saying that, she is definitely a woman of strength and someone who has a keen sense of fun.

WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR SS17 COLLECTION?I was inspired by the ‘granny chic’ feel, looking to muses like Iris Apfel who have that air of high-end eccentricity. I also love vintage luxe. I get a lot of inspiration from 60s and 70s designers like Ossie Clark and styling similar to vintage Halston. Studio 54 was such a powerful time for women to look sexy and strong, such as Jerry Hall and Bianca Jagger, and this is how I want women to feel wearing the SS17 collection.

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WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST ICON?My mother – I discovered fashion through her. She was a fashion designer so I grew up in the sewing room in our house, making clothes with mum. I had an Aladdin’s cave of dress-ups thanks to her – all things flamboyant and fun. My mother was in London during the 60s, designing for the Beatles and rubbing shoulders with The Rolling Stones.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE TEXTILES TO WORK WITH?I love Chantilly lace and broderie anglaise. Working with traditional French fabrics that have divine selvages is beautiful as they drape so effortlessly to make sweet dresses and playsuits.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?I love to travel around the world to flea markets and vintage trade fairs for inspiration. It can be anything from a little doily on a vintage store table to an old Victorian jacket that I can draw inspiration from. Vintage artefacts are definitely a big part of what inspires me and my designs.

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WHAT ARTISTS DO YOU ADMIRE?I recently went to a David Hockney exhibition in Melbourne. I really love his sense of colour and his modern graphic sensibility. It’s truly amazing how he uses his iPad to create the most incredible artworks.

IS THERE AN EXHIBITION/EVENT YOU’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2017?I really do want to go see the Australian Ballet. I also love the acoustics of the [Sydney] Opera House. I recently saw Nick Cave there and what’s wonderful about that space is that different genres of music all sound absolutely divine. I also saw The Stone Roses at the beginning of the year at the Opera House and am seeing Mary J Blige there later in the year.

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WHAT DO YOU DO TO UNWIND?I love to go to the Northern Beaches. I recently got back from Whale Beach. You are completely surrounded by water on that peninsula; it’s really peaceful.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO GO IN LONDON?I love the Portobello Road Market. It’s a must whenever I’m in London. I have a lot of fond memories shopping there. For a bit of peace and reflection, I love Primrose Hill. Apparently the ley lines cross at the top of the hills and this is where druids used to go hundreds of years ago to perform their rituals. It really is a spiritual haven.

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