alice McCALL is an eclectic brand with a playful sensibility, using unique detailing and charming folk-like craftsmanship to create charismatic modern keepsake collections.
McCall started as a stylist in London where she then began designing and selling one-off silk pieces at markets in London and quickly gained a fan base. The eponymous brand was born in 2004, where the label launched at Australian Fashion Week.
We interviewed Alice for AUST. Magazine on her 2018 Resort Collection, Bon Bon, which she showcased at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week this year.
“Shiny. Crackle. Pop. The intoxicating movement of smoke grey ostrich feathers, shot through with silver ribbon. Something precious scrunched up in black and gold Devoré. Hems rising. Sleeves ruching. Split skirts swishing.” – alice McCALL Resort 17/18 BON BON.
INSPIRATION BEHIND THE COLLECTION?
I am constantly inspired by vintage pieces that I find on my travels – whether it be in LA, London, Paris. The collection nods to the times of Marie Antoinette and the opulence from the rococo movement through the Parisian pastels, textures and silhouettes.
WHY IS IT CALLED BON BON?
The story of BON BON came to life as we were designing – we created such sweet, feminine, pastel-coloured pieces along with the detailing such as the ruches and ties, which ended up looking just like a little French candy shop.
IF BON BON WAS A PERSON, HOW WOULD THEY INTRODUCE THEMSELVES?
WHERE DO WE FIND THE ALICE MCCALL GIRL WEARING BON BON AND WHAT IS SHE DOING?
The alice girl has a keen sense of fun and someone who likes to stand out from the crowd. She would be cavorting through the south of France with her friends, sipping on cocktails and having a ball.
TALK US THROUGH YOUR DESIGN PROCESS.
When designing a new collection, it’s important for us to look at styles, silhouettes and fabrics that have sold well in the past. We (the design team) work together to brainstorm and bounce ideas off each other regarding new and exciting cuts, fabrications, prints and colours. A lot of pinning, tucking and draping is involved in the creative process. From here, silhouettes are passed on to my pattern and dress makers to create toiles that we continuously evolve each day. Eventually this turns in to a sample made out of the correct colour and fabric which we then fit on our fit models in house to finesse the designs. Finally, we get together with our production, retail and wholesale teams to discuss any issues, functionality, pricing etc to make sure that the garment we are creating is perfect.
WHAT’S SOMETHING NEW IN THIS COLLECTION THAT ALICE MCCALL HASN’T DONE BEFORE?
The premium silk organza gowns; and the ostrich feather pieces.
DESCRIBE THE VISION FOR THE RUNWAY SHOW.
The runway definitely had a hint of mid-century modernity to it. We had a vision of the alice McCALL archetypal rock chick running wild and letting loose in her socialite mother’s closet. A little bit sweet, but also with that rock edge.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOURSELF IF YOU STARTED IN FASHION ALL OVER AGAIN?
I often tell my two girls to be courageous, kind and compassionate and to never lose your imagination. I would let myself know that there is a lot of hard work ahead, but to always have fun whilst doing it.