Culture

Style insider: Q&A with designer Liz Mitchell

Article by Simply You
Top, $595, and skirt,$995, by Liz Mitchell. Necklace, $21,000, and bangle, $11,550, from Partridge Jewellers. Bracelet, $569, from Love and Object. Rings throughout, Liz’s own. Heels, $490, from Scarpa.

Liz wears: Top, $595, and skirt,$995, by Liz Mitchell. Necklace, $21,000, and bangle, $11,550, from Partridge Jewellers. Bracelet, $569, from Love and Object. Rings throughout, Liz’s own. Heels, $490, from Scarpa.

 

Designer Liz Mitchell talks to Simply You about her fashion essentials, favourite pieces and pet hates.

What does your job as a fashion designer entail?
My business has evolved over the years and the focus today is bespoke, celebrating the craft of tailoring and couture. On a typical day I have client consultations and liaise with our talented tailoring team. I oversee orders and research fabrics and trends. Social media is an ongoing interest – Pinterest is a wonderful library of ideas.

How would you describe your personal style?
My style is about comfort and ease. I love textiles and my wardrobe is full of interesting and tactile textures. I try to wear new pieces from the current collection, but I love my old favourites.

What would surprise people about your style?
The fact I love working with handmade, vintage textiles like Indian saris, Japanese kimonos and vintage lace.

Who are your fashion icons?
Madeleine Vionnet for her love of bias cut and innovative draping. Coco Chanel for her simple lines and modernity. Balenciaga for the structure and drama in his couture, and Dior for his silhouette. A contemporary favourite is Dries van Noten.

What are your fashion pet hates?
Fast fashion and offshore mass production. The true cost of this has been hidden and the awful stories of child labour, pollution and environmental impact are still unable to stop the mass consumption of these clothes. I support the slow fashion movement, thoughtful purchasing and buying New Zealand-made to keep our fashion industry alive.

How do accessories feature in your style?
I’ve always loved accessories and New Zealand has wonderful jewellery artists using our natural materials and unique Pasifika aesthetic.

What is your fashion obsession?
I love working with wool. Recently I have begun developing a handknit collection that celebrates our wonderful possum, merino, silk and alpaca yarn blends.

What’s your favourite piece?
My wool and cashmere mix chocolate peacoat. I travel and it has become my favourite because it doubles as a blanket and can be layered.

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