Wellington Fashion Week is just around the corner! After the buzz of the Winter Showcase, I had the chance to meet with Shiana Weir, designer of the label Mardle in a more relaxed environment last week for some coffee and OJ.
The Wellington-based designer juggles full time work with managing and designing Mardle - talk about dedication! We discussed her preparation for Wellington Fashion Week, inspiration behind her collection and her tips and tricks for how to stay organised with such a hectic schedule.
Where did your love for fashion design come from? I was taught to sew when I was younger and it all really started from there, I chose to study a Bachelor of Design with a major in fashion and minor in textiles to keep going with my love for fashion.
I loved the Winter Showcase and seeing your looks come down the runway, what was the influence and inspiration behind your collection? Seeing that Wellington gets so cold in the Winter – I wanted the winter collection to be quite comfortable while also office appropriate. (What I love most about Mardle!)
What would you say would be your greatest personal and professional achievement so far? Definitely my first Wellington Fashion Week last year, 2012. Where I went from a few pieces to an entire collection from scratch. I knew creating a whole collection would give Mardle a better chance at being stocked in more New Zealand boutiques.
You’ve gone from a couple of pieces to entire collections.. what is your vision for Mardle in the future? It would be for Mardle to be a well-known New Zealand label and exporting overseas – but to always keep production here in New Zealand. I’m currently balancing full-time work with Mardle part-time. I’d like to take Mardle full-time soon.
I bet you’re very busy juggling all sorts – what would you say would be your time management secrets? I fit Mardle into my spare time, so after work and weekends I work on the brand. I already know that twice a year it’s full on chaos so I’m always prepared for the late nights – I had to learn how to manage my time and I am still learning. For stress management, I prepare myself for the big events and I know my working style. I use a month to month view in my planner and I am a LIST FREAK – I draw up my to-do list on a big A3 size paper and use a big fat vivid to cross them off when I get something done. Best. feeling. ever.
What would be your most favourite bit about being in the fashion industry? Freedom for my creativity and having a growing network of peers in the Wellington fashion scene who are in the same boat. Really helpful!
Any last words for those who want to get into fashion design but don’t really know how to take the first step? Have big vision and take little steps to get there. I thought of my vision back in 2008 and still going with my little steps. Think smart too – don’t just drop everything and think it’ll all come to you over night, take courses, ask for help & advice, make a plan.. but be willing to revise it.. often. And try things.. try lots of ideas and don’t beat yourself up when things don’t work first time. Sometimes they do, but mostly you’ve gotta get the ideas out of your head and into fabric before you can really see what needs to be done.
(Photo credits to Ella Trotter)
Shiana is getting ready for Wellington Fashion Week which is jsut around the corner – check out the show and get your tickets here if you want to see the new collection alongside other amazing designers
Follow Mardle’s updates on facebook, twitter and her website http://www.mardle.co.nz/