Other than just Smoking Lily products, our stores also carry select items from local designers. Today's interviewee is Nicole Boyer of Historia Design Co. whose Baby Cardigans, Vintage Slips, Slipper Booties and Miniature Notebooks can be found at the Milkman's Daughter in Victoria.
Q: Your items have a vintage look and feel to them, where do the materials in your products come from?
A: The Baby Cardigans are all new fabric and notions, but the cotton ruffling features reproduction vintage prints. The Slipper Booties are made from 100% wool sweaters found in second hand shops, and the slips are made from a combination of new and vintage fabrics and lace. I also use antique buttons on the Miniature Notebooks and recycled cardboard. I like using second hand or actual vintage materials because I feel it gives my work that little bit more substance. I like looking at something and thinking about all the situations the material has previously been in. Who's loved it, where's it's travelled and what experiences are in it's future.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
A: I like things that have a story behind them, and anything that has a history to it. I get a lot of ideas from vintage children's clothing and antique notions, also any piece of clothing that has pretty details. I get a lot of inspiration from the internet as well. Old patterns, books, movies, my grandparents and mom are also a continued source of inspiration.
The photo below is The Vogue book of fashion photography 1919-1979 that Nicole's mom bought for her in a thrift shop.
Q: What is your creative process?
A: When I see something that is inspiring, I draw out a sketch in my mind of how exactly I'd like to work it in with my own ideas. Eventually I refine it (make it feasible- as I can sometimes dream up some pretty over-the-top amounts of detail) and come up with a pattern. Then I lay out the fabrics and notions that I have on hand and find combinations that are complimentary. With the Slips, I like to lay out the ribbon and lace that work well together and the Baby Cardigans I match the snaps with the prints on the cotton ruffle. One of my most favourite parts of the creative process is going out and finding the materials, then again, my all time favourite is definitely the sewing.
Q: Do you have any items in the works right now?
A: I would like to make some more undergarments for women, as I have always liked really feminine undergarments, dresses and any of the old fashioned kind of stuff (like extensive amounts of undergarments suited to wearing under dresses.) The slips are getting kind of lonely; they need some friends. Also floating around in my head are ideas for men's wear. I would like to try designing a few things for men. It is such a contrast to my frilly underthings. Men's clothing also lends itself well to using materials such as plaids, wools, larger buttons, leather and metal accents, all of which I also like to work with. I have a romantic notion of dressing people up, and have always been infatuated with the way we used to dress. Perhaps in time I can bring a little of that back?