Thanks to the never-ending creative minds of two sisters, Lizzy and Spelly, lovers of fashion everywhere can finally hold a piece of otherworldly wonderland in their hands. We’re talking about the gorgeous hand-crafted gypsy creations of Spell which have woven their way into the hearts of the TTB gals. We just had to delve into the minds of the ladies who brought such unique designs to the fashion world, so we shot a few questions their way. Here’s a glimpse inside the brains of Spell’s designers: Lizzy and Spelly!
1. What was the first thing you ever designed?
We bought some vintage sheep leather and a huge python skin when we were teenagers – they were both a gorgeous dusty salmon colour – and we made a handbag. We kept it for sentimental reasons for ages until we sold it in the shop last year – it was weird, we tried to explain the sentimentality to the customer, but they didn’t really care! Haha.
2. Who do you design for? Life style? Age group?
We’re always surprised at the different types of people who appreciate our designs – the one thing our customers usually have in common is an appreciation for hand-made pieces in natural, earthy materials.
3. Who would you love to see in your designs? A specific celebrity (past/present), public figure, fictional character (cartoon/movies/books)?
It’s funny, it used to be celebrities like Kate Moss or Sienna Miller – but now we get so excited seeing Spell worn by our favorite fashion bloggers. When you follow someone’s personal style day-by-day and then you see them in your own designs it’s a real blast!
4. In general, who do you think is more of a force in selling clothes: Runway Models or Celebrities?
I think fashion is most influential when someone wears something of his or her own accord. It’s one thing to see a model wearing a piece because she’s paid to – or a celebrity wearing something that’s obviously been suggested by a stylist, but when a celebrity, model or even a blogger has conviction in their own style, it’s that integrity that makes an outfit become desirable to others!
5. When developing a new collection, which statement best describes your thought process A.What do people want to wear? Or B. What do I want people to wear?
I have to say C. What do we want to wear? We usually design things that we want to wear ourselves and hope that there are others out there that share our passion. That’s why we connect so well with our customers and blog readers – creatively, they have similar tastes to us!
6. Which makes you more tingly inside: A. Seeing your designs on celebrities/runway/magazines? B. Seeing your designs worn on the streets.
You’d think we’d try to be super-cool uber-aloof designers, but when we see someone wearing Spell, we usually squeal! It’s quite embarrassing really! So it’s probably better for us to see it in a magazine or on a blog in the privacy of our own home – then we can squeal as loud as we want!
7. Favorite fashion faux pas by a celebrity?
I must say that the only place I really judge a celebrity on their fashion sense is on the red carpet – and even then I usually think as long as they’re staying true to their own style “power to them!” I guess the biggest fashion faux pas is probably going against your own intuition and blindly following a stylist!
9. What’s the best perk you’ve gotten from being a fashion designer? Favorite celebrity meet-n-greet? Free cup coffee at Starbucks?
Ha ha, we don’t have Starbucks here in Byron – and we certainly don’t get free coffees! But the best thing is getting emails from young designers, students or bloggers telling us that our designs and photo shoots are an inspiration to them. It’s definitely the best part so far!
11. What city/country has the best style?
Lately we’ve loved the style coming out of LA. Ashley from Purse n’ Boots captures it best I think – a smattering of decadent high end labels, emerging designers and bohemian vintage, all tied up with a laid-back style you can only get in California.
12. What advice would you give to an aspiring designer? Something you wish someone would’ve told you.
Before I started Spell with my sister, I already had an overwhelming affinity for turquoise – I used to ask people “how can I make a living working with turquoise?” I spoke of my passion to the owner of a shop in Sydney who specialized in importing Native American jewellery and he said it would be too hard and too expensive to make a living from my passion. How wrong he was! To an aspiring designer, I’d say if you have something that lights a fire within your belly, follow it!
13. Are there certain cultures that inspire you to make certain designs?
When you live close to nature, adornment tends to come from what’s immediately around you. In Hawaii, sea shells and tropical flowers may become your adornments, in the desert of New Mexico – feathers or turquoise, in the ancient walled city of Jaisalmer – brightly coloured silk textile and so on. For most of us however, we’re surrounded by buildings, concrete and computers – Spelly and I love to look to indigenous cultures still living close to nature and borrow from their aesthetics.
14. If you could describe your line in just one word, what would it be?
15. What is the hardest part about being a fashion designer?
At the moment, for Spelly, it’s being a new mum. Designing takes a lot of time and focus – and Texas takes a lot of her time at the moment!
16. Do you prefer photoshoots in a studio or in a natural setting? Why?
Definitely in a natural setting! For us, shoots are about inspiration, colour, nature and spontaneity.
17. If you could do a photo shoot anywhere, where would it be? Anywhere. No limits.
Without a doubt, our dream shoot would be in the deserts of New Mexico or Arizona. It would be all sunsets, cactus, coyotes and wild horses! We’re obsessed with the American landscape and the stereotype of the American road trip!
18. Which is the best way to travel? Road trips or plane trips?
Road trips!! Spell and I have hitch hiked up the entire east coast of Australia and I traveled the whole west coast of American and Mexico in a Winnebago – they were the best holidays of my life! The secret to a good road trip is to only pack your fave 3 outfits, a Fleetwood mac album, a Polaroid camera and it’s strictly the chicks only – no boyfriends allowed!
19. What is your favorite Fleetwood Mac song?
It used to be that live version of Rhiannon on the Very Best of Stevie Nicks Album – we even used it once in a fashion show (here), but when we were shooting our last photo shoot we discovered Storms! (I blogged about our discovery here) I’ve since learned how to play it (very badly) on the guitar.
20. Geoffrey Rush or Hugh Jackman?
Haha, definitely Hugh Jackman – as Wolverine.
21. Would you ever have somebody’s name tattooed on you?
Lizzy: Only my own.
22. If we looked inside your fridge, what would we find?
Lots of organic veggie’s from the Farmers Market. And chocolate.
23. If you could trade places with anyone famous, living or dead, who would it be?
Stevie Nicks, for her wardrobe.
24. You won 20 million dollars. Now what do you do?
Lizzy: Buy land here in Byron and build my dream home – and start designing our new range with no restrictions!
Spelly: Travel to every market in the world and get a million years of inspiration!
25. If you had to watch one movie for the rest of your life, which would it be and why?
For both of us, Never Ending Story – because it we’ve already watched it a thousand times and has already defined us as human beings, haha : ) and life seems better after you’ve watched it.
26. What do you do when no one is around?
Lizzy: Potter around my house, Johnny calls me pottery. And dance.
Spelly: Read magazines. Design. Sort through my design studio.
27. Lights on or off?
Lizzy: Off. Then on. Then off. On.
28. Lizzy, what is one thing Spelly doesn’t know about you?
Haha, I honestly think she knows everything!
29. Spelly, what is one thing Lizzy doesn’t know about you?
How I wash myself in the shower. Oh no we’ve had plenty of showers together because we have an outside shower in the garden… so yeah nothing!