Ten Minutes with Australian Designer: Alice McCall

You may have seen our coverage earlier last week on her Resort 17/18 collection but we managed to grab Alice McCall for a quick ten minute Q&A in the chaos of Fashion Week and hear about what continues to inspire her. 

Ten Minutes with Alice McCall

Where did you find the inspiration behind your current collection? Is there a story behind how the idea came to life? Alice McCall Resort 17/18
I was inspired by Marie Antoinette and the opulent Rococo movement. The story of BON BON came to life as we were designing we created such sweet, feminine, pastel-coloured pieces along with the ruched detailing, which ended up looking just like French candy.    


Tell us about your favourite piece of the collection you are showcasing.
The Ostrich feather story is definitely a favourite of mine. It was such a show stopper on the runway and also an amazing creative process to design this story with my team. I love the texture and drama it brings to BON BON, but also the airiness and softness of the pieces.


What’s the hardest thing about putting together a runway show?Alice McCall Resort 17/18
The mayhem in the lead up to the show – all the work and long hours my team do would probably be the hardest part of putting it all together.


What is the best piece of advice that you have ever received and who was it from?
My mother. She has always been an inspiration to me. It wasn’t so much the advice that she has given me, but more so her unique-free spirited attitude towards life and fashion. This resonated with me growing up and has taught me to develop me own personal style and identity through clothes and my designs.


Alice McCall Resort 17/18 Backstage  Alice McCall Resort 17/18 Backstage

Alice McCall Resort 17/18 RunwayHow do you find your inspiration on those off days where we just don’t feel creative?
Brainstorming with my team always helps to get all the ideas flowing. Also rummaging through our vintage archive closet!


What has been the hardest thing you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you do it?
To be completely honest, for me my work isn’t a challenge. Every day I love what I do and yes, there are always hurdles but with the right attitude, these obstacles give you a chance for growth and continue to make me and my brand stronger.


If you hadn’t become such an iconic Australian designer, where do you think you’d be right now? What would you be doing?
I think I’d still be styling in London. I spent 10 years over there styling the likes of Kate Moss and Destiny’s Child. I loved visiting London and have many fond memories at the Portobello Markets, where I spent a lot of my time when I was living there.


If you had to choose one label to live in (aside from your own) for the rest of your life, who/what would it be and why?
I would love to live in designer vintage. I can’t choose one particular designer – I love an array and mixing and matching designer with vintage.

Alice McCall Backstage

Tell us about a pinch me moment of yours.

When I first saw Beyonce wearing Alice McCall pieces towards the end of last year. It is so special and humbling when I see strong and beautiful women wearing my pieces.


Describe yourself in three words. Light-hearted, a creative soul & full of energy.


What is your spirit animal and why? A rag doll kitten, because they are fun, playful and loving.  


If you were stranded on an island – name five things you’d bring and who would you want to be stuck on that island with?
Wouldn’t want to choose anyone except my two girls to be stuck on an island with. I would bring a pen & paper to sketch with, SK-II face moisturizer, a bikini and my phone!

Quick Fire:

Alice McCall Backstage

Coffee or Tea? Both!
Pizza or Pasta? Pasta
Dogs or Cats? Cats
New York or Paris? Paris
Summer or Winter? Summer
Taylor Swift or Beyonce? Beyonce
Valentino or Balenciaga? Valentino
Favourite fragrance? London Peony by Jo Malone
Favourite Netflix series? Abstract: The Art of Design
Best concert you’ve attended? Mary J Blige earlier this year was incredible!
Most interesting read? Vivienne Westwood’s autobiography
Favourite city in the world? London
Best Disney film? Pocahontas
If you could be a Disney princess who would you be? Ariel
What super power would you like to have? To fly


Photography: by Ivy Erlinger shot for HelenChik.com

Alice McCall Resort 17/18 Runway


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Helen Chik is a Sydney based fashion, beauty, travel and lifestyle digital content creator and influencer sharing everything from unique style to her adventures around the world through her rainbow tinted lenses.