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. 

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?
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  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!

Alice McCall BackstageQuick Fire:
Coffee or Tea?

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
Alice McCall BackstageFavourite 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


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.

  • Mariann Yip

    All your pictures are amazing! I love hearing about a designers inspirafkon so thanks for interviewing him and sharing this babes!

  • Mariann Yip

    That’s so amazing that you were able to interview Alice McCall! I love seeing what inspires a designer so it’s great to get the back story. All of the pieces are gorgeous and I’m especially loving the photos!

  • Jessie Li (4evajessie)

    I have to say, I’m so proud of the Aussie designers!! Not because I’m from Aus =P coz they truly are so amazing! I love Alice McCall! Her dresses are so bold and edgy, truly speaks the voice of the modern young women! So lucky that you get to interview her bae!


  • OMG I have always loved Alice McCall’s pieces and these photos captured her collection so beautifully! I am really loving her feminine pastel dresses as they are perfect for the current and upcoming season. It’s amazing that you got to interview and learn more about her. I can totally relate with her on her answer about finding inspiration when all creativity is lost — brainstorming is always a good way to get the inspiration going again and creating great pieces (and content in our case)! Hope you’re having a great week Helen! xoxo, sharon


  • Thomas Falkenstedt

    It’s so interesting to get up, close and personal with a designer, especially when she’s been busy during FW Australia, but Alice had me at Marie Antoinette and ostrich feathers truly were the highest of fashion back then so her collection is superb and I’d love to see both her show, but also meet her in person as she seems lovable and in the quick ones we almost answered the same on all (except I want to be Simba, haha). Thank you for such a personal interview and letting us getting to know Alice McCall a bit better.


  • I seriously can’t believe you got the chance to sit down with Alice McCall. That’s an incredible opportunity! I loved learning more about her. She sounds so light-hearted and fun. I think it’s so cool how she’s dressed so many iconic women and how she’s so humble about it! So neat to find inspiration from people like her! Also, she’s a cat person like me which makes me happy haha!

    Stephanie // SheSawStyle.com

  • Christine

    What an amazing opportunity to interview Alice McCall. Talk about a pinch me moment. I literally was swooning over that ostrich dress/jacket and the dreamy gowns are just so stunning. She seems full of energy and positivity and I love how grounded she appears. She is a true inspiration and I would love to one day wear one of her pieces. Thanks for this interview and letting us get to know her better. xoxo, Christine

  • Bernice Abuan

    It’s so amazing that you got to have an interview with Alice McCall! I can’t go outside without spotting someone wearing one of her incredible designs at my favourite Sydney party spots! It’s so cute too that even a woman as amazing as Alice is also a Beyonce fan haha


  • Marcy Yu

    Such a cool experience interviewing the designer Helen!! Such a fan of the brand and love their feminine and cute pieces!
    LOVE the quick fire questions so much fun hahaha


  • Oh my goodness what a gorgeous collection! Great interview, Helen! Alice McCall sounds like my kind of girl – she loves vintage and London, as do I 🙂 I think I’ve found my next favorite designer.

    xo, Jo

  • Jenn Hanft

    This is such a gorgeous collection!! I loved reading more into Alice McCall. It’s crazy how much info you got out of just 10 minutes!! The quick fire questions are gold.

    With love, Jenn

  • Candace

    Interviewing designers is the best because you get to see firsthand how their minds work and you get some one-on-one inspiration as well. I would love the opportunity to speak to Alice one day myself. She has such a pleasant personality!


  • Helen, this is an amazing interview with Alice!! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, learning about her latest collection for Fashion Week and what her inspirations are behind her work. The one word questions were fun to read too 🙂

  • Deddeh Howard

    This is an amazing interview Helen. I have never heard of this designer but I’m in love with her collection.

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