STAY WILD CHILD!
We caught up with Hansen & Gretel creative director Ainsley Hansen post-show at Australian Fashion Week to interview her on the new collection we can't get enough of!
Inspiration behind the collection?
The surf culture of the 60’s had a really strong influence on this collection and I was also inspired by the 50’s nuances of modernity and simplicity.
Why is it called Stay Wild Child?
‘Stay Wild, Child’ echoes a purposeful air with nod to activist Abbie Hoffman’s “We shall not wilt. Let a thousand flowers bloom”, expression during the counterculture era.
If Stay Wild Child was a person, how would they introduce themselves?
Image Credit: Getty
Where do we find the Hansen & Gretel girl wearing Stay Wild Child collection and what is she doing?
There are so many different ways to wear this collection, it appeals to all ages and types of personalities. The one thing everybody should be doing whilst wearing this collection is sipping a delicious cocktail in the sunshine.
Talk us through your design process.
Usually I start with a word, which generally becomes the slogan for the season. A theme is established and old and new inspiration collected. The design team then moves to fabrications, prints etc. The full design process takes about 2-3 weeks, but it is forever evolving – it’s not uncommon to add something at the eleventh hour. It’s a stressful time, but also one of the best parts of being a designer.
What’s something new in this collection that Hansen & Gretel hasn’t done before?
There were a few things that I experimented with more in this collection. Being our MBFWA Debut we really pushed certain deigns elements, exaggerated shapes and added more feminine finishes in order to elevate the overall collection. We generally keep it clean and minimalist, however it was fun to play more with prints.
Describe the vision for the runway show.
The three words we posted back stage were boyish, sexy & confident. I wanted it to be fresh and fast-paced. The set was also an important element for me. I wanted it to feel as though we were outside which is why we bumped in a cork runway and small rainforest of Tropical plants which were scattered amongst the guests.
What advice would you give yourself if you started in fashion all over again?
I went into this very young - I worked previously for other brands but running your own business is completely different to just designing. I think I would have gotten some more experience if I had my time again. I also would have taken my retail job a lot more seriously and viewed it from a design perspective. It’s the most valuable advice I could give to any aspiring fashion designer who wants to make it in the Australian industry. Work in retail and learn what sells. All of my staff, myself included, spend at least one day a week on our retail floor – it’s vital to know your customer.