FashFest Designer Profile – Rockstars and Royalty
by The Editor
This article is part of an ongoing series showcasing local fashion designers who will appear at FashFest from 1 – 4 May 2013.
Designer Profile 5 – Rockstars and Royalty
Sumptuous. Glamourous. Outrageous. These are many of the words that can be used to describe Vicky Kidd-Gllichan’s take on Victorian corsetry. We first discovered her work at a Wedding Fair back in 2009, and were captivated by her bold take on bridal gowns in a city not known for its flair. Here’s a quick snapshot from the label’s website:
Whether you’re after a classic ivory wedding dress or a bold, colourful modern gown; some vintage Hollywood glamour or some rock star extravagance, Vicky will use her expertise to create a gown or corset that reflects your personality and is uniquely yours. Having a Rockstars and Royalty gown or corset made is a true couture experience, with everything designed, cut, sewn, fitted and hand finished by Vicky in her Canberra studio. – rockstarsandroyalty.com.au
We approached Vicky with a list of 20 questions in order to discover more about her history, her influences and her inspiration. By the time you’ve made your way through Rockstars and Royalty’s responses you’ll know a lot more about some of Canberra’s more extravagant designers.
1. My name is: Vicky Kidd-Gallichan
2. My label is called: Rockstars and Royalty
3. I graduated in: 1998 from Buckinghamshire College with a degree in metalwork and jewellery. Sewing was only my hobby back then, although I did write my dissertation on Victorian corsetry and made my first corset while I was at college, so that’s when my passion for corsetry really started.
4. The theme of my collection is: Whimsical princesses with a rock and roll attitude.
5. The next challenge I face is: Getting the planning done for my new corset making class. This is a new venture for me. I get asked about how to make real, steel bones corsets a lot so I’ve decided to start a class. I’m still working out all the logistics, but the response so far has been really positive. I’m hoping to run the first one later this year.
6. As a child, my favourite object was: Either my Mum’s box of beads and sequins or my Nan’s bag of random buttons. When I was really little I spent lots of time sorting the beads or the buttons into colours or sizes. I’ve always been a bit oc about things being in the right groups or in the right colour order! My Mum later let me have all of her beads and sequins and taught me the basics of how to sew them onto garments. That’s probably where my love of embellishments and sparkly things started.
7. The craziest item I’ve ever designed was: My first ever corset which I made in about 1996 or 1997. I had no idea how to make a corset and back then there was no internet instruction sites or You Tube video tutorials. And for some reason I decided to make it from black, stretchy pvc which is a bad choice for a corset and not easy to sew. I’ve always liked a challenge! I modified a bodice pattern I had already made and it took me over a week to construct. It turned out pretty well considering I had no idea about steel boning and busks. I still have it to remind myself how far I’ve come.
8. My biggest personal fashion regret is: Being too big to fit in a lot of vintage clothes. I’m too tall and too large for a lot of the gorgeous 1950s dresses I see at the vintage fairs. You’d need to be really petite to fit a lot of them and I’m so jealous of the girls who can.
9. I’m inspired by: All sorts of things. Sometimes a piece of lace or fabric gives me inspiration for a new gown. Sometimes I’ll see a colour somewhere and know I have to use it
10. A model I would like to work with is: Lily Cole or pin-up model Jami Deadly. Lily Cole is a real life porcelain doll. Her hair and her skin and those beautiful eyes are just perfect. Jami Deadly is a pin-up model with the most amazing hourglass figure. She’s smoking hot!
Photographer: Robert Coppa
Styling: Penny Adams @ P.S. I love you
Model: Deirdre Crossan
Make-up: Kerry Tseros
Hair: Jessica Lewis
11. A designer I would like to collaborate with is: Mr Pearl. His work is incredible, yet he’s so allusive. I’d love to go inside his atelier and see his processes and watch how he works. I think he’s the most talented modern corsetiere.
12. The most challenging material I work with is: Anything soft and floaty, like silk chiffon or georgette is a challenge to sew, but the results are worth it. Taming yards and yards of tulle into submission when I’m making one of my huge fairytale skirts can be challenging too. I definitely have to be in the right frame of mind when I’m making one of those.
13. My favourite part of Canberra is: Watching the sun sets over the mountains. The colours and silhouettes are breathtaking.
14. If I weren’t doing this I would be: I have no idea. -this is the only thing I know. I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else. I’ve been sewing and creating gowns and corsets for clients for the past 15 years and honestly can’t imagine being happy doing anything else. I’m lucky to have found my passion in life and even luckier that I’ve been able to make a living doing it. I hope it never has to end because I’d be lost without it. I worked briefly in an alterations shop and a coffee shop when I first moved to Australia while I was getting my business up and running here and I felt so creatively stifled.
15. One thing I’ll never understand is: Anyone who voluntarily leaves their house in Ugg boots or Crocs. Life is too short for ugly shoes! If you need to be comfortable there are plenty of stylish shoes to choose from.
16. If my designs were a holiday destination they would be: The Ice Hotel. It’s beautiful and magical and every year it’s different. I never make the same gown twice.
17. A fashion trend that should never return is: One that hasn’t left yet! Leggings or tights as trousers. It’s not flattering, it’s lazy and you just look like you’ve forgotten to put your skirt on! Although it does give me a good laugh. I especially like them when they’re stretched so tight that you can see the pattern of their underwear. Just add a pair of uggs to complete my most hated look!
18. Someone who is always well dressed is: Gwen Stefani or Dita von Teese. They always look amazing and immaculate, and always do their own thing. I love people with their own style, not those who do what the magazines say you should do or wear. I love how Dita uses vintage pieces and how Gwen can incorporate something unexpected into an outfit but totally rock it. Plus they’re both older than me which gives me inspiration for not having to compromise on style and individuality as I get further through my 30s! Actually let’s add Zandra Rhodes to the list too. She’s in her seventies and still rocking her pink hair and her distinctive style. I hope I’m still doing the same at that age!
19. The last thing I read was: I’m into biographies and autobiographies at the minute. I’ve recently read Ozzy Osbourne, INXS, Richard Branson, Steven Tyler, Motley Crue and Slash and I’m reading one on Queen at the minute. Richard Branson’s was very inspiring. He’s such a risk taker. Motley Crue and Slash just made me want to hop in a time machine to LA in the early 80s. Expect some leopard print in a new gown very soon. I love the 80s!
20. Love my work? You can buy my designs at: My gowns and corsets are only available through my Canberra studio. They’re all one-offs made to order. My jewellery and fascinators are available through my studio or in Shop Handmade in Civic. You can also find me at the Handmade Market or the Burlesque Bazaar.
The contact details.