An Interview with Fashion Designer Lois Hazel
JULIET INTERVIEWS LOIS HAZEL
TJR: Who are you?
LH: Lois Hazel
TJR: So what do you do?
LH: I make clothing for women that’s all made in Melbourne and we try to be as sustainable and responsible for what we release into the world.
As I grow hopefully I can commit to more sustainable practices.
TJR: Have you always thought about that, from the start?
LH: When I started the brand, yes, but during university, I wasn’t aware of it. It was actually going through uni that I was made aware of it and then I was like 'oh my gosh'.
TJR: Is this your first fashion show?
LH: No, but it’s our first one on our premium show!
TJR: What are you most excited about?
LH: Saturday night!!
TJR: your show!
LH: Our show, and the new collection.
TJR: Do you want to tell me a bit about that?
LH: Yes! So it’s called Transverse, it’s our seventh collection. The first drop is dropping on Saturday and it looks at movement around the body and trying to let the fabric move with the female form.
TJR: Who's your favourite Australian designer, do you have one?
LH: I don’t know if I have one, there’s a few, even my peers in the design world. But then if you look at the big stage, I love what Ellery do, just all their silhouettes and Bassike. International, there’s this one I’ve recently started following and I’ve completely forgotten her name but she’s really good.
It’s true as a fashion designer I should know more but I tend not to look to fashion for inspiration
TJR: does Melbourne fashion mean to you?
LH: Local. It’s like a little family. When you get things made from here, people are proud of that and you have a community. But in Melbourne, I feel like you can be anyone you want to be and you can express that in any way you want through what you wear. I feel like Melbourne’s very accepting like other city’s might not be. You can walk down Fitzroy and you see someone who’s from Fitzroy, you go to Richmond you see someone from Richmond. Every little pocket of Melbourne has a really distinctive look which is really interesting. It’s unique.
TJR: Where is your favourite place to hang when you’re not at a fashion show?
LH: My studio. Or at home
TJR: Where do you get your fashion inspo from?
LH: From fabric.
TJR: Is that where your creative process begins?
LH: Every collection. I have to find the fabric. And I always go through the same stress when I start a collection because I freak out. But, I will go to my fabric suppliers and as soon as I find at least just one textile it will start from there. I need it. Once you touch it and feel it, you’re like 'this can be that', and it comes to life in your brain.
TJR: Where’s your favourite area to go shopping in Melbourne?
LH: I don’t go shopping, ever. I only wear my stuff and I never have the disposable income at the moment to go shopping.
TJR: It's so great that you wear your own clothes! It shows that you love them. And I love that everytime I bump into you I always see you wearing your collection.
It’s really funny when I design pieces that I don’t necessarily wear. And as I grow I’m going to start appealing more to my customer and it’s going to be quite interesting, but now if I don’t wanna wear it I find it hard to really own that design. But every collection I’ve designed, I will wear every single piece from it. Because I want to test it, wash it.
TJR: What is your favourite piece of fashion that you own?
LH: when I used to work at a fabric store I made this gingham dress and it’s a cotton flannel. My husband hates it. It’s oversized, lined in a cotton voile and it’s so comfy and if I don’t care or am doing nothing important I will put that dress on. It’s just comfortable.
If I go somewhere and I’m not comfortable I will be in a bad mood all night.
TJR: how would you describe your everyday style or you can answer it in terms of your brand?
LH: Comfort is a huge thing when designing. I like to design pieces that people can wear from morning to evening, but also feel comfortable in. Which is the reason why I love heels but I never wear them because I can’t run in them. You know, these moments where you want to do something but you’re limited by it because of what you’re wearing.
So I guess with my personal style, I always want to wear something that I feel good in it but I’m also comfortable.
TJR: I can see that in your collections. They are comfortable but they look so good!
LH: My favourite thing is when I hear customers and the joy that they get. They come back and are like 'every time I wear one of your pieces I always get stopped'. And you see how they get really happy because they feel pride in their clothing and I get excited about that. Which is really nice.
One of the things I want to do is, I want people to have their items with them for multiple seasons. It’s not about designing for one trend. It’s about being able to go through each range and look back and go oh I can still wear that with her new collection and not go, oh that’s old season I’m going to give it away. It’s like keeping each piece.
You can find Lois Hazel at LOIS HAZEL