The Event: Limedrop Store Launch
There’s been a lot of movement in Melbourne’s fashion and retail scene of late, much of it controversial: H&M’s big move in to the GPO that saw displacement of a host of independent retail brands, not to mention this week’s headlines focussed on fashion labour laws and wage debates.
But shifting landscapes also allow for new growth, and the opening of designer Clea Garrick’s first permanent retail space for her much-loved local label, Limedrop, at the base of the Nicholas Building certainly signifies the unfurling of a new frond.
Clea: “This is such an iconic Melbourne creative space because of its continuing history housing artists in its studios upstairs, and we really want to be part of that. It’s our flagship store and, with the big retailers moving in to the Melbourne market, you get this same-same of interiors that – while gorgeous and on trend – sometimes feel that they don’t contain the brand essence. For us, it was important that the space could be a blank canvas for our collections while maintaining an openness to fun and colour and the idea that anything is possible: we wanted to make that the signature handwriting of Limedrop.”
The expression of Clea’s brand and retail philosophy has resulted in a design utilising the best of the building’s bones – the Art Deco balustrade, curved concrete walls and brass door hinges – while keeping the rest somewhat stripped back. Character is there, of course, in a softening vertical garden and the geometric shapes contained within racks that reach to the ceiling, drawing the eye up to lighten and expand the space.
It is indeed a backdrop well suited to showcase the designs characterised by Clea’s use of electric digital prints and silhouettes that communicate both Limedrop’s contemporary styling and strong sense of playful irreverence.
Clea: “The nice thing about having a retail store is having a sense of permanency. It’s taken a lot of thought, but the result has been well worth it.”