If you're not already familiar with Melbourne based label 'Peggy' then its absolutely one for your list! Catering for girls aged 0-3 months to 12 years, its modern vintage aesthetic offers classic styles with an air of old fashioned whimsicality. We sat down with Simone Ryan, founder and director of Peggy, to learn more about her enviable journey in the fashion industry and the inspiration behind the new AW21 Garden Dreams collection. Unquestionably one of the most gracious and knowledge women in the children’s fashion space, we are thrilled to share with you our exclusive chat with Simone.
TP: Tell us a bit about how you first began your career in fashion? Were you always drawn to designing childrenswear?
SR: A long, long time ago at a store called Kookai on Chapel Street I met beautiful friends and a love of fashion was ignited. This lead to many different positions in the world of fashion across the globe, finally bringing me back to Melbourne to work on an amazing brand, called Paul Frank. This crazy ride was interrupted by the birth of my beautiful son Finn, and then an opportunity arose with a childrenswear brand, Littlehorn, and my agency, All the Stories Agency was born. So for the last 15 years or so, you could say I have been well and truly entrenched in the world of childrenswear! I now purely focus on Peggy, and work on individual projects within the industry.
TP: Tell us about the inspiration behind the newly launched Autumn Winter 21 collection?
SR: Actually, it was literally one strip of vintage floral embroidery I picked up in India on a trip I did pre covid. It became the basis for the blue floral print, which we had re-drawn by a beautiful friend and collaborator, Petrina Hare, and we took elements from this to develop the embroidery on the sleeve of the Rimini dress and top. From this, the collection evolved, further as we established the colour palette, fabrics and styles that would sit in each story.
TP: When designing a collection what are the first steps you take?
SR: This collection began with an idea and design from that one strip of fabric and embroidery. We then work on the colour palette, fabric designs that form the basis for each story and we then decide on shapes and fabrications. It almost becomes a puzzle! We identify gaps in the range, repeat shapes that have always worked that we are known for, or search for vintage pieces to be re-worked.
FABRIC: LENZING MODAL
TP: You have some new fabrications this season, can you share with us a bit about these and why you’ve chosen them?
SR: In a world where “sustainable” is the new buzz word in fashion and “green-washing” is rife, we are committed to being as transparent as possible. We want to be mindful, sustainable and truthful. We are really trying hard to work with sustainable fabrics and organic cottons where we can, working with high quality products that can be passed on. Lenzing Modal® is a really interesting one that we were introduced to when we were in India. It is one of the most sustainable fibres in the textile industry. It is made with beech wood, a replenishable raw material, and during production up to 95% of the chemicals used are recycled. Lenzing Modal® is CO2-neutral since the production process is integrated with cellulose recovery. This fabric was a huge hit with our models during the shoot, it is so soft… none of them wanted to take it off!
TP: What comes to mind when you think of Winter?
SR: Last winter comes to mind, when in Melbourne we were in lockdown! I cherished every minute of this tie where we all truly slowed down. Playing Monopoly with my family, having dress-up zoom drinks with friends by the fire, long cold walks rugged up at the beach. Although challenging, in hindsight stopping, slowing down and being present as a family made for an unforgettable Winter and 9 months really!!!
TP: What is your favourite piece from the collection and why?
I love all the pieces with embroidery detail. I loved working on these with our factory in India, they put so much work into getting the design right, so the dusty pink Rimini Dress is super pretty. I also love the long tulle Olivia skirt, back with the Grace knit with the metallic thread, and for baby, I love the August and Sidney playsuits, because they are perfect for our unpredictable weather when the sun is shining, or can be layered when it’s cold!!
Thank you so much for stopping by!!
~ xx Claire @ Tiny People ~