|Model wears: pleated shirt apron, linen pants, hand-made leather bag|
Sans Pareil: What has inspired you while designing this collection ‘Bespoke Memories of a Pa Kid’?
Bobby Luke: My Memories as a child with my Mother. She has been a massive influence in my life, as well as my designs. When I was a kid, I would see her wearing an apron in her day-to-day clothing – that image had a strong impact on me. I like the idea of incorporating the working class ideals into my collections.
Another huge influence for my work is the New Zealand/Dutch Photographer Ans Westra.
This is where I really developed the idea of using low socio/economic styles of clothing in my designs. Westra has been taking photos of working class New Zealander’s, especially Maori, for decades. I wanted to incorporate that nostalgia of the past.
SP: Yes, I would definitely describe your collection as something reminiscent of the great depression/ 1930s. I find that so interesting because Fashion always tends to favour the luxurious end of clothing, trying to look as unattainable and expensive as possible. And here you are, doing the exact opposite. Was that something you meant to do?
BL: It was a bit of a happy accident, as far as making that sort of statement goes, but again, I was focused on creating nostalgic work-wear with lots of tailored pieces, full skirts and pleats – and the two go hand-in-hand.
|Ans Westa Black & White|
|Ans Westra, Couple at Ratana Museum, Whangauni, 1964|
|Designer Bobby Luke of Campbell Luke after his show|
SP: So tell me a little more about the collection itself?
BL: Well, just that I also made all of the leather bags I have used as accessories. They’re not necessarily for sale, but I wanted to complete the look. Also, I wanted all the models to have different shoes, I felt that was important to the aesthetic. So I went to different opp-shops and got vintage shoes.
SP: Cool and tell me about your connection to MIROMODA ( Indigenous Māori Fashion Apparel Board) ?
BL: I also work for MIROMODA, so was essentially doing tow jobs at once for NZFW. I was organising my show as part of MIROMODA and also working for them, putting together their entire New Zealand Fashion Week showcase. I love MIROMODA though, it’s such a fantastic platform. I’m really lucky.