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Morrison Mastermind: Kylie Radford

Lovers of understated, luxe and timeless investment pieces can celebrate, with the release of Morrison’s anticipated A/W 13 collection ‘Antecedent’. Designer Kylie Radford spoke to deputy editor Lucy Ahern about the label’s recent relocation and her style pointers for the season ahead.

To celebrate the launch of ‘Antecedent’, Kylie Radford has been jetsetting around Australia to host exclusive VIP shopping nights at each of Morrison’s seven boutiques. Their flagship stores are similar to the garments they house: subtle, earthy and relaxed, yet supremely sophisticated. The love and attention to detail that Radford puts into every piece also is infused into each intimate space.

Well-known for their classic designs, flattering cuts and top notch quality, Morrison’s A/W ’13 collection delivers yet again. Sumptuous fabrics, digital prints and voluptuous draping are balanced with buttery leather and structured separates in crisp black and white, finished with dashes of turquoise, cobalt and wine.

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The designer began Morrison with husband Richard Poulson (and faithful Kelpie Cross Morrison) 11 years ago and says that the company began with a dog, a boat and a car – but they “sold the last two” in order to fund the business. Originally starting as a gift store concept, Radford designed a pair of pants that flew off the racks. She says Morrison now produces 10,000 garments per month, most of them handmade in Australia.

They have had a phenomenal impact in the Australian fashion industry, recently receiving a warm reception in Japan as well.

The team recently relocated, moving from their original base in an old Fremantle bank, to an idyllic beach location overlooking the Indian Ocean.

The effervescent designer says ‘Antecedent’ is a representation of feeling more comfortable in the industry after a tumultuous few years.

“When we designed this collection, it was sort of symbolic in that we’d just gone through a huge transition at work; we’d moved head office,where we’d been for eight years, and we really felt like we’d found our home again,” Radford says.

“So this range is really all about being comfortable again, finding our feet again.

“The last few years have been a very difficult retail environment…but we’ve got through that; things are looking much more positive.”

Always looking ahead is part and parcel of the business. Radford, who cites Céline and Preen as her two favourite designers, is already gathering inspiration for her Summer 2014 collection.

“I’m looking forward to lighter pastels and beautiful chalky colours,” she says.

At the event, Radford (with the help of a few lovely volunteers) demonstrated  the versatility of many Morrison pieces, styling draping dresses to flatter different shapes, showing that elegant looks are timeless.

The designer says that Morrison aims to push the limits of workwear, creating easy to maintain garments that are comfortable yet utterly stylish, and are made to stand the test of time and outlive trends.

“It all starts with the fabric,” Radford says.

The design and purpose of the garment is then considered extensively, before being sketched and handmade.

“We put trust and passion into all that we do,” she says.

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Radford’s ultimate style tip? Dress to suit your personality and don’t become a fashion clone.

“Wear clothes that fit you properly, because so many people don’t,” she says.

“So many people think that they’re bigger than they are or smaller than they are, and you look so much better when you wear something that fits properly.

“Also, wear your own style. Don’t be a victim to fashion. I think these days we really can wear whatever we like; we don’t have to wear a certain style that’s ‘in’ for that moment – we can be whoever we want and to a degree it really defines our personality.”

Radford says it would be fantastic to dress classic Australian beauties such as Cate Blanchett in her designs, but putting DJ/model Ruby Rose in Morrison would be an exciting challenge: “she’s quite out there, quite directional; I would love to see how we could style her.”

And the designer’s most hated trend?

“Those high-waisted denim shorts that I saw at the Future Music Festival,” she says. “It’s all I looked at all day!”

Spy the whole look book below, then shop the collection online or find your nearest store at morrisonshop.com

You can also check out who we style hunted when Radford visited Adelaide here.

 

Images courtesy of Morrison; feature image by Jaki Woods for The Urban Silhouette.

Published at The Urban Silhouette.

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