If you’re not familiar with Alice McCall, you should be. The woman has a knack for making pieces that somehow strike a perfect balance of pretty, edgy, and cool. Combine that with the unique factor of being an Australian brand and you have a recipe for success—and by success, we mean your next perfect night-out look. On her most recent inspiration trip to L.A., we sat down with McCall to chat about everything from her latest collection to her tips for vintage shopping (she’s kind of a pro).
Scroll through to read what she had to say and, of course, shop our favorite pieces from her new collection!
So your background is in styling—how does that experience inform your designs and the design process? Is there something you’ve learned over time is important to pay attention to?
Alice McCall: That’s a really good question. I feel like [having a range] is really important for a designer, to understand how things go together. Stories and ranging, I learned that from being a stylist, from doing editorials and stories. [It’s not just about] designing something that’s conceptual, but designing something that’s wearable, that can go with other pieces. Also understanding different body shapes. There’s a whole different array of body shapes out there and communicating with these people and getting feedback. So it’s really about those two keys things: knowing how to put pieces together that are cohesive, and understanding what your customer wants, because they’re all different.
Alice McCall Walk On The Wild Side Playsuit ($320) in White
I’ve heard you have a great love for vintage clothes. Tell me a little bit about what you look for when you’re vintage shopping.
AM: It’s really intuitive. I think that’s a key thing. I’ll scan a rail ever so quickly, and I’ll know what I like and what I don’t like. It’s intuition. At the moment, though, I’m really into granny chic; I love Iris Apfel and how sophisticated she is, and she’s got that touch of bohemian and [is] a bit mismatched.
What was the inspiration behind your fall collection?
AM: I wanted to do a collection that was really wearable, and I wanted it to be pretty. I traveled to Paris, Portobello Market, and London, and at these divine markets, I really like to look at people’s trash, which is like the little scraps of lace fabrics that are tattered and ruined. I build my laces from scratch; I work with graphic designers, I direct them, I blow up scale, I bring them back to life. So I did a lot of that in this fall collection.
Alice McCall Forever Young Jumpsuit ($280) in White
When you’re designing, do you have a specific kind of girl in mind?
AM: I’m really into music, so quite often I’ll be looking at artists. I’m loving Zoë Kravitz at the moment; she’s really come into herself. That understated coolness and that little bit of bohemian edge—she’d be one I’d love to dress. It’s really a variety of people who I think about.
Alice McCall One In A Million Dress ($360) in White
What do you think women should look for when they’re shopping for dresses? Is it fit or silhouette or something else?
AM: I think it’s all those key things. In this day and age, we live in a highly consumerist society where there’s a lot of high street available—but it’s churn and burn. High street is full of what’s on-trend, but a trend can be in one minute, out the next. I try to design things that have longevity, so that’s why I don’t really look at trends to speak to me through my design.
Alice McCall Burning Love Dress ($490) in White Leaf and Black Leaf
If you had to wear one dress style for the rest of your life, what would it be?
AM: I think for the rest of my life I would choose something bohemian. I love those Indian chaise cloth dresses with the Lurex in them. I am a hippie at heart! I’d want to do that with a really chic heel, like a Louboutin. So it’s chic bohemian.
Is there a designer you’d like us to interview next? Sound off in the comments, and we just might make it happen!