LifewithBird – A Fashion label by Bridget McCall & Nicholas Van Messner
Bridget (Bird) McCall is one half of Australian fashion label LifewithBird. The Melbourne based designer kindly took a moment out of her busy schedule for an exclusive interview with Australian Fashion Review.
Q1) Who are the name/s behind the fashion label and what is/are your backgrounds (i.e. training, education ancestry)?
LIFEwithBIRD is a storey of Nicholas Van Messner and Bridget (Bird) McCall. I [Bridget] majored in fashion photography at photography studies college in Melbourne and also worked as a fashion stylist. After graduation, I pursued my interests in London, where I collaborated on magazine shoots for ‘The Face’ and ‘ID’ magazines. I then returned to Australia having decided I wanted to pursue a career in fashion before connecting with Nicholas to form ‘LifewithBird’.
Nicholas Van Messner studied fashion designer at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne. While still studying, Nicholas began work with the street couture label, Maiike. Nick worked in this during his study and after completion of his degree was keen to set up his own label. We met and the rest is history.
I [Bridget] come from a line of fashion designers. My mother Niamh based in London through the 1960’s, designed clothing for the acclaimed Apple boutique and worked on clothing for the Beatles Yellow Submarine music video. Her sister Alice is also a highly regarded fashion designer based in Sydney.
Nicholas who is also from a creative background – Nicks mother Jan studied architecture and interior design at Parsons School of Design in New York in the 1970s’, so Nicholas spent most of his youth surrounded by medium and was intrigued by design.
Q2) When and how did it all begin?
LifewithBird was established in 2002. Drawing from our strengths, mine [Bridget] is styling and photography, while Nick comes from a technical view of design. We felt we had a unique partnership and ability to translate conceptual, ultra modern ideas into unique garments and accessories.
Q3) What do you hope to accomplish with your fashion label? What is the dream!?
We’d love to open our own stores eventually and branch out from clothing, bags, shoes to include other concepts. We’d love to collaborate more with creative people doing interesting things, AND EVENTUALLY EXPAND INTO OTHER AREAS OF DESIGN.
Q4) Who are your favourite fashion designers and what about them inspires you? What else inspires you?
Alexander McQueen for making anything imaginable do-able, Preen for everything they design, Acne for keeping it simple and Maison Martin Margiela for having a dream.
Q5) If you could pick someone famous that best represents your labels style, who would it be? Alternatively, what famous person/s would you want wearing your label?
There are many inspirational women we’d like wearing our designs. Leigh Lezark who is a New York DJ, IT Girl and is always front row at the Fashion Shows, Roison Murphy for her quirky fashion sense, Chloe Sevingy because she is cool, Thandie Newton and Kate Bosworth because they have great style!!
Q6) Complete the following sentence: The LifewithBird fashion label is unique because?
We believe in beauty versus function. From the beginning we’ve always wanted to create garments that people want to wear not only because of how they look, but also because they are comfortable to wear