Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi there! My name is Alice. I’m a young designer from Brisbane, Australia. I spend my days designing, pattern-making, cutting, sewing, knitting and running a handmade clothing label called Alice Nightingale in my sunny little studio. My designs are a little bit vintage, slightly quirky and always made in small quantities to preserve individuality!
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Designing, sewing and taking care of all things Nightingale tends to leave me with very little free time! When I do have a moment to spare I love baking, learning new crafts and trying out new cafes with friends.
What would be the title of your memoir? Why?
A friend suggested An Enchantment of Nightingales. I think this would perfectly sum up all of the wonderful people who have helped my label grow over the last two years.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Each season, I find myself inspired by a mix of books, music, film and photography. This winter is dedicated to ‘The Librarian” and came from my love of sixties school dresses and old bookstores!
What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade is a term that is very dear to me. The time, effort and thought put into handmade items is so impressive. I’m so glad to see such a strong community on Etsy supporting designers and artists who live to create.
Who has been most influential in your craft?
My family. They’ve always had the inventing gene that makes them wake up in the morning and create! I’ve also been very lucky to be surrounded by friends who support me and offer their thoughts. That kind of environment keeps me creative and open to new ideas.
When did you know you were an artist/maker?
I took to sewing at quite an early age, hand-stitching dresses for my dolls and constantly repairing them. My grandma gave me a sewing machine when I was 12, and things just took off. By 16, I decided to follow my dreams. I left school to study fashion design and technology, and here I am!
How would you describe your creative process?
At the start of each season, I create a new character to define the styles. The look and feel of the garments come from what she likes, where she goes, and the fabrics suited to her. I find this gives the clothing a personal touch and makes it much more fun to sew!
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
Oh to be a fly on the wall in Elsa Schiaparelli’s knitting studios in the 1930s! Her innovation is still such an inspiration, not to mention her attitude toward mixing fashion with art in her community. Oh my!
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
My friends and family are a pretty crafty bunch, I must say; this makes it impossible to choose my favourite handmade item! They’re creating on a daily basis – from art to magazines and the odd piece of carpentry. They cover it all.
How do you get out of your creative ruts?
A new book, album or film will always do the trick! Being inspired always leads to fresh results in my own work.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
I see myself leading a creative team in a dreamy city, dressing talented artists and learning from those around me. Hopefully the Nightingale brand will have grown, spread its lovely wings and found its perfect nesting place!