Lucy Folk has expanded her offering from eclectic jewellery to a clothing line that reflects her affinity with vibrant hues. By Zara Wong.
Lucy Folk is driving from Melbourne to visit her sister in Bellingen, and the phone reception is left wanting. The Australian designer’s eclectic, unique aesthetic has flowered into a cult jewellery line, and an even more cult clothing line of robes and jumpsuits. Colour and a surprising, idiosyncratic twist – say, wearing a baseball cap with a dress – define Folk’s personal style. Black is not an option, I venture. “I wear it all the time!” she responds brightly. “Head-to-toe black? Really?” Affirmative, Folk confirms. The mistake soon becomes apparent: she misheard ‘black’ as ‘flax’, the fibre used in linen, a mainstay in her clothing line. “Not wearing black had become a conscious decision,” she tells me, referencing the adage of black being the unofficial fashion colour of her home town of Melbourne. “I remember clients coming into my store wearing head-to-toe black and they would love my colour chain, because they were still engaged in colour. I don’t find black so interesting – it’s an easy option, you know?”
Although she has homes in Sydney and Paris, her roots are in Melbourne. “I don’t feel very Sydney, even though, because of the colour, I have been told I am very ‘Sydney’,” she says. “People in Melbourne each have their own unique point of view in terms of style. There is not one product that everyone is desperate to get in Melbourne, whereas in Sydney if one stylish girl buys something, then all her friends will buy the same thing. That will never happen in Melbourne!” she says with a laugh, mentioning the statement sunglasses that consistently sell out at Playa, her Bondi Beach store. She lives close by in a beach-view apartment, which features a rug in the living room she had made in Marrakech, a city she has a close relationship with. Her readyto-wear line is made there, and she visits regularly to oversee production.
Her Melbourne upbringing schooled her in layering. “I always wear a statement coat in a block colour like blue, pink or tan, a long dress over jeans with colourful trainers, and a bright yellow hat so that it’s vibrant for winter but still playful. I like wearing white with flashes of colour – but not your average kind of colour palette.” She veers far away from “anything strict or refined. I don’t feel like myself in anything too tight or in dark colours. I gravitate towards colour and that makes me feel really happy and positive.” Since living in Paris, she has begun to embrace heels for the evening, “but solid heels like from Marni – so I can navigate the cobblestones of Paris!” Returning to Sydney, her wardrobe is more casual. “I find it refreshing to be just wearing shorts and a T-shirt, hat and sunnies, heaps of jewellery and good slides.”
She owes her visual eye to her family. Her grandmother, as she remembers, owned Salvatore Ferragamo Vara flats in various colours, and would wear dresses with trench coats. “She had amazing clothes. We [her sister, mother and cousin] all have a masculine edge to our style – none of us feel good in a dress without offsetting it with something a bit masculine,” she says. “I was lucky to have a very stylish family!”
Lucy Folk boiler suit. Avec Modération shoes.
Lucy Folk wears a Jac & Jack T-shirt. Julien David skirt. Lucy Folk jewellery, worn throughout, from Playa by Lucy Folk. Toga Pulla shoes. Her own vintage Chanel jacket.