Bright ideas

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.

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