Silk ev­ery­day

A cos­tume de­signer and pub­li­cist are be­hind a new fash­ion brand, writes Sarah Catherall.

The Press - Zest - - Dress -

Like many things in life, when you want some­thing and can’t find it, that’s an in­spi­ra­tion to go out and cre­ate it. Such was the case for the pi­o­neers of a new fash­ion start-up un­der­wear la­bel, Now or Never.

Welling­ton-based friends Emma Lodge and Olivia Lacey were con­cerned that un­der­wear was ei­ther too fancy and not de­signed for ev­ery­day wear, or too ca­sual and made of polyester. Lodge is a cos­tume de­signer who most re­cently worked in the wardrobe depart­ment on The Hob­bit. Lacey works in pub­lic­ity and mar­ket­ing. Lodge makes all her own clothes and of­ten whips up things for Lacey. But the friends, who met in French class at Nel­son Girls’ High School, found it dif­fi­cult to find slips made of nat­u­ral fi­bres, and 32-year-old Lodge started mak­ing them for the pair and their friends.

Seek­ing a way to get a reg­u­lar in­come rather than the feast or famine na­ture of the film in­dus­try, Lodge was keen to launch her own la­bel. The friends put their heads to­gether and de­cided to com­bine their tal­ents. Says Lodge: ‘‘Now or Never was born out of not be­ing able to find what I liked. Once you feel silk, that feels like a sec­ond skin. We wanted to give women that feel­ing of lux­ury in their un­der­wear ev­ery day rather than keep­ing it for a spe­cial oc­ca­sion.’’

Lodge cur­rently makes the full and half-length silk slips, bras and briefs on one of her three sewing ma­chines in her home stu­dio. When de­sign­ing them, she drew in­spi­ra­tion from the duo’s favourite fash­ion eras, so the gar­ments are a nod to the clas­sic 1930s and 1940s, with a con­tem­po­rary twist. ‘‘Our de­signs are sub­tle and sexy,’’ Lodge says. They also have a beau­ti­ful feel and gor­geous fem­i­nine names such as Vi­o­let, Claudette and Lily.

Lacey, who grew up on a property near Nel­son that farmed merino sheep has worn nat­u­ral fi­bres from a young age. ‘‘And my last name is Lacey,’’ the 31-year-old laughs. ‘‘Se­ri­ously, we like un­der­wear. It’s a happy co­in­ci­dence.’’


Teamed: Vi­o­let bra and high-waisted brief.

Em­maLodge, left, Cre­ative: Nowor Never Claudette slip, $195.

Long-time friends: and Olivia Lacey.

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