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