Natalie Begg is a designer from Australia. TLP interviewed Natalie over email during May of 2008. Natalie provided lovely, high quality photos, so make sure to click on the smaller images to see the larger images. Natalie has this to say about her start.
Six years ago, after an extended period of travel and self discovery throughout America, Uk, Europe and Asia, the largely self-taught designer set up studio in one of Australia’s most culturally rich suburbs of Melbourne – Brunswick. Whilst studying, she decided to put theory into practice and launched her first collection of sleepwear. Inspired by the colours, patterns, textures, flavours, space and sense of freedom she experienced a broad, ‘Elope’ was born.
Q: It looks like silk is your preferred fabric. Have you worked with other fabrics?
A: I have worked with all kinds of fabric ranging from the latest technology in man made fibres right through to antique lace from the 1920’s. I always end up coming back to the finest natural fibres including Swiss cotton voiles and hand painted silks designed and made in our fashion house in Melbourne.
Q: Do you have any schooling or training in contour/fabric design?
A: I have formal training in fashion design and pattern making but I taught myself everything else. I love the exquisite detail and fabrics used in lingerie which compliment my resort wear collections. Both collections have the same philosophy: purity of form above content.
Q: In the UK, there is certainly a renaissance in boutique lingerie designers (Playful Promises, Lascivious, others). Do you see the same thing going on in Australia?
A: I see a lot of people try but it is very difficult in Australia as there are very few skilled people to do the job.
Q: How do you develop the product?
A: I have a vision in my mind after intensive research and then create a pattern and watch it unfold. It may take 10 attempts before we reach our end result.
Q: Where do you see Natalie Begg in five years?
A: Exporting thoughout the world and possibly a flagship store in Melbourne.
Q: Have you done any design collaborations?
A: Yes, with a knitwear company, called Jemala. My range is currently been taken thought Europe and shown to buyers from Hermes, Gucci and Jean Paul Gaultier. Jemala have produced some of the finest wool in the world, their wool is softer and more pure than cashmere.
Q: How can customers buy your designs? Any stockists?
A: Visit my website www.nataliebegg.com and send us the code, colour and size you require and we can ship direct. Otherwise we have stockist throughout Australia.
Q: How do you get the pieces manufactured?
A: With intensive training!
Q: How many collections do you create?
A: Three lingerie and three resort wear a year.
Q: Does the Internet broaden your customer demographic?
A: Yes, although my fashion house is situated in the most multicultural street in Australia and I am often designing with as many nationalities in mind.