We chat with the Melbourne-based duo about their tropics inspired independent line20-Apr-2012
“It’s good to go against the grain ; fashion doesn’t have to be so serious, it’s meant to be fun.”
Influenced by island holidays with a nod to surf and skate culture of the 90s, Banana Wednesdays 2012 collection You Only Live Bananas personifies good times, lack of boundaries, and a playful independence of current trends – a coup often attempted, but rarely achieved. We chat to the two creative minds behind the label, Melissa Pugliesi and Kirsty Urquhart, who met at RMIT University in 2010, and who have now struck gold for the second time with their new collection.
You’ve recently released your 2012 collection, “You only live Bananas,” how does it feel?
It is a very surreal feeling, we are extremely happy with what we have been able to achieve in such a short amount of time, it’s all very exciting watching our dreams come true!
How did you guys meet?
We met at Uni around two years ago walking down the library stairs, and it just so happened that we were in the same class for two consecutive years.
How has it been working as a team so far?
So far, so good! (chuckles) It’s been absolutely fantastic, we are very lucky to not only be business partners but best friends, we share a very similar work ethic. Work is more like a party for us, we enjoy it that much!
The prints are very vibrant in colour and mood as standalone pieces, with references to exotic plants / locations like Hawaii, what was your inspiration for this collection?
We were largely influenced by the surf and skate culture of today and days gone by with a nod to the 90s and a tropical paradise, and of course sporty silhouettes! We were inspired by Hawaiian prints that exuded the feeling of being on a constant holiday, even if you weren’t!
At what point does pattern making step in to this collection? Do you make the prints for the garments, or vice versa?
Once the garment has been sketched, we then begin to pattern make and sample the garments. As all this is happening we then begin to source our fabrics. We do not as yet design our prints, though we were lucky enough to stumble across these amazing fabrics in Melbourne. Designing prints is something we are definitely looking into. Perhaps in the next year or so.
How important is the cut and sew process to Banana Wednesdays?
Bringing the garment to life is an aspect we thoroughly enjoy, there is an unexplainable feeling of having a sketch and seeing people wear the end product! Although the cut and sew process is only a small section of the business it is at the end of the day the body of our work.
What are your favourite pieces in this collection?
Mel: Loving menswear I must admit my favourite piece is the Jungle Beats Sweater.
Kirsty: I’m having a love affair with the Kirscubaty dress as well as our get palmed crop!
Who are your favourite designers?
This is a difficult one, it’s like asking someone what their favourite song is. There are so many great designers out there! At the moment we are following Agi & Sam, Mary Katrantzou and Stussy.
Some of the prints used in this collection are noticeably independent from current trends, is this an example of Banana Wednesdays disregard for boundaries?
Yeah definitely, we feel like people should test the boundaries of fashion, it’s good to go against the grain. Fashion doesn’t have to be so serious, it’s meant to be fun!
What kind of person do you think Banana Wednesdays appeals to? Who is the Banana Wednesday’s girl / boy?
Banana Wednesdays appeals to someone who is self expressive through fashion, who see’s clothing as not just an item on their back but a way to animate their personality and feeling at the same time. He and she love a good festival and are hyped by weekend antics, and being very social. They enjoy wearing something not everyone else has and the fun of fashion.
What is the next excursion for Banana Wednesdays? Any big plans for the future?
We have a few things brewing in the works that we cant as yet speak of, but we have some massive plans, not only on a national scale but fingers crossed international! Stay tuned.