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VAMFF Special: 7 Questions with Designer Lucy Dickinson

Lucy Dickinson says the clothes she designs are good for “when someone is out in public and sees their ex for the first time… and wants to look both powerful and cool as hell”. We tend to agree, especially upon seeing the brash statements made by each and every piece.

Kind of like a cross between early Vivienne Westwood and latter-day Galliano, Lucy’s own fashion statement is, in sum: ‘out there’.

A designer set to make waves, Lucy Dickinson is the latest in Cream’s coverage of up-and-comers at Melbourne Fashion Festival 2018.


How long have you been designing fashion, and what is the primary reason you got into the industry?

I started making clothes to sell in around 2012 when I was in high school in Newcastle. But since moving to Melbourne to study fashion, I’ve spent most of the past four years trying to learn as much as possible. Since I’ve only just graduated from Uni, I’m still trying to get into the industry, but I initially chose fashion because I’m really passionate about creating garments. I see them like an art-form that an individual can wear, making it a part of their own self-expression.


The fashion industry is often described as ‘fickle’. Designers need to contend with both setting and keeping up with trends, competing in an oversaturated market, and addressing environmental impact. What are the key attributes you possess that will see you coping with all these factors?

At the moment all of the work I am producing is made by me and even the pieces I’ve been selling are mostly hand-painted one-offs so it’s definitely avoiding a lot of the fast fashion elements of the industry. I think if I am producing larger quantities in the future I’ll have to address this more, but at the moment it’s fun to work with people I’m close to; to create garments that we are both really excited about.


How long have you been preparing your show at this year’s VAMFF?

The collection was created over my entire graduate year of 2017, as well as a few new pieces that I didn’t have the time or energy to finish before I graduated. It’s been a really long process but I’ve had a bit of a break from my collection since I graduated, so I think I’ve forgotten how hard everything was!


How best would you describe your new season collection?

There’s a lot going on! It’s very print-focused and embellishment with a real DIY aesthetic. In my book, less is not more.


If you absolutely had to compare your design vision with a well-established, veteran designer, who would that be?

Probably Vivienne Westwood, she’s always been a big influence from her work with 1970s punk to her present collections. Her work is incredible and she always has something to say.


Have you ever worked for another fashion company, either prior to or during launching your own label? If so, where was it, and what did you learn from working there?

I interned at Di$count Univer$e just before they moved to New York – which was a lot of fun. It was really inspiring to see first-hand how they’ve gone from RMIT students to running a successful label, staying 100% true to themselves and their vision the entire time.


Please complete this sentence: “I live for fashion. The only other things I truly live for are…”

Sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.


For updates on Melbourne Fashion Festival 2018 visit www.vamff.com.au.

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