Apr 17, 2012 5:18PM

Exclusive: LIFEwithBIRD SS12/13 Lookbook Behind-The-Scenes

A sneak peek from the shoot and an interview with the designers.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Melbourne label LIFEwithBIRD and tomorrow morning they'll be holding their SS12/13 runway presentation. Since 2002, Bridget McCall and Nicholas Van Messner have grown a successful menswear, womenswear and accessories line, and in the meantime, created their own unique aesthetic. We caught up with the duo to talk about their latest collection, 'The Distance Between', and went behind-the-scenes on the lookbook shoot.

Melissa Kenny: You guys have been in the game for ten years now. A whole decade! Can we have a little anecdote about humble beginnings or naivety or an adorable evolutionary summary?
LIFEwithBIRD: To look back and remember pattern-making on Bridget's parents kitchen bench, packing orders in the bedroom and working four jobs to stay afloat, to now, having four stores and floating quite nicely...

Your label is renowned for a feminine classicism that still manages to fuse with a certain darkness in parts. How important is this balance to you?
Balance, whether skewed or in equal parts, is really at the heart of everything we do. We love contrasts and friction. Finding harmony in discord is a challenge that defines LIFEwithBIRD.

Can we please have five adjectives that sum up the SS12/13 collection?
Evolutionary, contemporary, directional, refined, effortless.

Token inspiration question: what were the things that contributed to the birth of this collection?
We really looked back at the journey we've been on for the past ten years and this evoked a sense of evolution, which we realised was part of our journey, part of our design process and part of nature, which we reference so heavily in our work. This collection is really the narrative to our story, and looks at beginnings to discover the future and that gave light to the collection’s title, 'The Distance Between'.

You guys are from Melbourne, making you much more skilled in dressing for the cold than us Sydney-siders. Please kindly advise about how to approach this ambiguous season that is repeatedly surprising, year after year... Is there an alternative to layering? Carrying these peeled-off layers around every day is kind of a burden.
The only way to avoid the layers is to get a thicker skin! The weather has been crazy and I think we're all feeling it. It's good to make sure your heavier layers are natural fibres, so they breath. Carrying an over-the-shoulder bag is a great way to carry any peeled off layers. Having said that I hate carrying things, so I'm usually just cold!

Introduction: Jerico Mandybur
Interview: Melissa Kenny
www.lifewithbird.com

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