Seasoned sewer and designer Alice Veivers is injecting a little bit of history into her label’s garments. Opting for quality vintage fabrics, her clothes are more short stories than they are another addition to one’s wardrobe.
“I’ve always had more of a love of making, rather than fashion itself,” Veivers says.
“I started using fabrics my mum and grandma had lying around to make outfits for friends. My grandma was a seamstress her whole life and a bit of a hoarder. She made a lot of kids clothes and uniforms, so I have a big mix of fabrics.
“This led to stalls at markets and eventually the established business and label I have today.”
The label is Alice Nightingale – a colourful and creative Brisbane-based brand with a cult following of almost 15,000 on Instagram and many more fans IRL.
Veivers says she focuses on reclaiming and reusing as many secondhand and vintage fabrics as possible.
“All of my pieces are either one-offs or very small batch designs for a couple of reasons,” she says.
“Vintage fabrics are getting harder to find, so most of the time I can only get a certain number of pieces out of each remnant.
“Also the new fabrics I work with are predominantly factory excess and therefore super limited as well. But also – I have the attention span of a goldfish and gave up on the idea of making hundreds of the same thing years ago!”
All of the Alice Nightingale pieces are made in Brisbane, by the designer herself.
“My obsession with making and perfecting my skills is the main reason I make it all in-house,” Veivers says.
“It’s a textbook ‘do what you love, love what you do’ situation. I’ve sewn nearly every day for the past 10 years!”
To reduce waste in her collections, Veivers says she creates the patterns to ensure there’s the least amount of fabric waste as possible.
“Recently I’ve started separating my natural fibre scraps from my synthetic scraps and composted them,” she says.
“I’m only one maker, so I don’t create a whole lot of waste, but I think it’s down to each of us to look at how we can make sure our lives impact the least on our environment.”
Veivers says that the quality and detail of the Alice Nightingale garments attracts customers who are looking to invest in pieces they’ll have forever.
“In terms of sustainability, I think the best thing anyone can do is buy quality pieces that they genuinely love and love wearing,” she says.
“I love meeting women who have had clothes that I’ve made for them in their wardrobes for the last 10 years. It’s so satisfying.”
Alice Nightingale is now open in California Lane in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane for shoppers to pop in, learn about the garments and how they’re made (and of course, try them on and take them home!)