Five minutes with Elle Macpherson

How does your new lingerie collection differ to projects you’ve worked on in the past? 

My past arrangement was a license. With Elle Macpherson Body I wanted to create a business venture that truly encapsulates my vision so I have formed a joint venture with a fantastic partner, Simon de Winter. He is a very successful Australian entrepreneur who is completely aligned with my hopes and aspirations for the brand and we are 50/50 partners. The collection Elle Macpherson Body is sexy yet sporty with great attention to detail, strong silhouettes and bold unexpected colours.

What is the biggest challenge in designing lingerie? 

I believe that true luxury is comfort and style. My aim was to design the perfect t-shirt bra, which I could never find, and I think I have achieved that.

Can you talk about the inspiration behind the collection? 

I wanted to design a collection that suited not only me but my teenage step-daughters as well. I wanted a collection that was designed for a modern woman and the way she lives her life every-day. Elle Macpherson Body is as much about attitude as it is about lingerie, reflecting the Australian lifestyle and its signature fresh, uncontrived spirit.

Who do you see wearing The Body? Did you design it with a certain woman in mind? 

I designed the collection for all modern woman. Beautiful and confident in her own skin, she could be any age or shape. 

 Do you have personal favourites from the line? 

At the heart of the collection is Body, a selection of modern sport inspired t-shirt bras and knickers in microfibre and air-tech mesh, which I love as there are a great variety of styles that I can wear with different outfits. My absolute favourite piece is the bodysuit, which is such a cool new silhouette and so easy to wear with jeans or a suit. 

You talk about the range flattering different body types. How were able to achieve this? 

Using design lines and clean styles, I hope I have created a wide variety of silhouettes to suit different body types. There is a lightly padded plunge push up bra that is great for smaller busts and unpadded bras which suit many bust shapes. There are bras from an A to a G cup, and soft cup bras with racerback details for a sporty yet sexy styling. I also focused on back detail as a woman often turns her back when dressing, I thought it was important to make sure the back have great styling as well.

We’ve paid attention to create high cut legs to elongate the leg and have placed back straps in such an apex as to accentuate broad shoulders and a narrow waist. I believe well designed lingerie can completely change your body shape. 


 What do you think the best way is to approach buying lingerie? 

Most importantly, get fitted properly. It makes such a difference when you wear the correct size and is so much more comfortable too! It can also create a cleaner silhouette under clothes – there is nothing worse that bulges in the wrong places due to too tight bra.

 Any tips for curating the perfect collection of lingerie? 

I would say to every woman to invest in fresh lingerie as often as possible – don’t wait for it to get old and tattered. And if you love a style get it in a few colours. Try experimenting with a body suit like The Body or Edge bodysuits in my new collection. What you put under your clothes, what’s inside, is as important as what’s outside. 

Elle Macpherson Body is available now at Farmers. 


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Five Minutes with Artist Mika Utzon Popov

How did the collaboration with R.M.Williams come about?

They contacted me with the proposition that they wanted to add something more artistic into their environment, and being a flagship store in New York they could push that boundary a little bit further. It’s a new approach for them, so I was quite interested in that. We had a conversation about how I translate landscape into the space, and from the first conversation we figured out that was what we wanted to do. So we started a dialogue about how we could create something that’s both inherently Australian and international.

Why did the project appeal to you?

It’s a brand that everyone has a story about or a connection to; I really wanted to be part of the new direction they’re taking – an Australian icon taking on the international stage. People are so emotionally attached to R.M.Williams. It’s a very honest brand. I can see immediately the heritage and the story. It’s still alive in that boot they created years and years ago. It has a simple concept and an elegant solution. It hasn’t tried to be more than that. And they came to me with free parameters. They’ve been very open and supportive and they’ve let me have free reign with the project.

How did you translate your ideas into the space?

R.M.Williams have a strong heritage with the land and farms in rural Australia, so we really wanted to pull that into the space. We worked around the idea of the base being the landscape; we’ve got some large tiled floor panels that have this earthy, red colour, and then I wanted to have an experience of walking into a space and being immediately immersed in the primary product of what R.M.Williams is: the leather. So when you walk into the space you’re immediately met by this wall that has leather panels. It changes your smell, your sound, it’s a very tactile transition. There’s a steel structure that relates back to the gates of the farm and the shearing sheds. We took all these little ideas from farms and put them all together. We also visited the R.M.Williams factory and that was a major source of inspiration. There was so much interesting stuff in the factory that we wanted to use, so we had to pare it back. 

Can you tell us about the landscape that inspired the main sculptural piece that’s the focal point of the store?

I live in the Sydney area but I really wanted to work with something that was ambiguous and not local to one area. It’s an amalgamation of ideas, memories and experiences. It’s more of an experience of overall landscape.

What was the biggest challenge working on the project?

I really had freedom to create what I wanted, and then that artwork would go into the store and sit independently. The other component was to come up with ideas of how we would translate the landscape into the physical space of the store. The only restriction really how the store has to function every day, so that was an interesting challenge for me: suddenly being in an environment where I had to direct my thoughts on where things had to go. It was challenging but a great learning process for me and the team.


Big Apple bound? Visit the R.M.Williams store at 152 Spring Street, SoHo.

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