Margi Robertson of Nom*D

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Every year the lovely team at the Fremantle Arts Centre invites fashion fans to go behind-the-seams with Fashion Talks, a series of live interviews with some top notch Australian and New Zealand designers. The 2011 Fashion Talks season kicked off last night with a discussion with Margi Robertson of Nom*D, a cult New Zealand label that’s been in the game since 1986. I had the pleasure of interviewing Margi for a feature on Fashion Talks in X-Press Magazine… an excerpt from our chat below…

Since establishing Nom*D as a knitwear label back in 1986, Robertson and her small team have gone from strength to strength, largely due to the fact that they’ve rolled with the punches and haven’t feared change, ducking and weaving to come out on top.

“1986 is when we first started doing knitwear and we continued doing knitwear until 1999, when we were invited to be part of the ‘New Zealand Four’ show for London Fashion Week,” Robertson begins when asked whether her initial vision for the label has changed. “We felt the necessity to present an entire collection. I’ve never been a fan of the knitted jumper and knitted skirt combo, even though we have done that from time to time, and that would have been our only option had we only done knitwear. So we embarked on this idea of going down the track of utilitarian garments.”

The fact that Robertson wasn’t afraid to move away from knitwear into more comprehensive collections has ensured Nom*D’s longevity, and though the designer’s vision has changed slightly, her ethos and aesthetic have stayed the same.

“Our first four or five woven collections were based on that utilitarian concept, where we used fabrications that were hard-wearing, quite tough and often used for uniforms, depending on where our inspirations came from for each collection. There was always that element of wearability and one size fits all. Looking at our collection in 2011, we have full collections that have elements of that utilitarian feel. Things have definitely become a bit more ‘designed’, shall we say. It was a huge change. I felt quite fragile and teary about it but it was fate changing the direction of the label. It’s been huge since those days, the label has developed and so many things have happened since then.”

…you can read the rest of the article online here. Be sure to check out the rest of the Fashion Talks program, which includes the likes of Therese Rawsthorne, Kristy Lawrence from Flannel and the creative minds behind Morrison. Tickets and info on Fashion Talks can be found here, on the FAC website.