Lois's personal reflections on Scrunch
With the release of Scrunch Drop 2, Founder and Creative Director Lois Hazel shares her design journey, inspiration for the collection, and her mixed feelings about launching new styles during a global health crisis.
As I release the second drop from Scrunch I thought it would be a good time to reflect on my design journey and share with you all what inspired me.
The idea for Scrunch started during my time up in Fitzroy Crossing for Design Within Country. One day I was teaching the women how to make scrunchies from fabric scraps. For some reason, while making these I was struck by how simple yet beautiful they were. I loved how the elastic interacted with the fabric, creating volume and shape. When I came back from Fitzroy Crossing, I started playing around with different ways I could use elastic to manipulate fabric. I loved all the different shapes I was starting to see develop, and how I could turn a simple bit of flat fabric into something 3D with so much life. One of the first pieces I started to play around with was the Contain Dress, which is now online as part of Drop 2. It was through developing this piece that I then came up with a number of other ideas which are also in the range. I initially started with the sleeve, trying to figure out different ways I could incorporate elastic to create new silhouettes. I remember starting with one elastic detail at the wrist, then adding one after another until I developed the beautiful voluminous sleeves that are now a feature throughout the range. The success of these gathering details in the dress gave me the confidence to try the technique in other areas of a garment, leading to the creation of pieces like the Scrunch Top and Scrunch Tee.
For me Scrunch was a range where I was able to go back to how I used to design. I was feeling myself starting to play it safe, too concerned with the commercials of each piece, and somewhat losing my creative spirit along the way. Scrunch allowed me to go back to basics, forgetting about how much something would cost or how tricky it would be to make. Instead I was able to let my creativity flow and just have fun, and I’m so glad I did. It’s been extremely encouraging seeing how you have all responded so positively to this range. I must admit, I was nervous when I released it because a part of me was worried some items were a bit out there, but knowing you all love them as much as I do has given me the confidence to just go for it and have a bit of fun! I also let myself use fabrics that I may have not used before because they were too ‘expensive,’ but again you guys have shown me that you love a beautiful textile as much as I do, and are willing to invest in something that isn’t only beautiful but also sustainable and ethical.
It's a strange time to be launching a new collection, given everything that is going on in the world. Part of me feels that it might be slightly inappropriate to be talking about something as frivolous as clothes when so many people have lost their jobs, their health, some even their lives. But this is my livelihood, my passion, the reason I wake up in the morning. And as you can imagine, this collection has been in the works for months and months prior to the beginning of this pandemic. So for me, it was important to release it. Not just for me, but for my team, my factory, everyone I work with to make Lois Hazel come alive season after season. I need to support them now more than ever. And I figure if people don't want to buy clothes right now, that's completely understandable. Most of our pieces are created in very small quantities to begin with, so I'm confident that these classic pieces will find a home sooner or later.
I hope you all love Drop 2 as much as you have loved Drop 1 and our comfort range, and that you are all keeping well (physically, mentally and emotionally) during this time.
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