I recently had the pleasure to speak with Bridget and Nick from LIFEwithBird, about creativity, career advice and what’s next for LIFEwithBird.
BRIDGET MCCALL & NICK MESSNER
LIFEwithBIRD was established in 2002 by Bridget McCall and Nicholas Van Messner, now in it’s 14th year, LIFEwithBird is stronger than ever.
Prior to establishing LIFEwithBird, Bridget worked in styling and photography and Nick held a technical view of design, having studied at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne. Their combined talent and skill make for such a strong partnership – when great minds meet, great concepts are brought to life. What makes their dynamic even stronger is they’re partners. I’ve worked alongside JD for four years now and I can tell you how amazing it is to do something you love, with the person you love.
Their intuitive, effortless designs are beautifully constructed. I have many jackets and pants from past collections – their contemporary aesthetic gets me every single time.
In 2011, LIFEwithBIRD launched the L.W.B. By LIFEwithBIRD collection – this range compliments the mainline range. Each peice from the mainline range or L.W.B are can be layered together or as I find, they’re equally good as stand alone pieces.
For me I love seeing a brands conceptual thought process and their inspirations behind a collection. In a fast paced, accessible world, I love seeing influences speak through a designers work. Finer detail matters. Stories matter. Original concepts matter.
I recently had the pleasure to speak with Bridget and Nick about creativity, LWB, career advice and what’s next for LIFEwithBird.
What was the main inspiration behind the latest collection? Tell us more about it the story and creative process.
Nick Messener (N): We were really inspired by the journey of nomadic influences into mainstream culture with particular reference to the late 70’s and early 80’s in New York, with artists like Keith Haring and the Mudd Club counterculture scene. We’ve never used tribal references, so it was a really different process and we utilised a lot of hand painted techniques in developing our prints for the season.
Bridget McCall (B): Found was a natural progression. There are definite nods towards tribal elements as well as great effortlessly chic building blocks. There’s a real sense of strength and it relates to the modern nomad in all of us.
I know all too well what it is like to be able to work alongside your partner every day – what’s your favourite part of being able to work together?
N: We know each other so well that we match each other’s stride and know when to add or subtract. We work as one. It’s amazing how much we achieve together.
B: Its all we’ve ever known. We work with our desks side by side. I think the best part is seeing where we’ve got to from where we’ve come. We started out designing and pattern making on my parents’ kitchen bench 14 years ago and its amazing to reflect on the journey and to see how much we’ve both grown.
Who or what inspires you creatively?
N: There are so many things it’s hard to say, but I love architecture and interiors and the way things are put together. I am often more inspired by the construction, than the visual aesthetic. Technique is very important to me
B:Everything and anything. I wait until I latch on to something that feels right. You cant force the creative process and sometimes that’s incredibly stressful when you’re on a tight deadline. I try and listen to what my gut tells me which can sometimes be a tricky thing to latch on to.
The best career or life advice you have been given?
N: If you always do the same thing, you’ll always get the same result.
B: Love what you do. If you don’t then its probably not right for you. Its so simple but ultimately true. If you are passionate about it then it doesn’t feel like work.
What is the best lesson you’ve learned along the way?
B: To listen to good advice and ask for guidance from your mentors with experience.
What are some of your biggest dreams that you are yet to fulfill?
N:Living in another country and becoming a local somewhere new.
B: I’d love to be able to spend more time being creative which is something I struggle with on a daily basis with the running of the business. Ultimately, I’d love to be able to travel more, discover new things, be inspired by places and able to spend time designing abroad more often.
Where has been your favourite place to travel
N: Italy & Spain.
B: The coast of Italy was so inspiring, beautiful and delicious. I loved everything about it. There’s so much more I’d love to explore.
Is there a trend you’re hoping to see more of over Winter?
N: Metallics are back!!!!
B: More colour! I’m loving the idea of more colour blocking and layering this winter season in rusts, greens and blues.
Where could you be found lazing about on a Sunday afternoon?
N: Not sure, but if the suns out, there will be a beverage nearby.
B: Coastal with family and friends exploring sculpture walks, vineyards and walking on the beach. I love getting away.
What are the future plans for LIFEwithBIRD? What can we expect over the next 12 months?
N: What can we expect over the next year? Sydneysiders can get excited. LIFEwithBIRD will be opening at the Intersection in Paddington in Late April!!!
B: That’s the focus for the new few months and then, who knows….
Big thanks to Bridget and Nick! I hope you loved hearing (read: reading) what they’re all about!
Here’s a couple of images from their latest collection. Keep up to date with all things LWB here: @lifewithbird
PHOTOGRAPHY: JD Hayward