THE DESIGN FILES FEATURE

Loads of side projects don’t get off the ground (we can help you a little there). But what started out as a means to fund a forthcoming album has certainly grown legs for Melbourne musician Anna Cordell!

With a background in design, Anna initially began dressing some of her singer-songwriter friends (and just a few superstars like Sharon Van Etten, Olympia, Julia Stone, Ella Hooper, Mama Kin…) in dreamy, vintage-inspired garments she had designed. After resoundingly positive feedback, her garments are now more widely available, and she’s just dropped the most dreamy campaign!

Melbourne-based musician and fashion designer Anna Cordell specialises in custom suits. Photo – Lilli Waters.

Anna’s love of fashion ‘started with a good dress up box – mostly old clothes and necklaces from various eras from my mother, aunt and grandmother, mixed in with beautiful scarves and fabrics to play around with!’ Photo – Lilli Waters.

‘Lilli is so versatile stylistically- she has done so much… but I think she really has something unique to bring to fashion photography,’ says Anna. Photos – Lilli Waters.

Her line focuses on linen, corduroy, denim, and other classic fabrics or bespoke prints. Photo – Lilli Waters.

Designed and made in Melbourne, many pieces feature local fabrics and offcuts. Photo – Lilli Waters.

Elle Murrell
Friday 29th March 2019

‘Musicians are such a wonderful source of inspiration. They love clothes and they are often so creative with them’.  Anna Cordell.

 

A life-long keen op shopper, Anna Cordell studied philosophy and music, yet fashion was never far from this hardworking creative’s mind. All three areas intertwine in her life today!

The mother-of-five (!!) sold vintage finds at Camberwell Market, curated vintage collections for the likes of Sportsgirl and General Pants, ran her own retail spaces and began designing clothes in and around starting her family. ‘In that time I was home with my daughters, I re-discovered music and began to write again. Being involved in the local scene really got me re-energised with clothing – musicians are such a wonderful source of inspiration,’ she explains. ‘They love clothes and they are often so creative with them’.

These days, Anna’s eponymous fashion line sees her steering clear of official seasons and collections, instead specialising in more timeless, custom order suits. ‘After having my fifth daughter, I was wondering whether to continue or not, but then I started getting inquiries about this suit. So I made a couple, then a couple more!’ she explains. Glowing word-of-mouth referrals and the popular revival of the women’s suit has kept Anna busy ever since!

In addition to her suits, Anna sporadically introduces other garments, all focusing on linen, corduroy, denim, and additional classic fabrics or bespoke prints. An ethical, transparent production process and ‘push back on fast fashion’ is key to her practice; all Anna’s pieces are designed and made in Melbourne, many featuring local fabrics and offcuts.

To showcase her latest designs, Anna created a stunning photo campaign with TDF favourite Lilli Waters, in the Dandenong Ranges. The duo first worked together for the cover of Anna’s forthcoming album. ‘Somehow her images are feminine and dreamy but so strong – so full of depth!’ says the designer. ‘I have admired her work for years, and she was one of my very first customers!’

Alongside raising her band of girls and working on some new ‘romantic and renaissance inspired’ fashion ideas, Anna will soon be releasing tracks from her album. ‘At the moment the music and the clothing are having a little battle for attention… and the main thing is I need to put my family right there front-and-centre ahead of them both,’ she says. ‘Even I’m curious to see how this all plays out in six months!’

For fashion enquiries contact Anna Cordell Clothing via @annacordellclothing .For more on Anna’s music visit Annacordellmusic.com.