Fashion Designer Georgia Currie Returns With Flowers, ‘A Celebration Of Ordinary Life & Living’

By Jessica Beresford
Georgia Currie’s return to fashion is a focus on timeless clothes. Photo / Simon James

It’s the second coming of designer Georgia Currie — but on her own terms. Jessica Beresford finds out how, and why, the Auckland-based creative is doing things differently with Flowers.

There was a distinct sense of mourning when Georgia Currie closed her fashion business in 2021.

The Auckland-based designer,

Living up to the expectation of this success is partly why Currie’s follow-up act, Flowers, has taken a while to materialise. She soft-launched the brand with two styles of merino knitwear — a ballerina cardigan and a V-neck sweater — early last year through Simon James, to test consumer appetite. And she wanted to do so without a big splash, no marketing or press, to ease her trepidation. “The knitwear has done exactly what I wanted it to do, which is trickle along like a stream,” she says.

Her next, and more assertive, collection is a succinct ready-to-wear capsule of seven styles — two skirts, three shirts and a silk floral set — which is launching this week through Simon James and on Currie’s website. However, it’s still limited, producing no more than 20 of each style initially, in part to make the brand exclusive, as well as to ensure everything can be made in New Zealand.

Currie’s designs are intentionally simple, yet she’s played with proportions and fit to make them unique and not “easily consumable in every way”, she says. A collared white shirt is boxy in cut, made in crisp, starchy cotton; another collarless style is more relaxed and comes in pink or yellow plaid.

The two wool skirts she’s designed are “quite awkward silhouettes”, she says. “The charcoal one is not A-line or straight, it’s somewhere in the middle. I wanted it to look like something for a cut-out doll — and that’s how it literally looks on the body. Then the flared navy skirt is made of all these panels and it sort of just kicks out and flares at the bottom.”

When clothes seem a little odd, “like if a skirt isn’t quite three-quarter length, or it’s hitting the wrong spot on the leg, that’s where I think something looks really good. It’s not like it’s ugly, it’s just appealing to a specific kind of consumer.”

Currie, originally from Christchurch, launched Georgia Alice in 2012 and quickly garnered a local following, before finding success in Australia and beyond. The brand was known for its sculptural, and sometimes ethereal, aesthetic, with puffy-sleeve tops and baggy jeans among its style signatures.

At the height of her commercial success, she was stocked in Net-a-Porter and Lane Crawford, while her designs were worn by Solange Knowles and Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine. In 2021, however, she announced the closure of her business, after feeling jaded by an industry that demanded ever more styles and compromises.

For all its success, she is determined not to repeat Georgia Alice. “At the time, I loved seeing everyone wearing GA. And I was really lucky that I had that experience. But I don’t want to be in the game of thousands of units [any more],” she says.

“I don’t want to be on a rat wheel of having to produce at certain times what other people want. If something sells well, I don’t want to feel the pressure to cut it again in a new colourway, unless I really want to, because I really like it. I want to keep things very much dependent on where I am in my life and what I am capable of emotionally, physically, spiritually.”

The catalyst for change came after she became a mother (son Earl is now 5 and her daughter Plum is 3) and a need to prioritise other aspects of her life.

“I lived and breathed Georgia Alice. But since stopping and focusing on my kids and my overall wellbeing, I’ve realised that there are other things that are important.”

For the past year, she has also been running Salome, an art advisory with Coastal Signs’ Sarah Hopkinson, which she says has allowed for learning and inspiration outside fashion.

Her new lifestyle has informed her designs too, which she describes as useful but not in a boring way. “I used to be a fashion girlie — I was obsessed by what every designer was doing. Now that I have kids, I think about the clothes I want to wear on a daily basis, like if I had to do some gardening, or if I was running through an airport. That’s what Flowers is — a celebration of ordinary life and living.”

The name, too, reflects this comparative ordinariness. “I learnt my lesson with Georgia Alice, that having your name as your brand is inescapable, it starts to completely define your identity. So I wanted to have a name that was so common, something that was everywhere. I liked that it wasn’t too specific because I don’t want to be too specific.”

“And I love flowers. So it’s as simple as that.”

Jessica Beresford is a contributing fashion editor specialising in the business of fashion and luxury and is a contributing editor for the Financial Times’ HTSI magazine.

More fashion

These brands and businesses are adapting to changing times.

What does it take to sell New Zealand fashion to the Australian market? Five fashion insiders have thoughts. At Australian Fashion Week this week, fashion director Dan Ahwa surveys a panel of industry insiders to ask them whether there’s still mutual benefit for our fashion industries regarding our time-honoured transtasman connection.

Is ‘Made in New Zealand’ clothing dying? The reality of manufacturing locally now. Jessica Beresford looks at the challenges facing the local garment industry, which has been likened to an endangered species, and the designers staunchly protecting it.

Fashion designer Caitlin Crisp counts a legion of fans. Her secret? Herself. Fashion designer Caitlin Crisp trades in bountiful florals and cosy cashmere. What makes everyone want more?

Inside Canterbury of New Zealand’s icon-building business, which is now in its 120th year. What does it take to build an iconic heritage brand born from here? Beyond its vast history of creating everything from underwear to army fatigues, Canterbury of New Zealand remains a steadfast staple in the wardrobes of thousands of New Zealanders. So what’s next?

Where to shop for plus-size tailored clothes, with tips from the people who tailor them. For size-inclusive tailoring, these experts offer sage advice.

Unlock this article and all our Viva Premium content by subscribing to 

Share this article: