In April’s 20/20 blog, we sat down with designer Margaret Morris to discuss all things fashion, Collingwood, old school Dolly Magazine, John Hughes films and glasses – of course!
Let’s get cracking, Margaret: what do you do, and how did you end up doing it?
Margaret: I work in the fashion industry. I’m a designer!
What’s your brand?
Margaret: I don’t have a brand, I’m actually a freelancer. I did a course when I left school – I actually ended up in fashion because I didn’t think I could get into anything else back then.
What did you think you would do?
Margaret: All through high school, I probably thought I’d be a teacher. And then – like most students in their final year – you think you’re going to do so badly that you look for other career options. By the time I got my results, I’d gone off in a completely different direction.
What do you actually do in fashion? Do you work for other businesses?
Margaret: In my twenties I worked for other companies, and then I started freelancing. I’ve always worked predominantly in the kidswear space, but I’m moving into ladieswear now.
Do you remember your first pair of glasses?
Margaret: My first pair of prescription glasses wasn’t all that long ago, so yes. But I started wearing the most fabulous sunglasses back in my twenties. I remember those very well – I got them overseas. I think I’ve still got them, actually! I remember the case they came in and everything; they were called Australis, or something like that.
I think you could get those Australis sunnies with Dolly Magazine sometimes!
Margaret: Yeah, that’s probably right.
What colour were they? Were they fancy?
Margaret: They were a bit fancy. They had a frame that was mottled blue and lilac. I must find them!
Do you remember how that first pair of glasses made you feel?
Margaret: Back then, your first pair of sunglasses was a big thing; it felt very grown up, quite adult. Nowadays children wear them much earlier in life, for sun protection I suppose.
So what made you choose the fabulous Che Eyewear frames you’re wearing now?
Margaret: This is my second pair of prescription glasses, and I was looking for a bigger frame.
I was very happy when I saw them and I’ve ordered another pair that could be due in any day!
So, are glasses accessories that make up part of your outfit?
Margaret: Yes, definitely. I was always a bit jealous of my friends who were wearing cool glasses. I always used to think, “oh they look of nice”. So yeah, they are fashion accessories. They can make a big difference to your complete outfit – I’m working on building up a collection of styles.
Have you ever bought a pair of funny, eccentric or silly pair of glasses?
Margaret: Probably, although I likely didn’t think they were at the time! Particularly some of the ones I bought earlier in life! I’ve bought ones that you buy because you just love them. You spend an outrageous amount of money on them and think, “why have I done that”? Sometimes I’d only wear them once!
Are there any cultural influences that have really struck a chord with you, that have been an influential part of your life?
Margaret: As far as something that struck a chord, way back when, would probably be John Hughes movies. Good old ’80s teenage movies, some of those were lovely. Even things like the sunglasses they wore, I remember those details from such movies.
Do you live around near Che Eyewear?
Margaret: Yeah, just down the street! Well, in Collingwood technically.
What do you consider iconic of Fitzroy and the community here?
Margaret: I’m really home. It sounds silly, but I love walking around here; anywhere in Melbourne, really. I like Spring here, when the jasmine comes out. It always makes me emotional. It’s beautiful. It’s changed a lot, of course. There’s a lot of buildings that you watch, just wondering what will happen to them, and then there’s the shops that have been around for so long, up on Gertrude Street.
Are there any people that you know who wear glasses with great panache, who are famous for their glasses?
Margaret: Rose! I’m actually very jealous of people that wear their glasses so well. I have some friends who update their frames regularly – they always look so great!