Dream and Drive: Designer Insight
“I always had a fascination with lingerie from age 16. [After] receiving my first real lingerie set I was instantly in love.” – Carly Morrison.
She is behind the steering wheel of lingerie brand Dream & Drive and designer Carly Morrison’s recently showcased Golden Flowers Collection is testament to her skill and passion for lingerie.
Realizing from an early age that she possessed a gift for conceptualizing and crafting intimates, motivated Carly to go from just cruising with a hobby that catered to her own personal taste to shifting into higher gear and setting her sights down a directed path to a career in the lingerie industry.
A little snippet of sewing. By the way still accepting orders! 10th 🌐 & 15th for Aust 🐨. Anything after these dates will be sent in new year, unless you order express! . . . . #xmas #indiedesigner #intimates #launch #sustainablefashion #ootd #instafashion #instalingerie #lingerielove #lingerielife #lingerieaddict #adelaide #adl #adelaidefashion #fashionblogger #delicate #sewing #ichoosesa #ethicalfashion #limitededition #slowfashion #dreamanddrive
“I always had a fascination with lingerie from age 16. [After] receiving my first real lingerie set I was instantly in love,” she says.
An enlightening trip to Italy’s fashion capital, Milan, cemented her resolve to pursue her calling which now presents as an alternative, edgy ethical brand consisting of pre-made and bespoke creations.
Top: Devil's Rodeo – High waisted PVC knickers
Above: a sketch by Carly previewing some new designs on the left and a mood board on the right.
With a nod towards that woman who sees herself as naughty, yet nice, Carly’s Dream & Drive brand translates into an interdependent relationship between contrasting concepts and visuals: hard versus soft, dark with playful undertones, femininity against dominance and the sweet mixed with the saucy.
In essence, the brand commands a sense of twilight romanticism buffered by the harsh reality of the everyday. And Carly plays this out well via her choice of juxtaposed fabrics and arrangement of design techniques.
“[It’s] a unique take on how you can use the simplest of fabrics, like mesh, lace and PVC to create beautiful lingerie,” says the daring Australian designer. “For the most part, the lingerie is minimalist in style but there are hints of older eras and notes from fetish fashion even if only subtle.”
She adds: “My lingerie from my latest collection is quite romantic compared to what I began with, which was edgy and darker. I’ve still continued the shapes and styles popular with that first collection into Golden Flowers. I feel like the brand fits in between sheer sensuality and fetish fashion. While they may seem opposite, it’s a brilliant blend together.”
Even the name that she has chosen for her brand reflects Carly’s belief in the power of the right blend between things, as she idealizes the connection between two bandmates whose adventures were captured by camera as they went on the road to various gigs. The images have been immortalized in photographer’s Kenneth Cappello’s compilation, Dream & Drive.
“I named my brand Dream & Drive from The Kills’ photo book,” Carly reveals. “I admire the bond that [bandmates] Alison and Jamie have and how that’s captured in the photographs.” For her, the images represent a sense of comfort and closeness between entities, notions that her brand speaks of through her mission of producing lingerie that has an ideal relationship to the unique curvature of a woman’s profile.
Carly’s intrinsic love for cars is also evident in the name Dream & Drive.
She proudly hand-makes pieces in her hometown, Adelaide, using as many ethically sourced local materials as possible. But despite the instinct to sustain her brand and, like any other business, make her presence known, Carly has little desire for mass production at this time.
By incorporating social media into her production process, particularly that of Instagram, Carly has the chance to share the creative process with her audience – something that large-scale manufacture would likely dampen.
“People love to know what you’re up to on social media, watch your garments take shape and see your processes,” she states. “I feel like it’s part of my brand and story. It gives people a clearer picture of the brand as a whole.”
Having a bespoke service gives Carly the opportunity to play to her audience with individual pieces, but as a designer, it means more than just entertaining online followers. Bespoke is part of her designer’s psyche.
“I started custom sized orders because I began receiving requests for it, so I’ve continued having the option available since the demand is there,” she informs. “My first order was actually a custom order and I felt there was something truly special providing that service. It’s such a wonderful feeling to make something unique for a customer whether it be customised or made to measure.”
A love for bespoke is moderated by her natural desire to conjure up the Dream & Drive muse through her curated collections, more of which are coming soon.
“I’ll be making a new mini collection of PVC lingerie which I’m excited about!” Carly reveals. “Later in the year I’ll be working on another full collection.”
Although truly enthusiastic about the journey on which Dream & Drive is taking her, Carly acknowledges that there have been bumps in the road along the way.
“I find it can be harder to start out as a lingerie label in a conservative market that mostly gives attention to clothing in fashion,” she admits. “It can be harder to get the foot in the door being new and in such a unique industry compared to fashion.”
Topping that off were personal issues with self-doubt which she found hardest to deal with. But Carly has found a way to keep the pedal to the metal.
“Finding those who are like-minded and supportive within the industry personally reinforces that I’m on the right path,” she affirms.
Questions about Dream & Drive?
Contact: Carly Morrison
Shop the Dream & Drive Lingerie Golden Flowers Collection!