Megan started her eponymous business almost 20 years ago, in London. Within two weeks of her first collection being featured in British Vogue, Megan Park, the brand, was being sold in Barney’s New York, Neiman Marcus, Harvey Nichols, Joyce Hong Kong and Liberty, London. Since returning to Australia, Megan and her team have become renowned for producing beautiful, feminine and hand worked pieces worn by fashion editors the world over and sold internationally alongside prestige brands such as Marni and Dries Van Noten.
5 MINUTES WITH MEGAN
Mum to… twins, Ella and Marley. Country of origin… Australia. Currently living… Fitzroy, Melbourne. Dreaming of… spending more with my family and a bit less time at the office. Guilty pleasure… I don’t feel guilty for any of my pleasures! Friends would describe me as… warm, forgetful, empathetic, driven. Finding inspiration in... those who surround me doing inspirational deeds of goodness. Fate or hard work… both
What’s your house like in the morning? Chaos or organised bliss?
Sometimes chaotic and sometimes easy sailing. It all depends on the moods we have woken up in and whether or not we have the right bread and sandwich fillings for our kids.
Do you have a morning routine?
We are pretty loose when it comes to routine. My husband and I are always making resolutions that we are going to become more routine focused, but it never seems to happen. We share everything, which means we can be pretty flexible but can also have its pros and cons. Mornings are about getting our kids off to school and getting ourselves off to work on time – which in itself can be challenging.
What would be your favourite inspirational quote?
I heard this quote by David Bowie last week; “If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth, and when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting." and I thought it was brilliant and summed up such a fearless and inspirational man.
Your heart and inspiration seems to belong to India. What is it about the country you love so much?
The people, their warm attitude and their generous open hearts. The colour, the smells – it’s a sensory sensation that’s intoxicating and shocking to the senses. You feel truly alive in India and thankful for so much.
How many times do you travel to India every year?
Two or three times a year
What are the three things you can’t travel without?
My design assistant, FaceTime connectivity and my iPhone full of the most recent pics and videos of my children, it keeps me smiling when I’m so far away.
Who do you bounce your ideas off?
My husband and my staff. I also have a few besties in the industry whose advice I am constantly asking.
Tell us about the work you do with The Hunger Project.
It’s just a very new initiative and it came about when I was asked to contribute, as a guest speaker, by one of my past employees. At the moment my involvement is minimal, I’m about to share my story as part of a fundraiser, but I am always so inspired and in awe of people who step outside of their already busy lives to do something for others in need. My ongoing, passionate commitment has been towards Tomorrow’s Foundation – a Calcutta based NGO set up by some dear friends of mine that is educating 6000+ impoverished children across India.
What’s your proudest career moment so far?
I have had so many that have made me feel so happy if not proud. One that always makes me smile was reading that the editor of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman, chose to wear Megan Park to meet the Queen on International Womens Day many moons ago. Also when I saw David Bowie's wife photographed carrying a bag from my first collection because I am the biggest Bowie fan. And, finally, having a solo window at Selfridges in London.
How has having your children influenced/changed your work?
It has moved everything into overdrive. I am now more decisive in my work and can action things quicker. I think they’ve also allowed me to gain a healthier perspective on my work and my work/life balance.
Can we talk about the motherhood juggle? What’s the one thing you’ve decided ‘doesn’t matter…’
It’s a struggle – constantly feeling I am neither a good enough mother nor good enough in the workplace. It is difficult to do it all well. What doesn’t matter? It all matters! That’s my struggle. What doesn’t matter to me so much nowadays is pegging myself against others in the competitive world that is fashion – I can now move to the beat of my own drum.
What’s your favourite way to spend time with the family?
Just hanging out at home.
How would you describe your family? What makes you most proud of your tribe?
My husband is the most giving and supportive man I know. He is my rock. My children are both truly individual. My daughter Ella is like me – fiercely independent yet also with a very warm heart. My son Marley is more sensitive and creative – a lateral wild thinker and the one who gives the best hugs. I am proud beyond words of my tribe and each day they give me a new reason to be proud.
With so many beautiful Megan Park pieces to choose from, do you have a favourite?
Each season I have new favourites and I do still wear pieces from older collections. I tend to hold onto the pieces that are more casual yet have limitless hours of embroidery in them – not ones that are overly beaded but ones that are embroidered and more traditional in their handwork. I think these pieces are truly timeless.
How would you describe your personal style and is it much different from your brand?
My personal style is very Megan Park - relaxed and a little bohemian. I tend to wear the simple pieces from our collection, due to them fitting best with the practicality of life with kids and work.
Whose style do you most admire and why?
That is such a hard question. I appreciate so many people’s style yet would not necessarily embrace the looks they wear. Iris Apfel and Tilda Swinton for example – I’m much more impressed by the people who dress themselves than those who have been so obviously dressed by stylists.
MY PALAS COLLECTION
We asked you to create a bespoke piece of Palas jewellery. Where did you draw inspiration from for your piece?
I was thinking about the relationship I have with my mother as well as how important motherhood is in my life.
Talk us through your creation…
Well, I actually created two! The first is a sterling silver fine link bracelet and I added three beautiful charms which are very close to my heart. The first is the ‘E’ petite initial charm, which is for my daughter Ella. The second is the mother/daughter split heart charm because it reminds me of the relationship I have with my mother, who is my closest friend. My final charm on this bracelet is the ‘Blessed’ charm because I truly do feel blessed in life. I will look at it daily and use it as a positive affirmation.
And your second piece?
As a point of difference I built this one around a short, fine rose gold-plated chain. The ‘M’ petite charm is for my son, Marley. The ‘I can & I will’ charm is there to remind me of my strength when times are challenging and the ‘hamsa hand of protection’ charm symbolises the protection, harmony and happiness we all need in our life.
ONE LAST THING...
Who would you be charmed to meet, and why?
David Bowie, Morrissey, Christian Dior, Alexander McQueen, Annie Lennox… I could go on. All inspirational and creators of works that have moved me and made me passionate for different reasons at different points in my life.