Pink Ink Boutique x Megan Park


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In response to the rise of fast, throwaway fashion, there has sprung a renewed yearning for something slower and more unique: artisanal pieces made by hand from luxurious materials. One multi-brand boutique in Canberra has always championed this approach to fashion, not ‘clothes for clothes sake,’ as Jane Petterson, the director of Pink Ink puts it, but special pieces to be treasured forever. Designer Megan Park has also never strayed from this path, having created beautiful hand-embroidered clothes and accessories for nearly twenty years under her own namesake label. It seems natural then that Megan Park has been stocked at Pink Ink for over a decade now and that her label has become a favourite with the women who shop there.

On Tuesday evening, Megan joined a select group of Pink Ink customers, of which we were lucky enough to be a part, for an evening of conversation. The visit, despite the lengthy connection between the boutique and designer, was Megan’s first to Pink Ink. Upon entering the boutique, the atmosphere was warm and inviting, music played softly and the air was full of chatter and laughter. A long table in the centre of the room was set sumptuously, almost like a 17th century Dutch still life masterpiece, with jewellery and accessories artfully littered amongst flowers, cut lemons, and candles.

The customers of Pink Ink have come to know and love Megan Park, having shopped her designs through the boutique over the years. Many were wearing their favourite pieces of hers on the evening, a touch which the designer took note of: ‘I love meeting customers and hearing what they love. I love seeing people wearing pieces from seasons past.’ In designing each collection, Megan strives to create pieces that are timeless, transcending the season from which they were bought. It is of little wonder, then, that so many women continue to give life to older favourites.

Jane first came across Megan Park a decade ago on the pages of Vogue, coincidentally the magazine where Megan first got her break into the fashion industry. ‘After many knock-backs, during a meeting at the Vogue offices in London, I finally got an offer for a feature. I had no stockists so when I left the meeting, I went straight to a red phone box and rang Liberty. I told them I would be featured in Vogue and it snowballed from there. Within a couple of weeks I had all my dream stockists around the world.’

 


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After studying fashion, Megan worked as an embroidery designer, designing textiles for the likes of Givenchy, Dries Van Noten, and Kenzo. She initially never imagined creating her own business, but wanted to make things she personally loved. On why her business took off the way it did and has continued to grow two decades on, the designer said: ‘I wasn’t trying to be smart; I was just trying to do what I love. It was the right thing at the right time.’

‘I don’t feel like a business-person, I feel like a designer. I love the work I do, I love the people I work with, and I love the connection I have with India. I love the fact that we are keeping alive the traditions and crafts. The most satisfying part of my job is when I’m in India and I can see what I imagined in my head come to life.’

Since the very beginnings of her label in London, Megan has worked with the same group of artisans in India, a group in Delhi and a group in Calcutta. Megan was the first designer each of these groups worked with and now, as well as continuing to work with Megan, they work with Dries Van Noten and have worked with Prada and Tory Burch.

The latest collection from Megan Park is titled ‘To the One I Love’ and explores old favourites from the designer’s archives. ‘This collection is about what I love. I thought I’d forget about what’s on trend, what we are told to wear, and just go with my heart. I went back to our core, which is hand embroidery. There is even embroidery from my very first collection. It was on a little bag and I’ve reworked it and expanded it onto a shirt.’

Megan describes her pieces as having ‘soul,’ and after hearing from her of the detail and the incredible work done by the artisans in hand embroidering and assembling each piece, soul is definitely an apt description.

 


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Shop the latest collection from Megan Park at Pink Ink now.

Emma Batchelor

Emma Batchelor

As well as a near obsessive interest in fashion, Emma is a former scientist, occasional contemporary dancer, avid reader and self-confessed cat lady (she has three). Emma lived in Leiden in the Netherlands as a baby and Leiden ought to have been her middle name had her mother thought of it at the time and not chosen Louise instead.

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