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COVID-19, creativity and positivity with Nevada Duffy

by Julie Goodwin, / Wednesday May 20th 2020

Nevada Duffy denim jacket


Nevada Duffy’s namesake label is one well known on the Australian runway schedule, and she’s been a regular feature in Melbourne’s fashion press for nearly two decades. Nevada takes her fashion seriously, and through her practice of bespoke techniques, she channels her modern minimalist style into each garment she hand-constructs.

As a long-time admirer of her work, and a fan of tailoring in general, having Nevada’s take on the tailored silhouette in the Fashion by Appointment mix has been very exciting for me! As a quartet of Melbourne creatives who have all felt the impacts of COVID-19, Nevada, Kara Baker, Estelle Michaelides and I have found solace and strength in talking openly with each other about our daily challenges, our experiences, and the changes to our creative processes.

I loved hearing Nevada’s ways of dealing with the particular situation we find ourselves in, and I hope you will too!


Nevada Duffy


What does a day in your shoes ‘normally’ look like?

I like to get up early and head over to the Edinburgh Gardens for my morning run; being around trees and birds is my favourite way to start the day. Once I get my daughter off to school, it’s a 30 minute walk to my studio in Fitzroy. At work, no two days are the same, but a typical day would consist of alternating between cutting, sewing and fitting orders that my customers have placed, and then developing new designs including fabric sourcing, pattern making and making samples.


How has COVID-19 changed the way you work?

I think it’s really important to have a daily schedule especially working from home, so I’ll plan my day over a strong cup of tea and help my 11-year-old daughter set up her remote learning tasks. Then, if I’m working at home I’ll be sketching, researching, and mainly doing the design and admin jobs. I work by myself in my studio (currently about three days per week) so I’m a natural self-isolater!


Black teal dress by Navada Duffy


What are you struggling with most?

Definitely the reduced number of hours that I get in the studio which means I lose a lot of momentum but I’m adapting and getting used to the new pace.


What silver lining has come out of this for you?

I’m using this time as an opportunity to play and experiment with new ideas and shapes while adapting and developing signature pieces, and not putting too much pressure on myself as far as production goes.


Pink dress by Navada Duffy


How are you balancing stress with optimism at the moment?

I’m normally a positive person so I’m doing ok, but I try not go down the 24-hour news cycle vortex.

I’m hoping there will be a renewed interest in independent, smaller clothing designers and artisans, who work in a much more interesting and sustainable way with a return to buying more locally.


What are you doing to stay productive, positive and creative?

It took a few weeks for me to get over the shock of the virus and its impact, so initially I was drinking a lot of wine and checking the news constantly and this wasn’t the answer to staying calm! A lot of things have kept me optimistic about now and the future such as reading a lot, riding my bike, learning piano, phone calls with friends, podcasts and spending quality, fun time with my family.


Follow Nevada on Instagram nevada.duffy


Black white by Navada Duffy


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