Designer Megan Stewart modernizes the textile art of embroidery
The label worn by fashion insiders, Megan Stewart is currently the name on the lips of many local fashion fans, and if they’re lucky, also the label on their back finds Karlya Smith.
Megan Stewart is currently the name on the lips of many local fashion fans and, if they are lucky, also the label on their back.
Stewart’s oversized shirts, made in vintage textiles and adorned with intricate embroidery, sell out almost immediately.
They’re popular, Stewart assumes, because there are others like her, who don’t want to dress like everyone else – one-of-a-kind pieces made using traditional methods, a modern take on luxury.
“I want my wardrobe to be unique, narrative, and unique, and I think that’s why my clients love these shirts so much.”
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As you’d expect, Stewart notes that the shutdowns have made it harder to source second-hand textiles.
I send him photos of embroidered tablecloths that I no longer use; as a fellow textile lover, the idea of cherished pieces being worn and loved beats them every day.
But Stewart has other sources of unique and enduring options. “I have an upcoming project that is a bit different from my drops so far. I’m going to use unsold material in collaboration with a friend, on a new capsule [collection]. It’s exciting and fresh, but still true to the storytelling nature of my label.
Stewart’s own wardrobe is home to a collection of varied pieces – picked up by friends, brands she’s worked on, pieces she’s made and second-hand finds.
“I only buy pieces that speak to me, and I never buy anything on a whim. I like to think if I need to. But saying that, my wardrobe is not serious. I always buy fun things and a conversation piece.
Five things I own and love
Everything about this Isabel Marant sweater is perfect: the bright green color, the shape and the openwork knit details.
After years of searching the internet, I finally found it. Ever since I was little, I have loved buying second-hand clothes, and why not you when you can find pearls like this!
One of the great perks of working in the fashion industry is getting a few additions to your wardrobe.
One of my favorite pieces is a bag from TRADEMARK, featuring unique interlocking croc embossed leather buckles. I get a compliment every time I wear it.
You will definitely see me wearing Mi Piaci Bobby boots, from last season. I may have been biased when I designed these boots, but you can’t look past the sleek silhouette and stretchy patent leather.
I believe fragrance is just as important as any other accessory, especially when you find the right one.
Friends gave me Opia de Curiornoir last year, and it was a game changer. This fragrance has an incredible balance of fruity and woody notes.
My newest and most expensive necklace is from a collection of my talented friend Wilbur Hsu, handmade locally in Tāmaki Makaurau.
It features a shell-shaped charm, inspired by objects found in Hsu’s childhood.
Three things I wish I had
I can’t stop thinking about this swan shirt I made for my new collection. Worn by Tom So from my last shoot.
I found these two amazing sheets in a collection of hand painted textiles, I believe from the 1960s.
Although both from the same designer, each shirt is very different. Both have my signature oversized collar and fit.
I desperately need this ring from my friend and creative colleague, Shannen Young. Available at the Le Donjon collective showroom.