For the past few years Queensland fashion label Racy & Lucky have been ‘dressing the music’ for the GCMA Awards Ceremony, designing the dazzlingly unique outfits worn by the Gold Coast Music Awards team on the big night.
Owner and designer Cindy Vogels is an original Gold Coast girl with creative fashion design in her blood and initially set up her world-renowned company following a successful design stint for Lady Gaga via Brandon Maxwell studios, with her designs causing a stir in the New York scene.
Since then her unique design prowess has been in high demand both here and abroad, and this year Racy & Lucky will once again be creatively partnering up with The GCMAs to dress the team. We recently managed to have a chat with Cindy to discover, amongst other things, how she started out, a few of her favourite recent clients and her lifelong love of music.
Can you give us a brief rundown on how you originally got into fashion design?
I grew up playing in my mother’s clothing production space. She was designing and manufacturing everything from sportswear to bridal wear. I was fiercely curious and desperate to learn everything from her. My work is heavily driven by an early understanding of stretch garment, pattern drafting and construction. My mother had me skilled up quite confidently by 16 and I’m forever grateful. Once I had completed grade 12, it was onto the Gold Coast TAFE to Study a Fashion Diploma.
Who are a few of your favourite clients/outfits that stands out across your design journey so far? And who would you particularly love to dress who you’ve yet to work with?
I was reminiscing recently over the Beijing Baby wardrobe for Jaguar Jonze, because it was the first of so many for Deena and it just feels beautiful to acknowledge what we achieved together. I feel this collaboration was particularly amazing, as prior to working together we didn’t really know each other very well.
I am quite fond of my work for Regurgitator’s 25 year Quarter Pounder tour, particularly remembering Quan in his Neon pink tutu with fairy lights!
Dressing Emily Wurramara for her first ARIA red carpet was a deeply emotional collaboration, her silk bush dyed fabrics were created on country by her family and community on Groote Eylandt.
Thelma Plum, Dami Im and Vera Blue are three on my dream list to work with in the future here in Australia.
Are you a big music fan and what type of shows do you enjoy getting along to?
My parents are both musicians, my earliest memories are live music provided by their band in venues while I was eating dinner. Mum would then put my siblings and I to sleep with pillows under a big table in a restaurant. Working in fashion felt strangely uncomfortable until I was working inside the music industry, I have a comfortable affinity with music artists as fellow creatives. Recently, being at the Big Pineapple Festival made my year, I loved every single artist and band on their program.
I hear that you’re also working with up-and-coming Gold Coast musician DENNIS. on her outfit for a show in her home town. How has that experience been so far?
I had pledged to work with Dennis. after her previous GC award two years ago, but then things got messy with the pandemic, but last year at the GC music awards when she performed live I was so in awe of her performance I reconnected after she stepped off the stage. We have finally got the perfect gig in our sights, with a complimentary project soon after to maximise our collaboration.
What inspires your design aesthetic and how do you keep things ‘real’ in terms of maintaining your ideology of fashion as an art form as opposed to a mass-produced commodity?
Every single artist I work with inspires their unique aesthetic outcome. I get to be the creative conduit between them and the audience, driving visibility and translating their unique style and energy existence. I can’t even contemplate duplicating those looks. Wearable art is probably a better term to describe my practice really.
IMAGE (C) Cam Attree