vicki sits sideways in a chair on a terrace wearing a dress and cropped blanket jacket

Vicki chats about...Vicki Malone

To describe Vicki Malone the brand, I would say it is Nostalgic, Playful, with a hint of Vintage. It is the idea of wearing items that tell a story that perhaps have some hidden secret or a destiny that is yet to be fulfilled. Most of the textiles used in my collections began life as something else, a tablecloth or a tea towel and by turning them into garments they have a second chance at life - which is really what makes it special, you know?

Vicki sits on a table wearing a 1983 tea towel shirt and trousers with a small bag in her hand. Behind is a vase of flowers

Fashion has always been the dream, although there was a brief time when I wanted to be a Vet. I love cats and dogs and thought it would have been a great way to have fun every day. I realised though that, being from a country town I’d be more likely to be looking after cows and sheep and that clashed with the vision of my future I had in my head at the same time - 90s power suits were very much a thing.

I settled on a textile design degree, which was somewhere in-between art and fashion which was really I could think about studying, an escapism if you will.

Studying Textile Design very much influenced me and the path that I have now chosen to wander. Knowing how a fabric is constructed allows me to appreciate each piece of cloth I encounter and know its strengths and weaknesses, if any. I specialised in Knitwear (think sweaters, scarves etc) as my patience for weaving on a loom did not exist, but what they have in common - making cloth from yarn - is fascinating when you can understand the process. It is something that has been done for thousands of years, in almost the very same way. 

Fabrics, ribbons and buttons laying on a table with a measuring tape.

Vintage seems to play a huge part in the brand, is this a life long love? I suppose it was always there from the beginning. I was obsessed with the 70s as an early teen, I played the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack on repeat and wanted flares and platforms so badly. I even bought a very 70s suede patchwork jacket with faux fur trim in my last year of high school. Much to the amusement of my classmates, small towns like mine were not as open to such individuality. Whenever in Edinburgh I loved going to Armstrongs (In Haymarket). It is such a magical place, vintage from floor to ceiling. We can learn a lot from the clothing of the past, it was made to last and mended if needed. People took pride in wearing and looking after their garments, something which is a little lost today. 

Showcasing the history of textiles is as important to me as it is to the brand. I do think that understanding a little bit more of where something comes from and how it is made can allow people to take more care of their garments and perhaps make more conscious decisions when making purchases.
Take the textiles I use for example, my favourite pieces to use are vintage tablecloths, sometimes embroidered, sometimes not. These tablecloths are woven from cotton or linen and and are strong as the day the were first made. Occasionally I come across a mending, but often they are like brand new. The embroidered tablecloths are always a joy to work with as the art of embroidery is not the pastime it once was. Needlework was a craft that all girls and women did at home, the hours of work that each design took one can only imagine. It deserves to be seen.

All Vicki Malone fabrics, are ones that are already in existence, meaning that they were produced in the past most often with another purpose in mind and have been forgotten, left unused or unwanted. I worked several years for suppliers and have seen first hand how the fashion industry works, how unused fabrics can sit in corners and become waste, so choosing to create from used or existing fabrics for me is a more sustainable option and one that started with vintage tablecloths that my gran had stored in her attic. I initially tried to sell the tablecloths but I suppose not many people these days were looking for vintage tablecloths for their dinner parties. The patterns and colours on them were so pretty I thought why not make a shirt from one and see how it turns out. Needless to say it turned out pretty good and the process of sourcing more of the same began.

Vicki wears a childs vintage dress as a top and trousers made from bedsheets, she is working at her cutting table in her studio.

Working with a limited fabric source does present certain challenges but I find that’s what makes it so interesting. I enjoy the process of creating something that is totally unique, with almost zero waste. With one-a-of-kind pieces it can be hard to decide on sizing, I try to make things that can be worn as a true fit or oversized. Another option is to have something custom made - this way it is made for the person in mind. 

I am often asked if I would work with new fabrics. It is a perfectly normal question but one that requires some thought. Fabric production should be done ethically and sustainably for both those growing the raw fibre and the environment. For now I enjoy sourcing and working with the vast selection of textiles already made. I personally love the hunt and not knowing what will await me. That is not to say that I would never delve into the world of new fabric sourcing, it would just have to align with the values of the brand.

2024 has brought with it a lot of change in my life personally (hello baby) and it has me thinking more about to live more slowly and with consideration. These values are some of which the brand was founded on. I hope this year to build on these values, to centre me creatively as well as in life and business. 














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