Hi Kristine, last time we interviewed you, you were getting ready to launch Gloria. How have you found the last 7 or so months being back in the game?
It's been pretty grounding! It was kind of weird not doing my thing for a bit - I loved it too though, I had the opportunity to focus on other creative stuff. I feel good about making work and putting it out again. It has been extremely busy though - much like before haha.
We are lucky to stock your beautiful silk scrunchies at colleen but Gloria has a much bigger offering, can you explain what that is?
We love working with Colleen and your cool audience. Gloria is a bit of this, a bit of that really; Perfume, Ready-to-wear, custom-make. It's a discovery!
What was the process like in creating the Gloria scent? It must have been pretty special working alongside your dear friend, Tiffany Witehira, of Curionoir to create something so close to your heart.
It was actually really special and kind of classic Tiffany Witehera. Tiffany and I had some conversations about what my fragrance would be like, pretty hypothetical, I mean I didn’t actually think it would be a thing. I wanted it to be mysterious and yummy, kinda earthy and very light and expansive. With some of my favourite flowers from childhood memories of my grandmother Gloria’s garden. I've been captivated by scent and perfume since I was little so to have my own fragrance is a complete Dream Come True, yes.
And then one day, quite out of the blue, Tiffany showed me the small vials of GLORIA parfum; “Girl, here’s your perfume” she said. It was perfect. Tiffany is a complete genius with formulating fragrances and everything she does. She creates an enigma, a feeling and transformation through her world of CURIONOIR. All of which speaks through her Māori culture, Pāpatūanuku and her whanau.
You have chosen to run your business from home, I personally love working from home but do find I never really switch off, how do you find that mix of personal and business life under one roof? Do you think your creativity benefits from this way of life?
I love it at the moment as I want to be fully immersed in all aspects of my work. The way I work is pretty intensive and so I love it being in my home. I love working around the kids, I love them to see it all, how special it is, the people. At the moment I don’t want to switch off, I want to make all my dream pieces and realise my ideas.
I go through phases in my creative life where I want to work all the time, where I live in the studio and other times where I'm more productive working from a separate studio space.
What is your design process?
It's intuitive. I have a feeling, an idea or kind of aspiration dawning and I need to discover it; its colour, its symbolism and its silhouette. Then it can be a very labour intensive process of refining in the studio. Usually about 50-80
hours. OMG, and that's just the products.
Producing visual imagery and presenting everything is another thing. I love taking the time now to make dream photoshoots and visuals, working with talented interesting people and conveying ideas and feelings and being able to show the dynamics of the garments we make. I reference art and fashion history for this, as well as contemporary culture... also my kids #teenagers
What do you do for yourself? How do you take care of your health and well-being?
Oh man, it's a huge part of me functioning as a cool solo mom, artist and business person. I meditate, I do yoga, swim and run. I have regular massage and red light therapy. I make time to see my friends and have enough time with the kids and in nature and doing my garden, Te Reo class and my filthy dance class lolol. I also find I need a day in bed once a month lol.
I wish I could contribute to our community more also, such as young people, mental health, and Pāpatuānuku.
I love the community you’ve created over the years; it’s creative, supportive and so fun! I think it says a lot about you as a person. What does community mean to you?
It is really special to me. I've always felt like an outsider in my life, so it's been a surprising aspect of my work projects to bring people together and help them feel excellent.
Your wider community includes the makers, all based around NZ and essential to your design process. For anyone who may be wondering how it all works, who are these people?
It's mostly just my people who work from home too or I work with small studios, like me. It's quite a humble kind of work, technical and skilled. It's the best part of what I do.
With the local fashion industry ever-evolving, I’m sure a lot has changed for them over the years, what have you observed while working alongside these people?
It has changed a lot, it has shrunk - speciality services aren’t available anymore, unfortunately. I do notice a rejuvenation in the industry though, with amazing new designers and the internet being such a powerful and democratic way to reach audiences. I hope our industry as a whole can only get stronger, more diverse, inclusive and sustainable. It's an important industry, and a pillar of culture.
What does a day in the life of Kristine Crabb look like?
Wake up (pretty early lol, like Dolly and Ru of course), get the kids prepared for their day, get the house in order and then just get to work. Every day is different, I could be coordinating projects, seeing clients, studio time and working on the biz. Also, all the admin that comes with kids and a home…. It's pretty busy but mostly it's a cool harmony between work, social and yin energies.
What about a Saturday night?
I love just being home with the kids having a rejuvy time, then going to early morning yoga. But I also love staying up late with friends or going dancing sometimes.
What’s a hairstyle or trend that should never have seen the light of day? Did you experiment with this look personally?
Who am I to judge though, hahaha.
What Dolly Parton song resonates with you the most?
Sweet Summer loving gets me every time.
Are you working on anything super special at the moment? What can we expect to see from you in the coming year?
Firstly, my children are burgeoning into teenagers now, so I'm pretty happy with how this project is unfolding! But yes, everything! Suits, bodysuits and intimates... new stuff! Also, a back catalogue of all my favourite pieces from my archive.
Whoa, it all makes me want to take a lil lie down and listen to some psych-rock.