Designer Profile – Pelican Sleepwear

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting Liana Cordell, Creator and Designer of Pelican Sleepwear.

The label is fairly new to the growing sleepwear market, having launched their first collection only last year, but unlike other PJ’s out there, I could quite confidently venture outside in some of these pieces.

An interest in garment construction plus the frustration of not being able to find suitable bed attire, led Liana to launch the label, who’s collections offer a selection of classic and fashionable sleepwear and loungewear, which is also made in Melbourne!

 Simple, & Comfortable, without compromising style. What could be better?

Check out the new Pelican Sleepwear collection here, and my interview with Liana below!


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Tell us a little bit about yourself and how Pelican Sleepwear came about.
Believe it or not I never used to wear pyjamas.  My night-time wardrobe consisted of either what I wore that day or an old pair of trackies and an even older singlet. I never used to care about pyjamas because I didn’t see anything that I liked enough to care about! The button up matching set and the quirky prints and colours never really did it for me. Plus, whenever I bought a pair of pyjama pants they would just shrink 5 sizes in the wash anyway. I couldn’t bring myself to step out of my nice day outfit and completely disregard everything I love about fashion just because it’s night-time.

I originally completed a bachelor in Exercise Science, but as much as I enjoyed studying it, by the end of the course I knew that it wasn’t a career I wanted to pursue. I had always been a crafty, hands-on sort of person and had this fascination with clothing – more specifically, how a flat sheet of fabric could be turned into just about any garment you wanted. So I enrolled in a pattern making and garment construction night course which I absolutely loved. From there, I knew I wanted to create something of my own and when I really started to look at the lack of diversity within the sleepwear industry I felt like I could introduce something that was a fresh alternative.

What inspires your design and creative decisions?
Reading magazines definitely wakes my creative side up. Often I will be reading Vogue and gazing upon their editorials or the high fashion images of bloggers and think “Man that jacket is cool, I wonder if I could turn it into a dressing gown?

But sometimes an idea can just come to you. When I’m driving long distances I often just have things pop into my head which I need to then describe into the recorder on my phone so I don’t forget.

How would you describe your personal style?
I’m definitely a minimalist. I like to wear one statement piece of clothing and then down-play the rest of the outfit.

What are 5 essentials in your wardrobe?
1. Jeans, a black blazer, a plain white or grey t-shirt, really comfy yet equally awesome black heels, and a huge scarf.

Who are some of the people that inspire you and why?
From a fashion perspective, I have  really enjoyed Victoria Beckham’s collections. it took me by surprise, I guess I never took her out of the Spice Girl category, but when she brought out her label it was just full of sharp, tailored, elegant pieces that couldn’t be further from her Spice Girl days. I also am a fan of Cate Blanchett and Diane Kruger, I love the way they dress it’s so feminine and sets a really good example for younger women to show them that they don’t need to bare all to look good. But with social media being so saturated with fashion these days, it’s so easy to draw inspiration from everyone.

From a brand perspective, it’s hard not to be inspired by Steve Jobs. It’s incredible how well he was able to articulate his brand’s vision – you can’t have loyal followers like he does without that vision, I think it just goes to show how inspiring change only comes through good leadership. I also love Lorna Jane Clarkson’s story and how she built her Lorna Jane brand from scratch purely through word of mouth. I guess it gives me hope that it is possible to create big change out of something small.

If you could design sleepwear for anyone in the world, who would it be?
My biggest inspiration is every young woman in Australia. If I’m not designing for them then it’s not worth doing.

What are the top 3 resources which you turn to for inspiration?
The start of the month is always handy for inspiration because that’s when all of my magazine subscriptions get delivered! Fabric shopping is also helpful. Other than that, I just design for what I would want to wear to bed or what makes me feel good, because often I can’t find it anywhere.

What is the best place to shop in Melbourne?
To be honest, I’m a big online shopper. I have almost grown to resent physically going shopping, however there are some great spots on Brunswick St that offer you something different to the big chain stores.

What is next for the label? Where do you see the brand going in the future?
I would love to be able to keep making ranges and grow the brand’s profile and stock in stores. I have this dream of one day walking into a Pelican Sleepwear office with a team of about 5 people just creating awesome stuff and loving their jobs and having fun at work. That’s ultimately what I would want for the brand.

Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to start his or her own business in fashion?
I have plenty of advice, but here’s my top 3:

1. Know what you want to do inside and out. If someone asks you what your business is all about, you should be able to reel off a sentence or 2 summing up your vision that just puts any other questions to bed

2. Celebrate the wins, no matter how small. Because those lows can be pretty low.

3. Find a way to always move forward. If something goes wrong, have a cry for 10 minutes then say “right, how do I make this work?”

Photos by Pelican Sleepwear & LiLT Blog

  • Vicki

    Love it – great inspiration!