Words by Lauren Rosenberg Art by Bridget Melville
Havin’ a fair dinkum chat with local designer Lara Irachev.
Who are you and what is EAT.ME.DO?
I am an independent Melbourne designer with a thing for food. I create and design food inspired clothing and jewellery. EAT.ME.DO is something from my glitter filled imagination made into a real-life dream.
How’d you come up with the name of your business?
A lot of people usually ask me that. It sort of just came to me pretty quickly and was unintentionally a combination or two things I love; Alice in wonderland (eat me cookies) and The Beatles (love me do).
How did you decide what kind of Australia you’d represent in your G’Day collection?
Well I was really drawn to classic retro mum-wear, so I kinda rolled with this theme and put an EAT.ME.DO spin on it. Hence the daggy high waisted shorts etc. There [were] just so many choices in terms of classic and iconic Aussie foods it was hard to choose, but I couldn’t go past the favourites.
Was this a challenging collection to create?
This collection was created as a folio piece for a design award competition. So it actually came together very quickly (about a week). I started with doing lots of pencil drawings and scanning them into the computer. From there I usually play around and get a few prints that I’m happy with before applying them to clothing designs. Once that’s all sorted I send to my manufacturer where I get fabric swatches and printing samples before I sign off on everything and receive the final complete pieces. There wasn’t really too many challenges for this collection, other than having particular guidelines that I had to stick to. For example, having to have 6 solid looks, as I usually only do 2 to 3 main looks.
What’s been your biggest food inspiration?
Oooh that’s a tough one. Definitely something sweet that’s for sure…I would probably have to say lollies. They are just so fun and colourful and just look so delicious when I make them into jewellery and prints. Everyone loves a good strawberries and cream or jelly snake.
How did EAT.ME.DO go from just an idea to a full-blown small business?
It was never really started out with the intention of becoming a full blown business. It was more of a hobby of making jewellery and clothing for myself before it was anything public. It was only after some encouragement and unsuccessful job/intern interviews that I really started pursuing it as a proper business. The turning point was when I kept getting rejected for jobs and was fed up with people saying I need experience, but no one would give me experience in the first place. So I set out to prove a point and to create a real life project that showed people I had the skills and creativity to do these jobs I was applying for. EAT.ME.DO was much more fun anyway so I just stuck with it.
I always wanted to have my own business and be my own boss ever since I could remember, so yes I always wanted to do this. I’d love to keep growing and establishing EAT.ME.DO in the future. I absolutely love coming up with new ideas and turning them into something for everyone to enjoy.
You started off designing and graduated to clothing, which do you prefer?
I love both. The jewellery side is really fun and much more hands on, as I no longer sew things myself (I hate sewing). Designing clothing has a lot more thought, as you really have to think of style and cuts, as everyone’s bodies are just so different. I definitely spend much more time designing, changing and altering clothing then I do jewellery. They both have their pros and cons.
Is there one piece of advice you’d share with small-business hopefuls?
One piece of advice I wish I received was to focus on smaller collections rather then going nuts just making a load of different things. I would of saved so much more time. I’d just say if you love doing something just go for it and turn it into your dream job. That’s what I did and I wouldn’t change it for the world.