We’ve all done it before: the long, arduous, chest-clutching climb up the four flights of stairs in the iconic Curtain House building in Melbourne’s CBD to get to the likes of Cookie or Toff in Town, but have you ever wondered what lies behind the many other doors you pass along the way?
Through one such forgotten doorway lies the head office and creative space of Australian fashion label, búl.
Finding inspiration from coastal locations and cultures around the world, búl is the story of Virginia Martin. Martin is a youthful Melbournian whose strong design aesthetic is referenced throughout her use of individual prints and luxurious fabrics.
Entering the space for the first time, you could be mistaken for thinking you’d stepped into a seaside getaway thanks to the white-washed walls and ceiling, natural timber floorboards and breezy coastal stylings.
Working with architect, Michael Macleod to design the space, the brief was to create a beach-side haven where Martin could draw inspiration for her future collections.
The large, original window frames let plenty of natural light into the space, giving the room a lovely energy, while a large timber-cladded partition wall featuring búl’s bold typesetting, creates a clear yet unobtrusive division between the retail and studio spaces.
The benches, display units and white-washed clothing racks create an illusion of the pieces floating in the sea, while a huge photograph depicting stormy waters – taken by Martin herself while on holiday somewhere far away and exotic – is a source of constant inspiration for the team.
Looking at this studio it is clear that the size of the space doesn’t matter; it is the creative talent that forms the success.
So next time you tackle the Mount Everest-like expedition to climb those endless stairs up to Curtin House’s top levels, close your eyes for just a second and see if you can hear the seaside inspiration emanating from behind búl’s door.