Words: Hande Renshaw | Photography: Lean Timms & Lilli Waters
H&F: Hi Lynda, tell us what you’ve been up to this year?
Lynda: After the long year or so of being locked in at home I’ve kept myself busy with lots of different projects — including finishing off interiors from the year prior, getting my accommodation properties up and running again and more recently I moved across to fashion, creating a capsule range with a local small Melbourne fashion retailer.
Quite randomly I started a conversation with the owner of Eva’s Sunday about trying out my very own small range in collaboration with their Melbourne team, and we’re now collaborating on a new clothing range. I will never give up interiors 100%, however, for now I’m really aching to learn something new and different.
What does a normal work day look like for you?
Each and every day is very different. Mostly I’m up at 7am or so, I cuddle my new puppy Buddy in bed for 15 mins (he loves a good massage in the morning), after that it’s breakfast at home or out at one of my favourite local cafes. Around 9am Buddy and I will go for a long walk and do chores, mail books or orders and some personal food shopping.
It’s then back home for a few hours of emails. I usually walk again and head in to sit with the team at Eva’s Sunday for a meeting. Today our meeting was all about the next range (yes, the second range!) which will be out early next year. We chat and talk about what it might look like: looking at fabrics and brain storming ideas. Where I can, I also add my creative ideas and direction on everything from Instagram to ideas for details or accessories in the range. We cover everything. It’s a really fun new aspect to my career, I’m thoroughly enjoying the new processes and working with a fresh and young team. Then it’s back home, more emails in the afternoon and managing bookings for my properties – this takes up a lot of the day.
In the evenings I might catch up with friends often for dinner or drinks in the neighbourhood and then often spend an hour at night finishing off any last minute emails. My days are never quiet or the same, which is what I love the most.
Can you tell us a little about your creative process?
Now I’m working with a new team at Eva’s Sunday, it’s been very exciting for me. I’m learning something new every visit and rather excited about the creative process, which I’m learning along the way. There’s no real format, I guess mainly I’m using my history over the years in the businesses I’ve run, the companies I’ve worked for in the earlier days. Fashion is just second nature and something that feels so right for me.
What do you love most about what you do?
The flexibility of my days and weeks. I work for myself and also work with others, which keeps me enriched, stimulated and excited.
“It’s all gut instinct at the moment. Over the years it’s how I’ve always moved forward — if I have a good feeling about something, I just run with it.”
— LYNDA GARDENER
How would you best describe your personal style?
A mix of vintage and new, a little bohemian at times thrown in with opulent jewellery – cocktail rings and chunky necklaces and bangles. Currently I’ve added hair wraps and turbans, the bigger the better! I like to mix it up, make it my own and not wear the latest in fashion trends. I’ve always been this way since I was a child, creating my own look, and that’s never changed.
Where do you gather inspiration?
Life all around me: people, friends, travelling, architecture, fabrics, vintage finds – It’s all inspiration for me.
What has been your proudest work moment to date?
I would have to say successfully running 5 boutique accommodation properties in Melbourne. It all happened very organically and built up slowly after many years of hard work and they’re still as successful as the day they opened 15 years ago. I’m pretty much proud of all I have done, as I was never given anything as a young person to set me up, it really did come from lots of passion and being willing to risk and try new things. Lastly, I have to add my book Curate. I never thought something so wonderful could happen during COVID lockdowns, but we did it!
What is the best piece of advice you would give to a designer or stylist starting out?
Just do what you love, gut instinct is everything along with passion and pride. Take pride in what you do, show it off and others will follow.
What’s coming up for you creatively?
Anything and everything – my world and doors are wide open.