Slow fashion brand Days of Grace offers made-to-order garments with exquisite details

Alongside her career in social work, Annie McLary decided she needed some sort of creative outlet. Her lifelong love of fashion led her to launching Days of Grace, a slow fashion brand focused on made-to-order local production.

“I have worked as a social worker for several years and currently work in the homelessness and housing sector supporting people to secure housing and maintain their tenancies. In late 2016, I decided to pursue a creative dream and passion, moved interstate and completed a Bachelor of Fashion Design and Technology at RMIT,” Annie explains.

“Prior to this, I had decided that I wanted to pursue the possibility of a different career path despite the numerous unknowns in relation to this. Due to a desire to create, Days of Grace was founded in late 2021.”

The name of the brand comes from Annie’s name – which means ‘grace’ – and her understanding of what ‘grace’ means: “Grace is defined as ‘unmerited favour, seemingly effortless beauty’ (Oxford Dictionary). It is the meaning of my name but it also has a connection to my faith. I added ‘days of’ to capture the continuation of time.”

Launching a fashion brand in October, 2021, Annie says wasn’t easy but was definitely worthwhile.

“The start-up costs of a small socially conscious business as well as navigating through manufacturing in Australia have both been difficult at times. It was, and is, important to me to support the manufacturing industry in Australia, despite encountering difficulties with finding a local manufacturer who was willing and able to work within a made-to-order business model,” says Annie. 

“Following conversations with local manufacturers and the exploration of other alternatives, I happened to find a machinist who was willing to support Days of Grace and work within my business model.

Days of Grace Melbourne fashion brand 3

“It has been challenging starting a business and there have been times when I have wanted to give up but I believe that dreams are worth pursuing and taking risks in life is equally important.”

Annie says that she is inspired by international designers like Alexander McQueen, Cecille Bahnsen and Stella McCartney, but she also looks towards brands that have a social component.

“I am also inspired, especially as someone who has a passion for social justice, by Outland Denim’s pursuit of freedom, liberty and empowerment. I admire how the brand started as an avenue for victims of sexual exploitation to engage in employment whilst at the same time rebuilding their lives.”

Days of Grace garments have soft, feminine silhouettes with beautiful, delicate details. The current AW22 collection has a moody, dark vibe; very ‘dark academia’. Annie says that each capsule collection will fit into a seasonless wardrobe; the brand’s aesthetic offers “feminine silhouettes invoking a mood of freedom and elegance”.

“Days of Grace’s pieces are created to be inherently beautiful with a sense of being understated. Utilising small runs in limited batches, the pieces are made with exquisite detail and care with the intention of a lifetime of wearing and being loved,” explains Annie, describing the epitome of the slow fashion movement.

“Days of Grace is an ethically conscious and slow fashion brand. All of the pieces in our collections are designed and made in Melbourne and are made-to-order, meaning that we are only producing garments as and when they are ordered with the aim to reduce textile waste and overproduction. 

“Orders take between two to three weeks to dispatch which allows time for pieces to be manufactured by a small team of skilled machinists. Pieces are produced using natural and deadstock fabrics. The fabrics have been sourced from businesses based in Australia and/or New Zealand. I am aware that there can be issues with using deadstock fabrics in terms of traceability and intentional overproduction. However, deadstock fabrics can be sustainable. I think that it is one way of repurposing waste.

“Due to the restricted availability and small number of fabrics sourced, all of the pieces in the collections are limited in nature and will not be produced again, making them unique,” Annie explains.

As for the future? Annie is sticking to her ethical practices to slowly develop and build Days of Grace into a considered brand.

Shop the brand at www.daysofgrace.com.au, and follow the brand on Instagram at @_days_of_grace_.

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