Meet the Speaker: Bridgette Fedak, Lilly Pulitzer

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Meet Lilly Pulitzer designer Bridgette Fedak. As part of our Art of Fashion series, she is giving a lecture about her background and her role at Lilly Pulitzer on April 1. Following the lecture, enjoy a fashion show, Lilly Pulitzer Pop-Up Shop, sponsored by Dillard’s, Park Plaza Mall, and themed lunch specials at Canvas restaurant.

What’s your current role in fashion?

Bridgette Fedak

Currently my title is Senior Associate Fashion Designer of Women’s Woven Dresses, Embellishments and Sample Room Coordinator at Lilly Pulitzer. I design the woven dresses (the ones that typically don’t stretch), as well as the top applied embellishments that we use. In addition to this, I co-coordinate our in-house Sample Room – I keep the flow of work organized for them, monitor fabric inventory, assist in getting what my Sample Room team needs from the other various teams, etc.

How did you first become interested in fashion?

I first became interested in fashion when I lived abroad in Switzerland. I was in high school, and brands were a big deal no matter your age. Looking around, I saw kids carrying Louis Vuitton accessories, there were collisions in the hallway when two girls were wearing the same outfit from the same store, etc. Fashion became so obtainable. I quickly realized that fashion was the ultimate way to express yourself. I began paying more and more attention to it and paid less and less attention in classes such as physics.

What role does art play in your work in fashion?

It plays a huge role. We are always looking for exhibits we can go to as a little getaway from the office! Every time we have an inspiration shopping trip to New York, we look up what exhibitions are going on that we would like to add to the itinerary. Fashion often looks back to vintage as well. There are often wonderful fashion exhibitions popping up that recognize historical periods of dress, some by famous designers and some not. Some designers also turn to historical paintings and take more literal approaches to re-create those paintings in their designs. There is really no limit to what can inspire and develop a garment.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

EVERYWHERE! There is absolutely no limitation to where we can find inspiration! In the past, before working for Lilly, I remember taking a picture of the movement of water in a fountain, another picture of Spanish moss in a tree and turning those pictures into prints that I had printed on fabric and made into garments. For Lilly, we use anything from a picture found on Pinterest to pictures from our travels to many exotic places with beautiful colors, foliage and animals. We often shop markets all over the globe and even the local mall for inspiration. What makes designing different is that even when the work day is over, your job isn’t. Inspiration might be the sunset you see on your drive home. It might be writing the names of towns down on a scrap paper in the car on a personal road trip that can be used to name a dress later. It might even be the way a child is wearing her dress backwards! Our eyes are forever open.

This Art of Fashion Lecture is sold out. Ticket reservations are not required for the Lilly Pulitzer pop-up shop open from 12 – 2 p.m. or lunch at Canvas restaurant from 11–2 p.m. on April 1.

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