Sunday, January 4, 2015

Coup de Foudre - Art for your Ass

This Babe is a Wolf! Nikki Donald (aka Wolf Mama) is a gorgeous, talented artist & designer - and also one of my closest friends and an all-round beautiful person.  Looking like a fiery red-headed cross between Gwen Stefani and supermodel Nadja Auermann, Nikki also happens to run a fabulous label called Coup de Foudre (COO-duh FOO-druh), making the most amazing leggings. A fellow Kiwi, Nikki is based in my old 'hood, Newtown in Sydney's Inner West.  Newts is a creative hub and melting pot for students, stylers, artists, the LBGT community and hipsters in general - as well as being the setting for last year's Coldplay video for 'A Sky full of Stars'.
A few years ago Nikki started her label, Coup de Foudre.
Nikki's leggings, which she affectionately calls 'Art for your Ass', are all printed with original designs. There are dreamy stampeding horses, striking florals (flowers photographed in Nikki's mum's New Zealand garden), funky flamingoes, trippy psychedelics and a collaboration with underwater photography artist Paola Talbert.
I have a pair of her A Murder (gasp!) Of Raven leggings (as above) and have worn them to death. Amazingly comfy and versatile, these super-hot leggings take you from yoga or pilates to cocktails & clubbing. I even wore them during my last pregnancy (neatly tucked under burgeoning tum, up to my 8th month!), with boots & baggy tees (and Winter with a long merino jumper). Even though they are tight, they are amazingly super flattering! Made from a luxe-feeling, thick lycra, they accentuate your shape, yet smooth a multiple of sins. Here are a Q & A from the lady herself.
Nikki wearing Stampede Ghost Horse in silver
What does Coup de Foudre mean? 
It's a French expression and has a literal and a figurative meaning, Literally, un coup de foudre is a "bolt of lightning" or "thunderbolt." Figuratively, its "love at first sight, which is how I apply it to my designs :)
What made you begin this range?
I'm a Surface Designer which means I create artwork that can be applied to a multitude of different surfaces - fabric, wallpaper, home wares - basically, if you've got a surface I can make it look sexy! It's a bit of an obsession, I see pattern everywhere. At the moment, my designs are on fabric but my next step is wallpaper and bedlinen
Nikki wearing A Murder (gasp!) Of Raven 
Why leggings? 
Initially I wanted to do wallpaper and bedlinen - I still do! However, the outlay was massive financially as I'm totally self funded. I looked at swimwear but there was already a lot out there. I noticed that there wasn't a great variety in terms of leggings so I jumped in!
Nikki wearing Kaleidoscope
What inspires your designs?
Mostly it's colour, visual texture and nature. If I get stomach butterflies when I look at something I know there's something special there. I love working with mixed media - ink, bleach, dye, gouache paint - a lot of ideas stem from these works. Digital photography of abstract images- things that are a bit ethereal and magical looking :)
Buddha Garden
Who do you design for? 
Wolf Babes! Gals and guys that have their own style, don't follow trends and really own their look. The cool thing is so many people of different shapes, sizes and age groups have bought them.
What kind of fabric do you use? It's super comfy and flattering!
Thank you! I tested ALOT of fabric before I decided on the one that I use. It's a bit thicker than most of the others out there I've looked at. It's a 4-way stretch Polyester-lycra, it's so snug and I've been wearing it for about 2 years without any sagging. It's great for yoga too.
Any plans to expand the range?
Oooh yeh!! I'm working on a kids range, some more crop tops and a specialty yoga range.
Where do you hope CDF is in a year's time?
On everybody's BUTTS!!! :)
Why do I need these leggings? What makes them different?
I love how versatile they are. You can dress them up super-glam for evening - heels and a sexy top, or wear them with high-tops and a t.shirt for a street look. You can wear them to yoga then go out afterwards without having to get changed. Why are they different? These are all my original artworks which I have printed onto the fabric and manufactured here in Sydney. They are 100% unique to Coup De Foudre!
Where can I buy?! 
Via my website: and more recently, Cohesion Collection on Oxford St in Paddington. And yes, I do (and have!) shipped to NZ!
Check out Coup de Foudre's Facebook page too, here.
La Femme Nouveau in mint and gold

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