MagiK Designs evolved out of the fusion of it's founder, Kristine Purcell's, two life long passions and pursuits - performing arts and textiles.
Live Theatre Background -
Prior to having her two children, Kristine Purcell flourished in a busy career in the performing arts.
After completing an undergraduate degree that majored in all aspects of live theatre production and performance at the University of Western Sydney in 1994, Kristine enjoyed over 10 years as a professional in the performing arts industry. With the skills and natural adaptable creativity Kristine's positions varied, but the one constant was employment as a Director of between 6 and 10 productions every year for various professional companies and theatre for young people. Other roles Kristine was invited to undertake professionally were roles as a Costume Designer, Stage Manager, Playwright and Actor.
This immersion in all things theatrical, colourful and energetic gave Kristine a rich history of what works on stage, what captures an audience members attention and how to bring what is in the imagination into reality on stage.
Those who knew Kristine pre-children are acutely aware of the many hours she poured into textile creations over the years, particularly in her teens and twenties. The sewing skills Kristine developed funded her undergraduate theatre studies when she was employed by a major fabric retailer teaching pattern and dress making. Although not having the "official" qualifications to do so, Kristine also accepted an invitation for part time employment teaching textiles at a high school in these years.
Why Irish Dance Dresses?
After Kristine's daughter, Georgie, commenced Irish Dancing at the age of six, Kristine realised what a wonderful production each dancer was in their own right. And that the same amount of blood, sweat and tears went into a 90 second Irish Dance performance as a 90 minute theatrical production. Maybe more!
Kristine was keen to make a dress for Georgie , but quickly learnt the "done" thing was purchasing a dress from Ireland. With a new family friendly and well compensated career as a Sales Director for a cosmetics company, any ambition of making a dress or exploring any outlet for creative expression was lost whilst other priorities were chosen.
The Launch of MagiK Designs -
As the years went by Georgie's Dance Teacher became aware of Kristine's sewing abilities after Kristine volunteered to do the alterations of the junior Ceili dresses one year. Then Kristine began doing the odd alterations here and there to solo dresses.
Kristine officially went into her dressmaking business after receiving a request to revamp the dance school's 22 senior Ceili dresses and construct 4 new Ceili dresses in line with the altered design.
This kind of major construction work did not go unnoticed and the solo dress orders began to roll in.
Besides being able to unleash the creativity in designs that Kristine felt sat dormant for too many years after having children, Kristine has found the most exciting aspect of creating Irish Dance costumes is the art of the Irish Dance skirt. She has loved exploring the options of what works best for dancers, their dance style, their personality on stage and the continuing evolution of the Irish Dance costume.
What Kristine says she most loves about her business is the whole process she has developed for how MagiK Designs works with a dancer in a very personal way to create their dream dress.
Kristine's husband Darren is a keen supporter of all things Irish Dancing and now employed full time with Magik Designs. The whole Purcell family are keen runners also. Darren has been selected as an Australian representative at World Championships and Georgie is an Australian medal holder for 800m as well as representing Australia in Irish Dancing at Worlds in 2014, 2015 & 2016. Cameron will be attending his first World Championships in 2018.