What’s the story behind your collection?
I started off looking at this image of Paul Poiret‘s wife at the 1002nd Night party he had in 1911. It was a big, rowdy party and guests were encouraged to wear Persian dress and costumes inspired by the East. I just looked at that pre-war decadence. I also looked at moonlight and how cities stumble on the edge of Eastern and Western culture. Then it moved through various prints and colours and now it layers Eastern and Western influences in terms of the motifs of the prints and silhouettes. It turned into a mood more than anything else.
Is it an idea you’ve had and wanted to express for a while?
Yes, I’ve always been interested in merging cultures, how one group of people is influenced by something that’s completely different to their lifestyle. Those long poems and stories from folk culture have always interested me. It’s also the mood of light. Moonlight, pre-dusk light and those qualities have always been important to me.
What have you found most challenging about creating the collection?
It’s been a real learning curve. Keeping everything tightly within the budget is always a challenge because I get quite excited by fabrics and just want to order everything! I think my experience in the film industry has helped me keep everything in budget and on schedule though. Finding a really good team at the beginning is really important. There were also construction challenges as some of my pieces are fairly complex in their making. It’s been amazing though and I’d love to do it all over again with the new collection. I can’t wait actually, really excited about getting stuck into AW13.
What does AW13 and the future hold for you?
I see myself just carrying on, I want to make it work. I’ve really started to think about next season, its themes and I’m doing a lot of research and developments at the minute. I want to keep growing as a label, keep going and keep getting better.
How much will your next collection relate to this one?
All the collections will relate to each other and have a connectivity. There are some threads I’ll carry over but it’s certainly got a different theme. At the same time as wanting to retain my visual features, I want to explore new ideas and next season, I think they’re going to be quite different.
What’s your background and how does it feed into your designs?
I come from a fine art and film making background. I studied history of art BA and then did an MA in fine art and worked in the film industry for about 7 years. After my MA, I was doing print-making on paper and that very naturally led me into textiles and into fashion. My background’s hugely influential: art, film and nature will always feed into my work.
Who’s the person you have in mind when designing?
I design with a mood in mind rather than a person but I have an idea of her character. The woman I’m thinking about is very adventurous, independent, and very much interested in cultures and people. She’s sure of herself and loves to express herself. I don’t have a muse though, I look around and if I see a woman on the street or someone from a dream I’ve had, I work that into it and use my imagination.