A lot of my work is a conceptual play on Victorian dress, a modern reinterpretation of the dramatic forms and traditionally conservative silhouettes using fabric distortion and manipulation techniques. Through that I’m able to create something new and exciting whilst simultaneously classical and elegant. The collection invokes sensuality and romantic artisanship to evoke a strong emotional response, like being in love.
Of course, my collections will develop as I grow, but at its core, those notions of intense emotion, physical interaction and romance will always be there.
What should we expect next from you? Are you planning on following a traditional way of creating, showcasing two collections per year?
The best piece of advice I’ve received was from another designer who told me to avoid the clichés of the fashion industry. I’m in no rush – I want to build my brand intentionally and at my own pace. So, for now I’m making individual pieces with plans for seasonal collections in the future.
Are you already working on the new collection? Can you give us a sneak peek?
At the moment I love collaborating with stylists, photographers and artists – it’s so inspiring. I am also continuing to build onto my previous collection, which is currently in the toiling stages. I enjoy working with black and its ability to communicate depth and volume, so there’ll be a lot more of that. I’ve recently invested in a smocking pleater and taken a course in industrial machine knitting, so I’m excited to incorporate both of those elements.
What do you think femininity means today? How do you relate to this concept, does it have any importance in your creations?
Female bodies are so beautiful. A lot of designers find beauty in their sexuality, but I find it in their power, their shape and form. The origins of femininity hugely interest me, so I’m constantly submerged in historical feminine references. My designs reimagine those historical approaches as powerful, accentuating her body with sheer fabrics and tight or exposed waists – but never in a sexual way. I want to rewrite traditional femininity as powerful, unapologetically celebrating the female form. Simply put, I don’t feel the need to wear a power suit to feel powerful.
Ground breaking characters and references that shaped you?
Firstly, my parents. Together their creativity and eye for refinement has always influenced me; they’re both heavily involved in my final decision making. Secondly, Ellsworth Kelly, his attention to minimalism and form is something I try to emulate in my own designs. And we’ve already established that Victorian fashion has undoubtedly captivated me. It accounts for a lot of my research – particularly the era’s mourning clothes. The reference that I always return to though is the image of people embracing, kissing; the shapes clothes make during those moments, how they crumple, gather and restrict in ways they never do otherwise, have hugely contributed to my experimentation with volume and silhouette.
What’s your biggest goal?
For now, I just want to continue doing what I’m doing. I’m a big believer that if I keep doing what I love, hopefully other people will love it too and my brand will naturally grow from there. I’m in no rush, so long as I stay focused and true to my brand it will be a success.