Hey Holly, so when did you start designing? About 3 years ago.
What are your main motivations to create new work? Do you have a specific aim that drives you? I’ve always had a very insatiable nature, and often want to better my last piece of work, so I guess that motivates me to create more. When you have a vision and you can see it coming together bit by bit, and you don’t know if it’s going to be terrible or amazing is really exciting – I definitely get a buzz out of it. Apart from when it turns out terrible, then its back to the drawing board, but so much of being a designer is understanding failure.
What was the inspiration behind your latest pre-collection, The Art of Faux? So I took inspiration from luxurious and ostentatious interiors – specifically from the French Edwardian period. I then came across a DIY book in the library entitled ‘the art of faux’ which basically demonstrated how to make ordinary furniture and interiors look grand and sumptuous. It was the appropriation of luxury which was interesting to me, there was something really humorous and ridiculous about it which I really liked. I also referenced the Lauren Greenfield documentary ‘The Queen of Versailles’ which is a good watch. I wanted to modernise period luxury with a hint of wit, a light hearted and fun commentary on the pursuit of luxurious taste.
Being original seems to be getting more and more difficult.
Do you have a favourite piece? I’d have to say my favourite piece would be my two tone blue silk taffeta trousers. For me a big thing is to take a concept and try to interpret the mood of it, this time by reinterpreting the tacky metallic curtains within my research but to create something wearable which still communicates the concept. I put a lot of work in getting the fabric right which is a big part of my aesthetic. The taffeta oozes connotations of tacky prom dresses and are over the top, which is always present within my work.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing designers in 2017? A cliché, but being original seems to be getting more and more difficult. Everything is over-consumed due to social media — content is seen and tossed aside within minutes of it being posted, I hate the speed of which things are being consumed. Good design takes so long to perfect and when it’s chewed up and deemed obsolete in less than half the time it takes to make I find a real sadness in that. Although Instagram is a huge aid to young creatives like myself, it makes me worry that there can only be a certain amount of newness in the world, there’s so much samey stuff around it’s difficult to stand out.
Tell us a little bit about the collaboration with photographer Erika Bowes. Both me and Erika were really excited about shooting the lookbook, it was a bit of a last minute thing but we were so happy with the results despite just two of us working on it. I guess too many cooks spoil the broth! We both wanted to get really rich images that could communicate a particular mood and also make the clothes look good. The girls Camille and Alice were amazing too they loved wearing the clothes and we loved shooting them.
What are your plans for the future? I would like to soak up as much knowledge and skills as possible by working with brands and creatives that inspire me – I’m always humbled by learning from really talented and successful people. I also plan to work on my own design alongside this, I’m becoming increasingly interested in developing fabric, and combining jewellery with ready to wear garments. I would love to continue studying after a few years experience in the industry perhaps abroad. Until then just trying to enjoy it.