Rising star of the British fashion scene, luxury accessories and outerwear designer Sophie Hulme graduated from Kingston University in 2007 with student of the year and best collection awards. Launching her label just two months after graduating, Sophie has wasted no time becoming one of Britain’s most promising designers, exhibiting on schedule at London Fashion Week for the first time in February 2012 . But it is perhaps her bags, especially her square armoured Totes that Sophie is best well known. Designed to last and hold a lot of stuff, they are made from soft leather with polished brass plates, they certainly look like they could last a lifetime. Like Sophie herself, I think they will be around for quite some time to come.
Archive for the ‘Cutting It – Interviews’ Category
I popped along to see “Mr Start“, who had its first presentation as part of The London Fashion Week, Men’s Fashion Day, held at 1 Aldwich.
“Mr Start was launched in 2008 on the back of the highly successful women’s Start boutique, which was started in 2002 with his wife Brix Smith Start. Philip sights Mr Start as his most satisfying achievement to date. Philip Start says “Mr Start is Modern and architectural and is the definition of Shoreditch Luxury”. For me this look is also a little roguish-Artful Dodger, edgy and self assured.
Philip tells me that he is a big fan of James Bond, and I can see a strong “license to kill”, element coming through too – shaken but definitely not stirred!
Riotous, bright and court jester like…
I recently visited the unique accessories and props designer Fred Butler at her studio in Angel, north London while she was hard at work on her Summer Autumn collection. Her work has been described as “riotous bright and court jester like”. Fred launched her first official collection of inspirational creations for Autumn/Winter 2008 and was recently the recipient of the prestigious Topshop NewGen sponsorship for A/W 2009.
I started off by asking Fred if her accessories always had to be bespoke, or could she envisage doing something for the high street. “I would love to do a high street diffusion range- that would be fun and accessible, but still have intellectual subconscious appeal, but must be a nice thing to wear.”
Old, new, borrowed and blue…
Up and coming designer Laura Booty developed an interest in salvage and reclaimed objects while studying fashion at UCA – University for the Creative Arts – in Rochester. She gained inspiration after a visit to a local conceptual artist called Alison Stockmarr, where Laura became fascinated by the way Stockmeyer’s artwork was constructed from found objects and thrown-away material – discarded written notes, keys and toys. “She even used her brother’s childhood pajamas and cut them up to use as part of one of her installations”.
While beach combing on Mersey beach in Essex, with her parents, Laura started searching for glass and bottle caps. Her father, a mechanic, would then take the bottle caps and blow torch them to get rid of the plastic before flattening and drilling them until they eventually resembled sequins.
Samurai swords and cage fights? – all in a day’s work…
Bespoke fashion designer Aaron Ray Dowie has travelled his own path since graduating at Nottingham and Trent School of Art in 2006. When I tagged him at his South London home, he was designing a suit for Ricci Harnett to wear at the Cannes Film festival – where the actor’s latest movie Breath will be previewing. Aaron has also recently finished a sexy trench coat for Page Three stunner Keeley Hazel.
When he first works with a client like Ricci, Aaron starts off by asking about favourite movies, music, and what other men’s dress styles his client most admires. He will then sketch up some initial ideas based on their conversation and make a 3D representation.
Ricci has been really laid back about the whole process and allowed Aaron to do what ever he wanted to do – although he did ask to include some special features, such as his initials, within the finished design. So Aaron decided it would be a nice touch to embroider these through the end of each pocket – to reinforce them – using the same stitch as the suit fabric. This became a hidden detail which won’t be seen unless closely observed. In addition to this special touch, Aaron also uses knot tying techniques instead of button holes.