What is your definition of style? A sense of identity, confidence and individuality. I wouldn't say that style is something dictated by fashion or even levels of 'taste'. You can tell when someone has style, it's really about a sensibility and personality rather than aesthetics.
Which are your favourite fabrics to design with? I love to work with fabrics not necessarily associated with luxury, but with function and performance. I enjoy sourcing 'tech' and 'smart' fabrics often used for sports and performance and utility clothing. For example I sourced a fine airtex used for sports jacket linings and then printed and micro pleated the fabric to make clim column shift dresses for SS16. I like the playfulness of taking a material out of context.
What inspires you when you create collections? I think inspiration builds over the process of creating collections and can come from disparate sources. I cover my walls with found images, sketches and objects cover my desk, almost like a crammed archive. I like the feeling of being immersed creatively.
What is the starting point for your designs? Colour is always my starting point. It could be a combination of colours I glance outside of a car window, or an unusual sunset or a section of a drawing from my sketchbook. The story builds from the colour and print ideas emerge. The silhouettes are developed alongside the textiles, and are simple, highly wearable canvases for colour.
Do you have a style mantra? Know yourself, dress in a way that lifts you and gives your confidence. Wearing colour can lift your mood and others as well!
Is travel important to you in terms of inspiring your designs? I think travel is great for inspiration. But I think I always get ideas when I'm away because I'm outside of my normal environment, without daily emails and distractions and the constricts of routine. It's so good to find time to explore new places, meet and speak to new people, open up your world view. This always indirectly influences how I approach my work.
What are your favourite places to visit? I love walking in London. If I need time to think or am struggling with a design or decision, I'll go for a walk along the Thames South bank at night and look at all the sparkly lights reflecting in the water. The Barbican is also a short walk away, so I often go there for inspiration and quiet contemplation. I love the idealistic, hopeful, utopian feel there with the architecture, textured concrete and ponds.
Finally, which are your favourite pieces from the AW15 collection? I'd say its the ice blue one sleeve kimono shift with the emerald green brushstroke (top image). It has a feeling of gesture and movement at a human scale that was really a revisitation of ideas from my masters collection at the RCA. It also reflects my fascination with Korean minimalist painting, by the likes of Lee Ufan in particular.
You can see the full AW15 collection here.