How has pregnancy changed your life?
I’m calmer now. I used to be a stress-head all the time. When I get stressed now, I just sit down and cool myself down. It’s a better way of dealing with problems.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on the Spring/Summer collection now. It will be a completely new story and at the same time a continuation of the Autumn/Winter 12 collection. We developed a new kind of print which is more summery and girly; all the colours are very sweet and inspired from macaroons and cakes. I’m going to use a lot of draping. Combined with the prints, S/S 13 will be a very feminine collection.
Do you feel pressure towards having to have a pre-collection these days?
I didn’t realise that like until three weeks ago when I was asked if I wanted to do a pre-collection. It’s such a big pressure. It was a big rush, but I am quite happy as it is something I definitely want to continue doing.
"We developed a new print...the colours are very sweet
and inspired from macaroons and cakes"
In what way is designing the pre-collection different to you?
The pre-collection includes bolder colours, and we didn’t use any prints because I want to see the shape first and foremost. I found out that when I use prints, people probably focus more on them than on the shape. First of all I want people to see our shape, and then in the S/S collection the prints will be included on these shapes. This way you get a connected story and understand the collection better.
How important are accessories in your collections, like your fur shoes?
The reason I made the fur accessories is because I don’t want to waste fur. I’m not an accessory designer and not 100% confident about making accessories. As my time is limited, I want to focus on clothes. When you use fur, all the leftovers have to be thrown away and it becomes waste. So I try to use bits and bobs and see what I can do. So we created the shoes and necklaces. Lots of people have been asking me about the fur shoes which is a surpise!
Which part of the process of creating a collection do you enjoy most?
Creating the shapes and patterns. As a womenswear designer, I want to focus on shapes. I want to have a lot of beautiful cuts and my own feminine twist [to the designs]. I always try to make the cuts a little more special. And playing around with patterns is a really fun (laughs).
Why do you like working with pleats so much?
It’s just stuck in my mind for the moment. For my graduate collection I did pleats with the fur because it was inspired by the Tibetan monks. They use a lot of pleats simply because the weather is quite cold and they don’t have much wool and use cotton instead. They use pleats to make the garment thicker. I really like the way they pleat it because it’s all made by hand rather than done with machines.
I went to Denmark for a workshop as we had to develop our own technique of designing fur and I combined pleats with fur trims. I was told that no one has done this before and wanted to develop it. This was my starting point of using pleats. For my AW 12 collection I used them as well, but rather than straight pleats I made curved pleats. I’m obsessed with it (laughs).
"It was inspired by the Tibetan monks"
What ideas have you picked up from travelling to different countries?
In Japan I picked up the way of mixing and matching, the crazy and colourful side of fashion and the way of using fabric in an untypical way. When I arrived in London, for the first couple of weeks I had a culture shock. I liked how everything is clean and low-key colourwise. But I’m still a colourful person and love colour.
Whenever I go somewhere, the first weeks are important to me because whatever shocks me, I keep as inspiration.
How does London influence your designs?
London is really crazy; I love Hoxton and Shoreditch. You can find inspiration everywhere. There are inspiring people on the street every single day. It’s amazing.
In Japan the people are crazy too, but they have a limit. But in London everything is mixed, there is no limit. You could wear a pair of Dr Martens with a very high-fashion piece. It’s limitless and you can do whatever you like.
"Whatever shocks me, I keep as inspiration"
What plays the most important part when you design: fabric, colour, cut or anything else?
Everything has to be well done. I start with everything in mind about the same time, apart from the pattern as it takes longer to think about than fabric. Colour, fabric, textile and silhouettes are the things I work with together in mind. I don’t tend to focus on any of them separately; I think they are equally important.
Do you have a muse?
I have to think through this question. Can we skip it? I need to have some really cool answers (laughs).
Do you have a motto you live by?
"Today is the first day of the rest of your life". I want to work hard and enjoy life. I don’t like to waste my time. You need to work hard, play hard and enjoy every minute of your life.
Which garment do you think every woman should own?
Very beautiful underwear sets. The most beautiful garment is your body, so a beautiful body with a nice pair of underwear is perfect.
What does clothing mean to you?
Self-expression. With today’s busy way of life you only have two minutes to make an impression and you have to make the most out of it.
Who is a major style icon in your eyes?
I really like Susie Bubble, I think she’s so cool. She’s not covered up with brands, she just wears whatever she likes.
If your designs were a feeling or emotion, what would they be?
They probably would be calm, confident and positive.
What else do you enjoy besides fashion?
I really like travelling and cooking.
Do you plan on expanding your business by more ranges like accessories or menswear?
Maybe with kidswear, but for now I want to focus on womenswear.
Do you have any more plans for the future?
After the baby is born, I want to apply to NEWGEN. For the next two seasons, I will work towards NEWGEN and hopefully I will get a show presentation in Somerset House.
Who is your IDOL?
Alexander McQueen. He was a very clever designer. He was amazing at what he was doing and also clever business-wise; he knew how to present himself and his brand. As a designer, you need more than the ability to design. What happened to him was a big tragedy, but for me he is a genius.
Interview: Emily Arabadjian