The final interview of the year, and dare we say that we may have left the best until last? No, we couldn’t possibly say that. It would be rude to the rest of our interviewees- but maybe this one is about the most ‘up and coming’ or the ‘most fashion exciting’…
The subject is the wonderful Felicity Brown. We first spotted her work at February’s LFW when her inaugural collection was shown as part of Vauxhall Fashion Scout. We fell in love again when we saw her work at September’s Fashion Week as part of the NewGen designers. Have a look at our post on this great selection of talent, including the brilliant Felicity Brown.
Prior to launching her own collection, Felicity had designed for Alberta Ferretti, Loewe, Mulberry and, most recently, Lanvin. That’s an incredibly impressive CV to build up in a few years since graduating from the Royal College of Art. Her work seems to combine a certain fragility with a really modern feminine aesthetic that is utterly unique; as is Felicity’s working arrangements- she splits her time between her studio in East London and a wonderful atelier in the desert of Dubai.
Many thanks to Felicity, Henry and the team who made this interview possible. We are very grateful for the time that you gave us.
For you, what is the most important aspect of being a designer?
Having the amazing opportunity to create my own ideas.
How do you start developing a new season’s look?
I bury myself in lots of books and mountains of fabric
What project are you currently working on and how is it shaping up?
I am currently working on my A/W 2011 collection that’s very Bedouin inspired. It is looking a little wild right now and maybe a little too uncut but so far I am happy with it.
Which comes first for you, your personal aesthetic or general trends?
What is currently inspiring you?
I have been looking at Central American masks. They are not pleasing to the eye but there is something appealing in the expression created out of all the contrasting elements.
I love the way that they mix up completely opposing things, like the way they fill the hair with crazy different elements and the extreme expression of the mask. They are so bizarre, so odd, I really like them.
Do you think that ethical and sustainable issues are at all relevant to what you do?
I wish they were but its currently only a wish because of the nature of the dresses, we are a small production. Its all very cottage industry at the moment.
But everything that has been made is hand made, from paper stenciling to hand dying and printing. All done in old traditional techniques giving the garments that look.
What or who are your longest standing design influences?
I admire Lanvin and Balenciaga
How would you describe the Felicity Brown aesthetic?
Any style secrets?
Keep it unfinished
Who would you like to collaborate with, past or present?
I would love something incredible like a day in Picasso’s studio and as for present, I would like to work with someone from a different discipline, like a painter.
What would you like your business to achieve in 5 years time?
To stay strong and true
Pencil and paper or computer and mouse?
Do you work differently in your Dubai and London studios?
Yes, in London you take it all in and absorb where as in the desert you can concentrate- it’s so still.
I feel most creative when…
When I’m buried in fabric.