Now, this week's THE INTERVIEW is with design and print-connoisseur, RIANNA PHILLIPS. I can't quite describe my sartorial feelings towards her designs, because they're THAT strong (can one say they're in love with a portfolio clutch?). The cool street-style vibe of her prints are the PERFECT way to update your wardrobe for #AW15....
Get ready to discover the woman behind the designs.....
RIANNA PHILLIPS - where did it all begin? Did you always know that you wanted to head up your own brand?
'The start of it all was university. I studied 'Textile Design for Fashion' at Manchester school of art and I knew that when I graduated I didn't want to be in any other industry. I had the fashion bug! I did an internship for a year after leaving uni and seeing how mass produced fashion was manufactured unknowingly propelled me into making something quite the opposite! An independently ran, Made in England brand :-).'
2. Talk us through your ‘engineered print design’? How do you go about this? 'It sounds very mathematical but it's easy enough for even somebody like me to understand! Working with the precise dimension of each product, the pattern pieces can be jigsawed seamlessly together allowing extremely minimal wastage per roll of fabric. The small percentage of excess fabric is fully utilised and turned into one off premium designs sold at the Rianna Phillips Etsy store, where the full collection is also available.'
3. For AW15, what trends and styles are on your radar? What are you loving? What are your most recent inspirations?
'I have got THE MOST exciting pom pom collection hitting the store for the party season!! I CAN'T WAIT! I've also been really inspired by the social media bubble that completely surrounds us. I use it daily and find myself being motivated by phrases and proverbs fashion bloggers post on Instagram. The AW15-16 collection 'Say What' epitomises this social media trend.'
4. What brands are you loving right now?
'I have been a lover of Whistles for years and years. I worked as an assistant in John Lewis womenswear when I was a student, although my designated area was denim, the staff all put up with me continuously perusing the Whistles rails. I'm also a big Alexander Wang fan. The T By Alexander Wang jersey basics are the perfect slouchy 'working in the studio' uniform.'
5. If you had to collaborate with a high street brand, which one would it be and why?
6. If you had to collaborate with a designer brand, which one would it be and why?
'Alexander Wang! Or Mary Katrantzou - our printing forces combined could rule the world!'
7. If you had to choose a FACE for your brand - who would it be?
'THE QUEEN! Only joking, but can you imagine?!??! I love Iggy Azalea but also love iconic fashion bloggers. Those guys were responsible for revolutionizing the fashion system. So I'd opt for one of my faves like Margaret Zhang of Shine by Three.'
8. Where would you like to see your brand in 5 years?
'I'd love to be prominent in the UK high street. My brand is UBER popular in Australia so would love if I could bring the market base a little closer to home. I'd love to be sold as a concession within stores.'
9. For all of the budding designers out there, what three pieces of advice would you give them?
'1 - Just keep swimming! - It's so easy to become disheartened in this industry. Don't let it defeat you, keep going and be strong.
2 - Be prepared to work your ass off. It's very hard to switch the laptop off and wind down. Try and find a balance that makes you happy.
3 - Thoroughly research your consumer. I teach at Manchester School of Art uni and my students are probably sick of me banging on about the consumer. But if you're not designing with a market in mind . . . then who will buy your product!? I get a bit over involved in consumer boards and street style papping at London Fashion Week.'
10. Final Question: Your wardrobe is burning down, you have 10 seconds to decide which three pieces to save...what do you grab?
The first ever tote bag I made - it's symbolic!
Alexander Wang leather biker jacket
Whistles chunky knit chanel style cardigan...'
A HUGE thanks to the v.FABULOUS Rianna Phillips!
All images and quotes are sourced from Rianna Phillips
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