Fashion Designer Louise Bennetts…the futures bright x
On Tuesday I was lucky enough to catch up with some of the ECA fashion graduate students at this years press preview. There were a couple of designers which really stood out for me. One of those was Louise Bennetts. Her showpiece was striking.
A blush pink dress floated delicately over tailored grey trousers. A beautifully cut yellow muslin jacket elongated the silhouette but was then softened by a billowing clear organza top. Every time Bennetts’ model moved her outfit changed in colour, form and structure.
Not surprising Louise Bennetts is one of only eight finalists recently nominated for the prestigious British Fashion Council Nicole Fahri Award.
I managed to grab five minutes with the ridiculously talented designer to learn more about her stunning final year collection.
Roxanne-Milla: The collection seems to have an oriental vibe. Did Oriental designers inspire you?
Louise Bennetts: I am really drawn to oriental designers such as Yamamoto and people often comment that my work has an Far-East feel. The collection is not directly inspired by Oriental designers as such but I really like the vibe that they create. The way their clothes move and how they can be interpreted. I am
also drawn to the lightness of the fabrics.
R-M: Can you explain the design concept?:
LB: My original research looked at building facades in Italy. Specifically buildings that have been taken apart and put back together. Such as arcades which were reconstructed by placing windows in the middle or incorporating brickwork that was different from the original stonework.
This interested me as you can tell different stories through the building’s changing exteriors. There is a history and process going on within these buildings. This history is open to personal and visual interpretation. My collection was inspired by researching these structures constant state of flux. Hence the collections name -Flux!
By using organza and lightweight fabrics I was able to create garments that can be layered and styled over one another. Like the buildings, the original structure is there but the clothing’s appearance, shape and colour change when incorporated with another piece from the collection. For example, the pink dress appears soft and light when mixed with the clear organza top. When the yellow muslin jacket is incorporated the dress colour appears bolder and the silhouette changes again.
R-M: Can you tell me more about your accessories? They are very interesting.
LB: In the collection there is a lot of interplay regarding weight. I made these concrete blocks to counter act the lightness and movement of the garments. Because I have used rubber to hold the concrete they also have a bounce that again works well with the movement of the garments. They can be worn round the neck or across the body.
R-M: The outfit you have shown today has made me really excited to see your full collection at the show in May. What can we expect? How may many outfits will you show?:
LB: There will be six full outfits/looks created for the final show. As already explained the different garments cross over looks when worn with different pieces from the collection. There are a couple of more paired down pieces such as trousers and shirts. Aswell as dresses..more wearable for every day.
R-M: The collection reminds me a little of Phoebe Philo’s design aesthetics. Luxury work wear. Structured. Empowering but feminine. Romantic but practical.
LB: Well it seems to be such a great time for women designers at the moment. Especially designers who design FOR women such as Phoebe Philo at Celine, Stella McCartney , Joanna Sykes at Aquascutum. There is a real buzz right now. Their work is very inspiring.Their collections’ are so wearable yet special. They remain feminine but not overtly sweet or girly.
R-M: What does the future hold after ECA?
LB: Well I have applied to do a masters, which is very exciting!!
R-M: What about having your own label one day?
That would be great one day but at this stage I am just interested in learning and growing as a designer. I would be very happy working for a designer and being part of a great fashion house.
R-M: Well good luck for the shows. Not that you will need it. And please can I buy that yellow jacket!x
Edinburgh College of Art Fashion Shows take place between 23-25 May 2012 and tickets go on sale on Monday, 9 April costing £15 each (plus 50p booking fee). They can be purchased via Hub Tickets (http://www.hubtickets.co.uk/).