Fashion Plus was lucky enough to attend the Rhona Anne Catwalk show ‘Portraits of Elegance’ over London Fashion Week, as an up and coming designer we were excited to see what creations awaited! We interviewed Rhona before Fashion week and here’s what she had to say…
What was your main inspiration behind going into design, has it always been something you’ve aspired to do? (If not what did you originally want to do?)
I have always been a very creative person right from a young age, with my best subject at school always being art where I achieved grade A in my exams. My biggest passion is creating something original and from within, what I see around me and what inspires me. Drawing has always come naturally to me and painting being something I also admire, where colour is a huge love of mine, applying this throughout any type of work I do. I became fascinated with Japanese Art whilst studying and started to create drawings using other mediums, such as, fabric where my drawings came to life. I was advised to look into Fashion Design as a career, as that’s where my talents leaned towards.
Fashion and style has always been a huge part of my everyday life. Taking inspirations from my mum and grandmother, having a unique look where clothes tell a lot about you and express your personality, which I feel is important. Putting looks together is so much fun to me! Playing around with fabrications and accessories.
I put my inspirations into practice and decided to study for a BTEC in Fashion and Design at Warwickshire College where I achieved Merit, Merit, Distinction, from this I was offered an unconditional place at Kingston University in London. This was where I pushed myself as a Designer to create collections unique to my style. Being able to create looks from what inspires me is something very personal and I feel great to be able to put that into my work. Having gained a BA (Hons) degree in Fashion design, I then went on to create my own label having worked for many designers previously and now I can create collections and express my individuality, enjoying what I have always wanted to do as an independent designer.
Did/Are you studying design at the moment, if so, where?
I studied Fashion at Warwickshire College and then Went onto study at Kingston University in London, where I was taught by many industry professionals, graduating in 2010.
Any designers that you particularly draw inspiration from?
I look at many designers for inspiration but I particularly like Bora Aksu for his originality and use of fabrications and although his collections are more involved than mine, it’s always good to see designers pushing the boundaries. My work is all about clean lines and creating a sophisticated look. I like the use of drape and love how a fabric falls on the body, so I tend to take inspiration from the likes of Amanda Wakeley, Issa, and Elie Saab where garments become beautiful and wearable. I like to create unique pieces that women feel wonderful but comfortable in.
What was your main inspiration behind your new collection?
My main inspirations from my current collection ‘Portraits Of Elegance’ derived from taking key pieces from my Graduate collection and reinventing them for a modern take. It’s a personal aesthetic looking at modern ballet and taking a trip to Paris for inspirations and also looking at developing the ruffle idea, which became a key feature throughout both collections. I took the leather ballet jacket as this was a key piece and remade it into metallic versions -which is a big trend at the moment and pushing the ombre dip dye to create more of a print, where you will see pops of leopard throughout my current collection. The ruffles derived from looking at shapes of florals and my favourite Artist Georgia O’Keeffe. Drape is still a big feature in my collections so I kept the waterfall idea and applied it to tops and dresses, creating a slightly new, but fresh collection.
How are you finding getting your designs out in the fashion world?
I am finding it hard to get my name out there as it’s a tough industry but I have been featured in magazines and have an online presence with fashion industry platforms. You will see me on Fashion Feed, Not just a Label, Soi Fashion Club, Fashions Finest, Guys and Girls Magazine, Urban Coco Magazine and I have also been featured in various magazines, such as, Look and Birmingham Living.
Most importantly I have been selected as a Finalist at this year’s Midlands Fashion Awards held in Birmingham in October and I will also be showcasing my collection for the first time during London Fashion Week in September. So I’m looking forward to promoting my label and getting my brand out there.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
In the next five years I would like to have created lots of collections and to aspire to many people. To see more of my brand publicised and worn by celebrities, but also to be given the chance to collaborate with like minded people.
We wish Rhona all the best with the final of Midlands Fashion Awards and can’t wait to see what she gets up to in the future!