5... 4... 3... 2... sleeps until fashion week! Read up while you still have time, next in our ones-to-watch countdown is the newest member to join the Fashion East lineup, Westminster graduate Louise Alsop.
The models in Louise Alsop's graduate show stomped down the runway with long, loose, unkept hair framing their faces, thin black chokers or long cross pendants swinging from their necks and thick kohl-rimmed eyes like emotional, fashionable, teenage grungers who'd made all their clothes at home using scissors that definitely weren't made for cutting fabric. Subscribing completely to the Helmut Newton train of thought, "fashion is about attitude, not hemlines," Louise leaves her edges raw and piles on the angst. The newest member to join the Fashion East line-up alongside old favourite Ashley Williams, and fellow newbie Helen Lawrence, Louise has got everything going for her.
Where are you from originally?
I grew up in St Albans. Well, a small place right next to it called London Colney.
How long have you lived in London?
Where I’m from is just outside of town so I’ve always felt like London’s home. I had the luxury of being able to come in and out whenever and spent a lot of my teenage years exploring it. But I guess I’ve had a home here for about 5 years now.
Do you like London?
Yes, too much! There are so many great parts to London I totally can’t just say one spot where I like to hang out. My friends are also dotted all over the place, so I just like to head where they are! Although, I do live east and I have a great time here. It’s special.
Were there any other standouts in your class?
My class was full of insanely talented people, and we all had a sweet time together, I’d check out Aaron Tubb (Menswear), Victoria Rowe and Grace Cooper (Both Womenswear).
Have things gone crazy since you were announced in the Fashion East line-up?
Yeah, since the announcement came out it’s been pretty hectic, but good. It’s been quite surreal. I’ve been working on the new collection. Right now I’m sat in front of a wall covered in my autumn/winter 14 research, which makes me really excited.
What was your first meeting with Lulu Kennedy like?
Pretty awesome, she makes me smile.
What will you be doing in preparation for your first Fashion East show?
Oh ghad, so much! Haha! I have an awesome team who’ll be helping me prepare for the show so fingers crossed all will go according to plan.
What can we expect from the next collection, any clues on references?
I don’t want to give away too much, there needs to be a surprise or two. But there will be prints, more layering and maybe even some dresses this time!
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I think my aesthetic is a fusion of all the things I love. There’s modernity and androgyny. Clean lines mixed with tomboyish shapes. I also love using print, which I think stops it all from becoming a bit too serious.
How does it make you feel looking back on your graduate collection?
It’s kinda weird. I had a look at it earlier. I’m still pleased with it in terms of being a collection which speaks strongly about who I am, or who I want to be as a designer. But you can’t help wanting to move on from it and do better. I’m hoping my next collection will show progression.
What were the ideas behind it?
The silhouette probably came from my own wardrobe, I think I design for the woman I want to be. The main print in the collection came from a photocopy of one my fabrics, which I blew up and applied to various other fabrics, some transparent, so I could layer prints on top of one another, and add more texture.
How would you describe your own style?
Casual, oversized, very jersey heavy and probably… black.
Who is your dream person to dress?
This is the question that always gets me, as I want my clothes to be accessible to everyone. Seeing some one walking down the street in a piece of you clothing is a good enough dream I think.
What TV programs do you watch?
Obsessively watching Daria and the new season of South Park. (Which has actually given me colour inspiration for autumn/winter 14!)
What three movies are your favourite for fashion inspiration?
Gummo, Kids, The Craft.
What’s the background music in your studio?
At this very moment in time I’m listening to SLEEP.
How do you hope showing in the Fashion East initiative will change your life?
I feel ridiculously lucky to have the opportunity to be a part of Fashion East and I’m hoping my first season with them will be the first of many more.