A Mary Benson x Nokia Original

Last week, Westminster about-to-be-graduate, Mary Benson hosted a psychedelic New York Fashion Week party with Nokia.

by i-D Team
13 February 2014, 7:00pm

Mary Benson Jacket

It is exceptional, by the way, for a design student to establish a cult following and blinding aesthetic whilst still a student, but Mary is flying her flag high, dressing musicians like VV Brown, Rita Ora and Kilo Kish, directly from her classroom. Inspired by stained glass patterns and kaleidoscopes of colour, Mary's designs were reflected in the environment at the party in a technologic takeover in partnership with Nokia. 

How are you finding Westminster? Do you have your final collection coming up?
I've got some great tutors who are so creative and inspiring. My degree show is in May and I got some really useful sponsorship from Lampo zips in Italy and Nokia, which is amazing because now I can make my collection even more exciting.

What's the final collection based on?
I don't want to give anything away as it's still a few months off but I'm digging deeper into the themes from my current work, stained glass in much more elaborate patterns, scaling everything up and some pieces are definitely going down a more couture route.

What's the soundtrack going to be and why?
Something that echoes the magic of psychedelia.

What are you going to do when you graduate?
I would love to go and see other countries and explore but I know when the time comes I'll be desperate to get stuck into another collection as soon as possible, I'm really interested in Fashion East and everything they do.

What was your favourite outfit when you were a child?
I was always making clothes out of A4 paper stapled together, and paper shoes stapled to my socks and weird stuff like that ha ha! My childhood years started with the nickname 'leggings' because I just wore leggings every day with Paddington Bear jumpers and stuff like that, I didn't even know I got called this until a few years ago.

Who do you get your creativity from, your mum or your dad?
My dad is really ace at drawing so I hope I've inherited that but they're both really imaginative and silly, free spirits so there's crazy ideas bombing in from both sides of my gene pool.

Tell us about the jacket you've designed for Nokia...
I made a full matching outfit for Kilo Kish who was performing; lots of holographics with rich colours like gold and pearlescent purple. I used reflective material for the first time because I knew people would be photographing her on the new Nokia Lumia 1520, and phone camera flash makes those shapes blast out brighter. I also put her name on a scroll design on the back too, baller style.

What was the opening party like in New York?
Total fun. It was at The Hole gallery on Bowery who by day represent some artists I love. Kilo Kish did a live show with these insane Kinekt-powered visuals so as she moved around, things went extremely trippy - everyone piled in and had a go at the end too. 

What's your proudest moment yet?
I'd never been to the US before so getting flown over for the Nokia event was great. Those guys know how to throw a party.

Where do you want to be in five year's time?
NYC was an eye opener and I really want to visit Asia but I'm really enjoying London at the moment. A big part of my heart stays in Leeds, wherever I end up.

What's your favourite colour?
Electric Blue.

What do you think the future of fashion is?
Given our current cultural climate things are so diverse that I can only imagine that it will continue and be even more mental.


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Mary Benson
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