london's female designers shaping the industry: part two
London has the highest number of female designers in fashion, with women leading the charge at some of the most successful and forward-thinking labels and fashion houses in the world. With London Fashion Week underway, we team up with Sarah Mower, MBE...
Why is London a hotbed for female talent? I think we've reached a tipping point and women are emerging as a major force across all fields. London's a place for young designers, so it makes sense that it's ahead of the curve. What are the advantages of women designing women's clothes? I think we should make men's clothes too. What advice would you give young girls hoping to follow in your footsteps? Don't be afraid to ask for help. Which woman in fashion has been most instrumental in your career? My grandmother. She's the one that taught me how to sew. She's also the one that taught me that character is destiny. She's always in my thoughts.
Which woman in fashion has been most instrumental in your career? My mother, who would always look chic, elegant, and effortless at the same time. The way she showed power and strength through the way she dressed inspires my work a lot.
What are the advantages of women making women's clothes? Women know what women want.
Amie Robertson, A.V. Robertson
Why is London a hotbed for female talent? London is the most supportive city for designers whether female or male, there are no restrictions on our creativity and no limits on what we can achieve.
Why is London a hotbed for female talent? Our sisters have lead the way. Sarah Mower and Caroline Rush and all the supportive women in the BFC; women like Justine Fairgrieve in PR, and all the talented female writers and editors in the press.
Why is London a hotbed for female talent? The gender equality we have in London has allowed female talent to flourish and has provided young brands, and especially female designers, with the opportunity to achieve great success. London's female designers are… authentic and challenge trends and conformity. They have a strong sense of identity. What are the advantages of women making women's clothes? Women have an advantage in that they can design for themselves. This is especially true for footwear as it is more difficult for men to try the various heel heights and comfort levels, or lack of. Shoes are so powerful; they change your posture and the way you hold yourself. They are able to give women confidence, and that's really important to me. What advice would you give young girls hoping to follow in your footsteps? Stay true to who you are and be assertive and direct in what you want to communicate. Be dedicated to working hard and, most importantly, be fearless.
Why is London a hotbed for female talent? I've grown up in London surrounded by creative women. It's open-minded and progressive. Living here encourages you to be yourself as there is definitely no right or wrong way to be. London's female designers are... all very different. You can see each designer's personality in her work. I love that! What are the advantages of women making women's clothes? Trying the clothes on myself is a big part of my design process. I understand women's bodies and what feels sexy. My work isn't about dressing for men's approval, it's for women who dress for themselves. Which woman in fashion has been the most instrumental in your career? I spent two years trying to avoid her, but being taught by Louise Wilson on the MA at Central St Martins was the most inspiring and challenging time of my life. What advice would you give young girls hoping to follow in your footsteps? Decide what it is that sets you apart from everyone else and be true to yourself. Question everything and do your own thing.
Why is London a hotbed for female talent? London is a very encouraging and supportive city. The universities are exceptional and produce very exciting and creative students. London's female designers... work hard and have a good time! What are the advantages of women making women's clothes? If it comes from a woman, it's not an idealist approach, it's rooted in reality. This mixed with creativity makes interesting clothes for women. Which woman in fashion has been the most instrumental in your career? Louise Wilson has had a huge impact on my education and subsequent career. Her support, criticism and friendship motivates me daily. Also my mother, who has been working in the industry for 30 years and still finds it all inspiring and inspires others.
Photography and artwork Quentin Jones
Hair Kei Terada using Bumble and bumble at Julian Watson Agency. Make-up Rebecca Wordingham at Saint Luke's using H&M Beauty. Photography assistance Gareth Horton. Digital technician Tanya Houghton, Morgan Brown. Hair assistance Issey Hyde and Ami Fujita. Make-up assistance Gareth Harris, Holly Reza and Molly Nicholas. Designers Amie Robertson. Anna Laub. Ashley Williams. Astrid Andersen. Caitlin Price. Claire Barrow. Cozette McCreery. Danielle Romeril. Faustine Steinmetz. Fran Stringer. Hannah Weilland. Helen Lawrence. Holly Fulton. Luella Bartley. Margaret Howell. Marta Almeida. Marta Jakubowski. Martine Rose. Mimi Wade. Molly Goddard. Pam Hogg. Phoebe English. Roksanda Ilincic. Sam McCoach. Simone Rocha. Sophia Webster. Thea Bregazzi.