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Fashion

from the designer to the stylist, meet the creative minds behind supriya lele

Teamwork makes this Fashion East designer’s dreams work.

BySteve Salterphotos byLillie Eiger

Backstage at Supriya Lele's Fashion East show for spring/summer 18

After the West Midlands-raised, London-based RCA graduate made her second appearance on the Fashion East stage, we introduce the team behind the dream.

Supriya Lele, 30, designer

What do you do?
Fashion designer
What are the rules you work to in the studio?
Just keep the vibe fun and have plenty of laughs while we get the work done. It's got to be a place people want to be to produce good work.
What would you say is the biggest misconception about fashion week?
That designers party!
And the strongest truth?
The biggest truth is that it's crazy hard work!
Is backstage really where the magic happens?
Backstage is usually pretty intense, so you've got be focused, but you do start to see things that you've worked on for a long time come to life.
What's the secret to fruitful backstage environment?
The key to making it work is having a team around you that you can rely on and trust.
What advice would you like to pass on to anyone trying to follow in your footsteps?
Be who you are in your work and never give up. I've been told that I couldn't do things that I've done and I'm sure that'll happen again so just work hard and believe in yourself.

Beatriz Maués, 31, stylist

Describe the role…
Seeing who Supriya's girl is. What she wears, why she wears it...
What are the rules you work to in the studio?
Never been one to follow rules, especially my own.
What would you say is the biggest misconception about fashion week?
Glamour.
And the strongest truth?
Movement.
What's the weirdest/funniest thing you have ever seen/heard during fashion week so far?
It's all a bit weird. I mean... #myfavouritelooks #offtowork
Is backstage really where the magic happens?
Backstage to me is loaded with emotions. I'm not sure what magic is but a lot happens backstage!
What advice would you like to pass on for anyone wishing to follow in your footsteps?
Pace yourself and enjoy the ride :)

Kaj Jefferies, 24, director, filmmaker, photographer and designer

Describe the role...
I collaborate with Surpiya making her image content. Our last film has been nominated for the Milan Fashion Film Festival screening at the end of September, which we are both excited about.
What are the rules you work to in the studio?
Good music and a wide variety of herbal tea is key.
What would you say is the biggest misconception about fashion week?
That it's glamorous.
And the strongest truth?
Reality is, if you're working at fashion week it's manic and pretty restless, especially if you're shooting at multiple shows.
What's the weirdest/funniest thing you have ever seen/heard during fashion week so far?
I can think of a few funny things that have happened, but probably all too inappropriate to say.
Is backstage really where the magic happens? What's the secret to a fruitful backstage environment?
Backstage is usually quite hectic, especially if it's a shared space. But when you catch models off guard can get some great imagery.
What advice would you like to pass on for anyone wishing to follow in your footsteps?
Do your own thing. Don't spend too much time on Instagram and remember it's okay if other people don't like your work.

Jessica Valentina Sharp, styling assistant

Describe your role...
Prepping for shows, admin and organising samples, castings and model sheets while working and communicating closely with the other team members.
What are the rules you work to in the studio?
Team work! Enjoying the time running up to a show is really important!
What would you say is the biggest misconception about fashion week? And the strongest truth?
It looks easier than it is! The months of work that go into it is phenomenal! The positive thing and the truth is that there is always going to be something new and exciting on the catwalk.
What's the weirdest/funniest thing you have ever seen/heard during fashion week so far?
A model falling asleep while getting her make-up done! That made me laugh.
Is backstage really where the magic happens?
Yes, it comes to life!
What's the secret to a fruitful backstage environment?
Organisation and excitement!
What advice would you like to pass on for anyone wishing to follow in your footsteps?
Do your best and try your hardest! Seize all experiences and moments and know you are just as capable as the next person.

Adrienne Kalo, 34, fashion student and intern

Describe the role...
Doing basically anything and everything for everyone, supporting the whole the team.
What are the rules you work to in the studio?
No strict rules, but always work hard and with dedication
What would you say is the biggest misconception about fashion week?
That it's only fun, laughter and games.
And the strongest truth?
Really it's a group of talented people sharing the same dream of creating something amazing, mostly on a tight budget
What's the weirdest/funniest thing you have ever seen/heard during fashion week so far?
I've heard designers saying under pressure: "at this stage, I don't even care anymore." Of course they do care!
Is backstage really where the magic happens?
Backstage is more like an exam we take after the months of hard work. Summoning everything that has been sourced, tried, tested. For me it was the fittings and the styling where ideas and vision clicked – where the real magic happened.
What's the secret to a fruitful backstage environment?
Communicate, stay calm and organised
What advice would you like to pass on for anyone wishing to follow in your footsteps?
Definitely try and get as much work experience as you can before entering the industry. It's invaluable.