Whilst browsing the deep recesses of Not Just a Label one fine evening, I came across one of the lovely backless pieces I have ever seen (above). My opinion might be slightly skewed as a result of my recent addiction to ruffles, and my hunt for the perfect holiday companion for my new-to-me Vivienne Westwood pants. Nonetheless, with only a couple of tantalizing photos offered on the NJAL page of a collection entitled "The passing of Alice", I had to know more about the creator of such stunning pieces.
I discovered that the designer is a lovely graduate by the name of Emily Howse, who I was very happy to hear adheres to a couple of my fashion musts, namely ethical and minimal waste production, and architectural designs. She also has a passion for "deconstruct re-construct projects."
You want to know more about Emily too now, don't you? Well, here's what she says about the ideas and influences behind her work:
"My biggest influence for most of my collections is Japanese pattern cutting. I’ll practice a technique that I’ve researched and try to work it into my own patterns. I love working with large pattern pieces and get a real buzz out of trying to create garments from only one or two pieces of fabric. I’m big on structure and use very little print within my work. At present, I’m designing a collection using circles as my only point of manipulation and using circles to create garments from scratch.
Design wise, I draw inspiration from designers such as Hussein Chalayan, Comme des Garcon, Yohji Yamamoto, Maison Martin Margiela and so on. I love anything that has a strong architectural influence - “Skin and Bones, Parallel Practices in Architecture and Fashion” has to be one of the best books I’ve read and exhibition I’ve been to! However, I do love the classics, so I never discount Dior and the like when it comes to research.
Most of my visual inspiration comes from the female form, and I strive to create clothing that allows the body to express itself, depicting elements of the body that I find beautiful, such as the neck line."
Speaking of, I must say I'm just as taken with the neckline on this piece as the back of the top piece. Has a delicious Jane Austen vibe. Sigh.
Emily is currently researching and applying for internships with Fashion Houses in London. Afterwards, she plans on entering an MA program in Paris. Emily's overall goal is to have her own label, a show at London Fashion week, and eventually a company to collaborate with other designers to specialize in one-off, ethically influenced pieces. You better keep an eye on this one. I know I will. And now I'm off to check out that book...