Wonderful Women Interview with Fashion Designer Olivia Rubin
It’s a pleasure to welcome fashion designer Olivia Rubin to Honest Mum
1. Your speech bubble print is an iconic design – what was the inspiration behind this and your other eye-catching prints?
The speech bubble print derived from my quirky take on a Pop Art classic. I wanted to create something signature that conveys the fun that can be had when having a conversation, but without using any words. I used it specifically on my new knitwear range and used black embroidery to outline each bubble on the jumper to make them really stand out. Like my other iconic prints the aim was to create something fresh and contemporary with an individual edge.
2. You mentioned your speech bubble print was a signature print, with a conversational feel – in your industry, how important is it to have quality conversations?
Conversation and communication is key in fashion, as in any business. There are so many stages in the design process from sketch, to sampling, to production, to PR and sales so it is essential to talk to all the different companies and people that deal with each phase, to ensure that the final outcome is perfect. 3. Gigaset is the stylish, home phone specialist – why have you teamed up with the brand?
The speech bubble print is the perfect accompaniment to Gigaset’s ‘Art of Conversation’ campaign, which aims to inspire and empower people to engage in quality conversations. We rely so much on email and text messages today that we risk losing the art of conversation, even though talking, more than anything else, is what keeps us connected. Gigaset’s campaign really ties in to what I’m about and works perfectly with my speech bubble print. The brand’s innovative home phones are perfect for fashion conscious females, combining style and state-of-the-art technology to produce design lead, statement home phones.
4. In either your professional career or your personal life, what is the best conversation you have ever had and why?
There have been so many that it’s hard to single one out. The one which springs to mind in my career is telling my family I had made the shortlist in the Central Saint Martin’s graduate show. The anticipation of seeing the list being pinned up on the college board and knowing all my family were waiting at home when I told them the news, was a feeling of sheer joy. In my personal life, telling all my friends and family I had got engaged on holiday consisted of many hours of conversations.
5. Is there a particular person you enjoy talking to the most?
It would have to be either my mum or my best friend Charlotte. I could chat to them aimlessly for hours, I think talking on the phone is definitely a ‘girl’ thing.
6. Who would you most like to have a conversation with?
Without sounding sombre I would love to chat to my papa and nanny who passed away a few years ago. I used to talk to them both on the phone everyday and it was really hard for me when that just stopped so suddenly. It’s amazing to think a phone is such a lifeline to so many families and friends.
7. What’s the one gadget you can’t live without?
My phone obviously.
8. You’re known for your unique prints, what is your favourite design or print from your collections?
The print that means the most to me and is probably the most iconic is my brick print. It was the first print I designed for my debut collection for my label and I wanted it be a statement print with a contemporary feel, that would people would remember. The brick represents the independent, passionate women I love to dress.
9. High profile celebrities such as Cheryl Cole and Fearne Cotton are fans of your collections – who else would you most like to see wearing your designs?
I like to dress celebrities who have their own personal sense of style and put together my pieces in their own unique way rather than being dictated to by a stylist. I would like to see how Kate Middleton would wear one of my prints – it would be great to see her go a bit more daring. On the flip side I love up and coming actress Chloe Moretz and Leigh Lazark – both very unpredictable yet tailored.
10. On a regular day, how would you describe your style?
Colourful, eclectic, feminine, clean cut.
11. What are the elements of your career you love the most?
The creativity and the people I work with are definitely what keeps me inspired and loving my job.
12. What is the inspiration behind your AW13 collection? Can you talk us through it?
AW13 was about glamming up staple wardrobe basics, whether it was with colour, print or embellishment. Winter is about keeping stylishly warm so I have included some fun loving beaded knits, added some unexpected elements to a classic winter party dresses and transformed the iconic white t-shirt into a more sophisticated item. My favourite piece has to be the lace spider web jumper.
13. Who would you describe as your style icon?
I don’t have a specific icon as I think it’s important to dress for yourself – your everyday mood and your figure, but I love seeing the combinations Paloma Faith comes up with. I like the element of surprise in her outfits. I also have the most stylish grandmas and mum who look always look effortlessly chic – so I never have to look far for inspiration.
14. How does your style in your home inspire your fashion and vice versa?
I’m in the middle of moving house so I have mountains of books and cuttings to start my new project. Print and colour are an important element in both my home and fashion. In my home I like combining minimalistic elements with splash of colour, textile and bold artworks. In fashion you can afford to go full on colour and be more experimental as outfits change from day to day, whereas in your home you have to live with your decoration everyday – something to consider.
15. Are there any tips and advice you would give to aspiring new designers?
Stay true to your design aesthetic even while working with or for other designers and companies; never lose your personal creative stamp. Keep a sketch book. Get as much experience in your field as possible to build up your knowledge and grow your CV. Stay inspired by surrounding yourself with great design, visiting galleries, people watching or listening to music.
16. What is next for Olivia Rubin?
I am starting to expand my prints into areas beyond fashion. While fashion remains my true passion I’m enjoying exploring the way my prints can be manipulated in other areas such as homeware and gifting. I also want to start a more bespoke service for my regular clientele who want a one off piece for a special occasion – I love interacting with my customers and think this would be the perfect way to expand my label.
Gigaset home phones are available to buy from John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, Amazon and Ligo. To find out more about Gigaset, visit www.gigaset.com/uk
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