By Jordan Daniels
INTERVIEW - London Designers
Culture Fashion Fusion
Born in London, I know the true beauty of this city, and the mixture of cultures it breeds and accommodates. I am a mongrel, a cocktail if you like, of different bloods; British, Irish, Indian, and goodness knows what else… but London is the true blood that pumps through my body via the Central Line straight to my heart.
London inspires many a resident, and visitor with its eclectic mix of pretty much everything… food, entertainment, personalities, literature, art, histories, and more. Fashion has certainly stamped its stiletto into the stone slabs of the Capital.
Derbyshire born Dame Vivienne Westwood, one of Britain’s most unique and talked-about ladies for her controversial antics as well as her exquisite designs, bases her showroom in Central London. She dressed London formed group, The Sex Pistols, back in the 1970’s, and I was lucky enough to work at her showroom over a period of a few years, modelling her Red Label, Gold Label and Anglomania – mostly I needed two dressers before displaying the collections to the clients, as the designs were so brilliantly intricate, yet worked like a simple puzzle.
The day before I modelled for Vivienne’s look book, directed by her husband Andreas, was the first and only time I met the Dame. She carries powerful energy, and was not fazed as my bare breast was displayed right in her eye line after she undid the lapel of the jacket that I was modelling for her. I laugh about it now, and I even laughed then – but only in my head, not because it is particularly funny, just because I am quite immature.
So Vivienne fled to London, as have many other designers, both the inspiring and inspired. Steven Omani, inspired designer of Spyce Tees, a range of t-shirts designed for men and women, is a self-confessed lover of London.
What do you love about London?
"I love the diversity and natural style!"
Why is London the fashion capital?
"The energy is so raw and stylish with a natural sexy, slick and glossy look!"
How is London and Ghana reflected in your designs?
"I was born in London, and still live here, but my family are from Ghana – so they both definitely have an influence over my designs. There are so many different things to look at and do in London – I decided to do ‘simple’ ‘stylish’ and ‘fresh’ London, as opposed to ‘busy’ London. So the stylish energy of London mixed with the vibrant style of Ghana – it just really seems to work."
Eleonor is a designer of a different kind that also loves London, but who was born in Barcelona. A mongrel too, with a German mother and a Spanish father, Eleonor injects diverse culture into her fashion jewellery.
How has London inspired your designs?
"It is the place where I started my business, as a model I was approached by stylists about my jewellery as I would always wear my own designs. I stopped modeling, and study some design courses in London and started to sell my pieces at Spitalfields market."
Which of your Eleonor de Casanovas jewellery designs are based on London?
"My favourite London pieces are the enameled Butterfly pendants and the Dragons & Quartz collection. Dragons remind me of London, and of the 5 years I lived there. London always inspires me because of the energy and creativity that you find on every corner you look and on every place you go. Even when I go on the tube I find inspiration!"
Designers that have not actually relocated to London, still tiptoe on the golden paved Kings Road or cobbled streets of Covent Garden or New Bond Street, with a store displaying their designer finery to the eager shoppers. London inspires so many creative people, and it has to be a darn special place if the tube manages to provide inspiration for Eleonor - I am not quite sure she would feel the same about the underground, if she was a 30-something-year-old commuter!
http://www.viviennewestwood.com http://www.eleonordecasanovas.com http://www.spycetees.com