After his win at Runway 2014, I fired of a congratulations email to Paul, via Facebook. (You’ve got to love technology!) I thought while I am at why not be cheeky and try to find out a bit more about the man behind this years winning collection? A collection that won its place at Brighton Fashion Week, and wowed the judges and the audience at Runway 2014 alike. Here is what he had to say!
Have you studied fashion? And where?
I studied fashion at the University of the Creative Arts-Epsom
Who are your biggest fashion inspirations?
My biggest fashion inspirations are John Galliano shows , Annie Leibovitz photography and mainly besides designers in the fashion industry I’m very inspired by other cultures especially those which haven’t been taken over by modernisation and technology.
If you could dress any star, who would it be and why?
I would love to dress anyone not just stars my design ethos is that all women are perfect in their individual ways, but if I were to dress one person I would be tempted to choose between Anna Wintour and Madonna both because they are huge influences in my life in terms of recreations of their image and how they always look effortless to me, I know not everyone would agree on my explanation
What was the story / inspiration behind your Runway collection?
The title of this collection is ‘ A Cult of Seductive Insects’ the inspiration for the collection comes from three completely different themes: Religious cults (mainly Christian cults from Africa) this is what inspired the jewellery and helped with the choice of fabrics, Insects (in-particular the common beetle) that helped inspire the silhouette, and finally I researched nomads, I was attracted to the sense of the woman I was designing for was a global nomad.
Will your Brighton show contain these pieces and will it run in a similar direction?
When I get to do my showcase in Brighton fashion week I plan on showing the 3 outfits I created for the collection plus many extra outfits which will all continue ageing cohesive and directly linked to the theme. What I hope to produce for the show will be everything you have seen this time round but more, I hope to add my accessories in terms of metal work, more leather and fur, and finally a lot more of me.
When did you first start designing?
I started designing and sewing years ago because I saw my grandmother making clothes and was fascinated by this then about 8 years ago during my time in the Gibraltar college and during a local fashion project run by the local youth centre Forensic Fashion, I started to realise I loved it so much and continued on into a fashion design course in university and it’s just taken off from there really.
I get the impression from all the adoring comments on my FB page (literally so many likes I lost count!) that you are already renowned as a jewellery designer, what started first, the clothes or the accessories?
In the last year I have become known for my circular pendant which surprised even myself, the necklace which many people know me by came around from my last years collection it was the most basic of pieces but people really were attracted to it and it was cheap and hand-made so people seemed to like the quality of it, but the clothing is what I started with and is where my passion lays, the only thing is I believe both the clothing and accessories go hand in hand to complete the look.
Where do you see yourself in say 1 year, and 5 years from now?
My current goals are short-term I hope in a years time I will have set up my own label and continued doing what I love to do, the same goes for my current 5 year goal I hope to be so lucky to have my own company and be able to design collections which is my passion.
What advice would you give to someone without any training, but a natural eye for design to get into the fashion industry?
The best advice I can give anyone without the skills to sew but which have the eye, is practise on all the aspects of fashion design and if they really see it as a passion to continue learning to have the advantage in the fashion industry you need to be able to design and create your garments to cut costs at first etc, without the skills to create the designs you want you’re limited and in any artistic industry limiting yourself is never good.
If you could work with any designer from any era (dead or alive) who would it be?
I would have loved to have been an assistant or intern at any of the great couture houses in Paris in the 1940’s to early 50’s I believe that era is known as the New Look era it would have been fascinating to live and work then, with such big names as Dior and Chanel starting off but the only possibility I see now would be Cristobal Balenciaga he was one of the big couture designers and still lives to this day so I would be fascinated to work with him.
Paul’s collection will be showcased at Brighton Fashion Week during the 6th – 11th of October. For further details about Brighton Fashion Week click here.