Designer Spotlight: Brooke Roberts- Part One

Meet a groundbreaking women's wear designer whose work incorporates all things cool; from brain scans to African tribes with Australian wool thrown in for good measure!

Written by Rachael Oku

3Zorb catsuit in exclusive silk/ glassino jacquard knit and silver and red gold stacked skull rings and spinning skull slice ring.

Last week I was lucky enough to meet a fashion designer whom I would describe as one of the most innovative, visionary and hard working designers of the moment; Brooke Roberts. Brooke’s self named women’s wear label is heavily influenced by radiology and juxtaposes the worlds of science and fashion to great technical effect. I caught up with Brooke in her Hackney based studio to find out more….

PB242089Brooke Roberts SS10 collection, taken in designer’s studio.

Where were you born and raised?
I grew up in rural Australia and went to university in Sydney and at that point I was studying to become a radiographer as I loved science and the anatomy. Whilst I was there I tried a bit of styling and then moved to London. I temped for a while then ended up going to LCF and Central St. Martin’s after deciding I wanted to be a tailor.

How long ago did you graduate?

It feels like decades ago but I finished at Central St. martin’s at the end of 2005.

15Zagna dress in skull python printed georgette and ortho suede belt.

PB242086Close-up of skull python printed georgette.

What have you been up to since graduating?
In four years I’ve been juggling everything. I’m still working as a radiographer and I’ve been doing that all the way through even when I was studying. At the same time I’ve worked with people like Giles Deacon and Louise Goldin. I’ve also been keeping busy doing some freelance bits here and there, the most recent of which was a job for Daphne Guinness with Jens Laugesen. I’ve been travelling a lot as well working at factories in Italy and developing links in India, just trying to immerse myself in the industry and developing contacts. In the last year specifically I’ve been focusing on trying to build my label.

4Zagna dress in printed waffle georgette with embroidered ortho trim and ortho georgette belt.

How does your job as a radiographer influence your designs?
You can’t really separate the two because everything I do in terms of my design links directly back to my work as a radiographer. I’m very scientifically minded and I think what I do looks more at the technology side of science. From technique to materials to imagery it all goes full circle. All the artwork, the shapes the way I cut it all relates to it. It’s different because it’s not purely aesthetic and I really like to think about function. When I design I think about how it’s going to be cut and put together even down to which seams I’m going to use which is why I thought about becoming a tailor.  Stay tuned for the second installment…

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