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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Designer Spotlight: Brooke Roberts- Part Two

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

Incase you missed the first instalment (where have you been?) Amelia’s magazine caught up with London based women’s wear designer Brooke Roberts to find out about her inspired new collection.
7Sinnai dress (reversible) in exclusive silk/ glassino jacquard knit.

Can you tell our readers a little more about your SS10 collection?
Right at the beginning of the project I took a brain scan which took about 50 image slices through the brain. I then artworked the images with a CAD designer friend who helped to manipulate them into python skin effect, and repeat patterns that I then merged with Yoruban sculpture. To learn about this Nigerian tribe I went to the British Museum and looked at all of the sculptures and masquerade videos, taking colour inspiration and texture ideas from their artwork. The collection is a mixture of medicine, science and Yoruban culture.

You’ve said that you take a lot of your inspiration from your work as a radiographer and with that in mind I wondered if you were interested in fashion trends and if you try to reflect current trends in your collections?
As a designer I can’t really ignore the industry behind my profession, but I try not to let outside influences take over my inspiration and vision. Trends are really important. I try not to follow them or reference them too much in my work. Trends happen to find their way into my collection one way or another, often from working with suppliers. For example my thread and fabric suppliers have their own seasonal trends, textures and colours for the season which I end up inevitably incorporating. I’ve also been known to look on WGSN from time to time.

13Exar suede washed denim jacket with ortho fringing, sinnai leggings in exclusive silk/ glassino jacquard leggings and silver and red gold skull slice earrings.

PB242088Exar suede washed denim jacket with ortho fringing (ortho fringing is made from metal plates that are used to straighten and repair bones within the body).

Do you have any design heroes?
I love Thierry Mugler. It doesn’t matter how many times I look at his work. I’ve got quite a few of his vintage pieces and I love wearing them! Rifat Ozbek is another I like and John Galliano is great too. It’s like a dream for a designer to work in a house like that (Dior) where you can create your own fabrics; it’s a beautiful fusion of craft and technology. I also love Alber Elbaz, he’s so commercially brilliant – I think most women want to wear his clothes! His designs are so romantic; I think he’s got a real sensibility with fabric and movement. I also love Gareth Pugh; he would be the young designer I like.

What are you looking forward to in the next decade seeing as 2010 is fast approaching?
I’m looking forward to just developing my label, growing it and evolving. I want to learn more, as in this kind of job you’re learning everyday and are exploring new ideas and techniques. I’m trying to work with the Australian wool industry to integrate Australian merino into my knitwear because it’s a beautiful product and I love knitwear so I’d like to explore it and at the same time if I can help out the Australian wool industry it’s a good move, especially as my family are wool growers!

19Silver and red gold spinning skull slice pendant- diamond set.

Lastly, do you have any strategic tips or advice for anyone toying with the idea of a career in fashion, with the ambition of going it alone as a designer?
You need to have a strong idea of what you want and what you want to be first. Then I’d suggest going out and finding the best experience you can so intern and put in a lot of hours. Learn, develop and once you feel ready to start a label get some good business advice and then apply for all the awards as a way of getting support. Just work really hard!
Brooke’s current collection is stocked at King and Queen of Bethnal Green.

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