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Emesha: The London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Preview Interview

Eco designer Emesha reveals a very exciting collaboration with illustrator and print designer Lisa Stannard that came about thanks to my book, Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Emesha S/S 2012 by Lisa Stannard.

I feel very privileged to be able to announce an exclusive bit of London Fashion Week news that has happened in part because of my latest book: Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration. Drumroll please…………

I am thrilled to tell the world that the wonderful ethical designer Emesha has collaborated with the equally fab illustrator, nurse print designer and longterm Amelia’s Magazine contributor Lisa Stannard on her latest S/S 2012 collection. Now that LFW is upon us I can hereby reveal the low down on this inspiring pairing.

Emesha by Gareth A Hopkins
Emesha S/S 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins.

I’m very excited that your latest collection for Emesha features a collaboration with Lisa Stannard, who illustrated your label for Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration. How did that all come about? 
Lisa Stannard illustrated my work which was featured in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration and that is how I’ve become familiar with her work. I was immediately drawn to her handwriting and we started following each other’s work. When I decided to include prints in my new collection I asked her if she’d collaborate with me and she said yes!

Why did you decide to include print design in this collection?
In my second year at University I took an elective in printing and designed a print collection in my final year, so it has always been close to my heart. I would have liked to include printing in previous collections as well, but it is a time consuming process and I’ve always been really busy with garment development and pattern cutting. With the help of Lisa this season, this dream has finally come alive.

Emesha SS 2012 broken paint
What were the inspirations for your print designs and how did you research them?
I’ve always been interested in contrasting themes throughout my collections. For this season I really wanted to create something that referenced the past, but was also modern, examined the digital and analogue design techniques. I also wanted to do a non-figurative print that has a transition in it. When researching I’ve looked into very different things, such as pixels, decaying trees and surface walls.

Emesha by Debbie Ajia.
Emesha S/S 2012 by Debbie Ajia.

What has been the best part of the process of your collaboration?
I believe we worked really well together as we were able to discuss everything and Lisa was really open minded to try different techniques. Lisa first painted by hand, which then she scanned in and reworked digitally. Finally we ended up combining two different prints which made a really nice contrast. Throughout the process, we were both pushing each other and for me the best part was the creation of a collection which we are both really proud of.

Emesha ss 2012 floral-moodboard-2
What inspired the colour palette this season?
In the Spring/Summer 2012 collection there is so much going on, so I really wanted to keep the colour palette very simple. The two main colours are black and white and transitions, combined with mainly green which comes through from the print designs. I also asses a dash of pink to compliment our second colour-way.

Why are you so intrigued in creating androgynous looks?
I find it very sexy when a woman wears boyish outfits, I think it gives it a more interesting and eyecatching look. I think it’s also a personal preference as girly garments don’t suit me, however, I always add feminine elements (pleating and silks) to each collection to counterbalance the masculinity of the looks.

Emesha ss 2012 wall
Have you used any intriguing new eco-fabrics this season and if so what are they and where did they come from?
I always use natural fibres as they biodegrade at the end of their life cycle. This time around I mainly focussed on using silks. For printing you need special fabrics which were provided by the printers. All other fabrics were sourced in the UK.

How do you source production in Hungary Is it easy to find a skilled workforce and how do you manage them from the UK?
It is getting more and more difficult to source skilled workforce there. Once thriving, the country’s apparel industry has now undergone a major change due to cheap clothes flooding the market. I believe this is a big problem throughout Europe and I hope that more and more customers will look for quality clothes in favour of fast fashion.

What next for Emesha?
As I collaborated with quite a few people this season, I have a new project launching soon to introduce everyone and their work. I cannot say any more about it at the moment, but you’ll be the first to know when it is up and running!

Emesha will be showing as part of Estethica at London Fashion Week. I can’t wait to see what she has cooked up with Amelia’s Magazine contributor Lisa Stannard! More news about the collaboration can be found on Emesha’s website.


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One Response to “Emesha: The London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Preview Interview”

  1. Thanks so much for this post. I enjoyed reading about the initial inspiration and the ideas behind the collaboration between Emesha and Lisa Stannard. Absolutely took Emesha’s point about garment making skills quickly eroding in Hungary (and other parts of Europe) due to inequitable market forces.

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