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Designer Spotlight: Hermione de Paula

I caught up with Hermione herself to find out more about her subtly provocative SS10 collection

Written by Rachael Oku

hdp_ss_10 045All images courtesy of Hermione de Paula, case photographed by Kristin Vicari.

Hi Hermione! Would you mind telling our dear readers where you studied? Did you always know you wanted to pursue a career within fashion?
I graduated in 2006 from Central Saint Martins where I studied fashion and print. Fashion has certainly always been an important part of my life …my Mum gave birth to me in Chanel sunglasses so…

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What have you been up to since graduating? /When did you establish your label?
There hasn’t really been a dull moment… I spent some time out in LA which was incredible. I think the lifestyle I experienced there and the people I met will always influence me and feed into my work in some respect. It was when I moved back to London that I knew it was time to really start concentrating on my own label. I worked at Spearmint Rhino (not stripping though!) Let’s say it was an ‘interesting’ way to raise the cash to start my show. But hey, treat I’m a sucker for bright lights, exhibitionism and elaborate outfits! 

hdp_ss_10 089Do you have a career highlight so far?
Hearing I will be stocked exclusively with Browns Focus for my S/S10 collection has definitely been a recent highlight, along with my recent Merit Award from Vauxhall Fashion Scout – previous recipients were William Tempest and David Koma so I’m honoured to be seen in the same light as two incredible new labels. February 2010 is set to be a very exciting and manic month with the show and the launch of the SS10 collection in Browns Focus. Working with photographer Kristin Vicari is also a real honour- Kristin has just shot the new Diesel campaign ‘Be stupid’ and Christopher Kane’s last two look books so she has mentored and art directed all my press material – editorials/look books/cards etc which at this stage of my label is insane – I’m very privileged to work with her!

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What kind of woman do you design for?
Sexy, strong and stylish women. Women who are confident in being subtly provocative and thrive on having fun with clothing. Her motto would be- “I probably shouldn’t… but I will anyway!”

hdp_ss_10 057Would you ever consider a menswear diffusion line? Or is there any other area of design you’d like to branch into?
Possibly, I’m currently sharing a studio with two great friends of mine, who are just launching an amazing new menswear called ‘Braille’, so it would be fab to collaborate with them at some point and do some prints for them. Their garments are definitely an inspiring example of how a strong and masculine aesthetic can still be mixed with beautiful delicacy. Prints are great fun to work with, there are just endless creative possibilities…I wanted to try and print my puppy’s fur at Christmas to make him more festive but failed miserably!

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Can you tell our readers what your inspirations were for your SS10 collection?
My inspiration stems right back to the goddess Venus. I wanted to combine an essence of her erotic radiance and powerful beauty with a contemporary twist. ‘Las Venus’ the name of the collection comes from how I feel such a figure would be translated through tabloids in our society, a modern day branding. I wanted the collection to focus on the intriguing contradictions behind feminine magnetism, dramatic and subtle, fragile beauty with a tough core.


hdp_ss_10 028What are you looking forward to in the next decade seeing as 2010 is upon us?
I’m very optimistic about the next decade, life in the fast lane is set to get faster! With the launch of the collection in Browns Focus in London this February and the Merit Award Show I’m so excited to see where it will lead to next season and beyond!


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