We caught up with the young designer to find out what she has in store for SS15 and how she feels about being tipped for the top so soon after graduation.
LCF News: What’s your SS15 collection about?
Charlotte Knowles: I would sum it up as a mixture of toughness with casual femininity; a blend of contrasting textures and weights; light, sheer and flowing mixed with hard and structural; demure, soft colours combined with heavy, reflective metal. It’s about strength, physicality and independence; which was what I found inspiring about my research.
LCF News: And what was your inspiration?
CK: The collection was initially inspired by bicycle culture; but like any design project it evolved and changed along the way. Sporty silhouettes, style lines, prints and metal textiles were inspired by this avenue of research however I wanted to instil femininity and desirability that I felt it lacked. I incorporated lengthened silhouettes and flowing materials to elevate and juxtapose the collection to be more desirable and sexy.
LCF News: How do you feel to be included in Fashion Scout’s Graduate Showcase?
CK: Very excited and privileged. It’s such an amazing opportunity and I really appreciate the chance to showcase my work through a platform that holds such prestige.
LCF News: More generally, who or what has inspired you creatively in your life?
CK: The people closest to me have inspired and motivated me. My grandmother has always had an effortless, chic sense of style, which I feel has influenced my own design aesthetic. My dad has an incredibly imaginative, design-oriented mind and has always encouraged me to be creative; my mum is the most hard working, driven woman I know; she has instilled that motivation in me. It’s hard to pin point what exactly inspires someone, it can be a variety of things that spark the motivation to design something. I tend to find the potential of textures and surfaces inspiring and exciting, influencing textile design. Finding subtle shapes or silhouettes in research imagery and translating this into pattern cutting. I often look at sports/casual wear for inspiration. I like combining contrasting avenues of research.
LCF News: And what are your plans for the future?
CK: My plans for the future include starting my own brand, but that’s a long way in the future! Until then, in the near future I intend to take a year out interning in Paris then, the following year, to (hopefully) do an MA. I want to learn more about the industry and get professional experience through interning and hopefully I’ll get a design job somewhere where I can develop my skills further and find out what I want to achieve on my own. The course has helped me to grow a thicker skin and to really distinguish who I am as a designer and the sort of fashion I want to design. The University is reputable and has good links with industry, this always help in terms of finding a suitable and exciting job, post university.
LCF News: Thanks Charlotte! We’re really excited to see your SS15 collection at LFW.