LPA: I’m extremely partial to a bit of colour so I was thrilled to see it on your SS13 catwalks! What prompted you to deviate so dramatically from monochrome looks this time around?
JR: Time spent in the South of France, the colours of the landscape influenced the palette for my Spring Summer collection.
LPA: Should we expect more of it in future?
JR: At this moment in time, yes but who knows what will inspire my future collections.
LPA: I always think your designs are works of art as much as clothes. How long does it take to make one of your sculptural catwalk looks?
JR: This depends on the individual piece; a garment can take two weeks to make or sometimes many weeks with a team of people working on hand embellishing or crocheting and involving many techniques.
LPA: Having been in the industry since the 1980’s, you must have weathered many ups and downs during the course of your career but clearly come out unscathed. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to face?
JR: The biggest challenge is designing a collection every season that excites and inspires.
LPA: Between winning Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards and receiving a CBE in 2002, you’ve had some incredible career moments. What would you say has been the all time highlight so far?
JR: Showing my collection in Paris for the first time in 1995 was significant for me and seeing my daughter Simone show her own collection during London Fashion Week last season was a happy moment.
LPA: Besides fashion, you’ve also designed cut glass crystal for Waterfords, homeware for Debenhams and the interiors of the Morrison Hotel in Dublin and Orion Building in Birmingham. How did these alternative collaborations come about? How do you balance your work in the different creative areas?
JR: Clients approach me in view to collaborate a space or an idea based on my design philosophy. I spend between six and eight months of the year working on the catwalk collections and the rest of the time is spent developing ideas for other design projects. I have a good team who help bring these ideas to life.
LPA: Over the past 20 years, I can imagine you must have experienced some pretty dramatic changes relating to the rise of online shopping and digital media. How has it affected you the most?
JR: This change has not affected me a huge amount, but we are working on developing the new online store which is exciting.
LPA: What advice would you give to someone hoping for a career as a fashion designer?
JR: Find your own voice, work hard and follow your dreams.
LPA: Without revealing too much, can you give us a hint what to expect for AW13?
JR: Unexpected winter colour.
Love Ella. X