LPA: What was the initial inspiration behind your AW12/13 collection?
Maria: This season our woman has a little bit of Deco glamour about her. The feeling is rich and jewel like but also light and sparkly. The starting point of any of my collections is the mood rather than a particular visual reference point. I consider the woman that will inhabit the collection and how I want her to feel in the clothes. After the architectural volume of the SS12 collection I was feeling the need for something a bit more languid and sexy.
LPA: What can we expect to see from Maria Grachvogel during 2012?
Maria: Last year the focus for our business was our expansion into Asia where we launched two flagship stores and two shop in shops. This year we look forward to continued success there and opening more stores. The USA is a very exciting new market for us with SS12 being out second season on ShopBop.com. This year we are plannng further expansion of out distribution internationally. We are also expanding our product offer through collaborations. For SS12 we started working with Atlanta Weller for shoes, so these have just arrived in stores. I’m also very excited about the shoe collection we have been working on together for AW12 and can’t wait to see the samples.
LPA: Which other designers do you rate and why?
Maria: The greatest designers combine art and functionality, making you gasp and want to own one whilst knowing that you will love and wear it for years to come. I think McQueen has always achieved that desire and continues to do so under Sarah Burton. I also very much admire Stella McCartney, she had built an incredible brand with total focus on her vision.
LPA: Where do you like to shop?
Maria: I love to shop when I travel and always find the most amazing pieces in markets, vintage stores and tiny boutiques. I rarely have time to shop in London and luckily don’t have to shop for clothes very often as I mostly wear my own label. When I do shop, I tend to go to Matches which is near my home in Marylebone.
LPA: Who, dead or alive, would you most like to see wearing your clothes?
Maria: I love strong, confident woman like Kathering Hepburn and Coco Chanel who dressed for themselves and challenged the fashions of their time. I admire Yasmin Le Bon and Tilda Swinton because they also have that strong sense of their own style.
LPA: What do you think makes a woman stylish?
Maria: A stylish woman is one who is totally at one with herself and dresses in tune with who she is.
LPA: What advice would you give to someone trying to establish a career in the fashion industry?
Maria: The best piece of advice I was ever given was to learn business skills. It’s just as important as the creativity is you are hoping to run your own business.
The Maria Grachvogel Flagship store can be found at 18 Culford Gardens, Blacklands Terrace, London SW3 2ST or shop her collection online at www.mariagrachvogel.com
Love Ella. X