I recently had the privledge of interviewing British fashion designer, Emma Cook through my job. The full interview is up on the Flannels blog and you can shop the collection now at Flannels Fashion.
EL. Tell me about your Autumn/Winter 2011 collection?
Emma Cook. The main focus of the collection, as with a lot of the collections, is all about the print and the surfaces. The print this season was a play on animal skins. Instead of leopard print we have a deer print and a rabbit print. And then there are the montages of the fantastical animals - montages of animals made up of parts of different animals.EL. Which pieces do you feel best represent the essence of the collection?EC. Probably the shift dress that's in the deer print - because it is a really easy to wear shape and it kind of says everything in one. Also, the t-shirts and the kaftans with the mutant animals on them.
EL. What are your personal 3 essential items for winter?EC. A really really good dress. It can be a summer dress or a winter dress as long as you've got a polo neck and some tights.
EL. What aspirations do you have for the Emma Cook brand?EC. We've been around for the last 10/12 years, so just continuing as we are. I'm happy with doing what we do at this kind of level.
EL. When did you realise that fashion was the career for you?EC. From a young age, I have always been interested in that kind of thing. Like any kid, I enjoyed drawing, painting, making things. I have always been interested since I was little, I suppose.
EL. How did studying at Central St Martins, alongside such inspirational designers as Roksanda Illincic and Markus Lupfer influence your work?EC. I was in the same class as Roksanda. It's just a fantastic college, the teaching is obviously fantastic. I actually did my degree in Brighton then I did my MA at St Martins. I've worked with Roksanda and I know Markus. It's nice - everybody knows each other! It's not like all of the stories that you hear of everyone hating each other. It's actually quite nice and everyone gets on with each other really well.
EL. Who is the Emma Cook woman?EC. There really isn't one, I don't think. People who are 16, if they could afford it, would wear it. People who are 70 could wear it. It's not designed for one specific person. I design the collection myself with one other person, but I have a lot of girlfriends that I work together with. I work next door to my best friend who is a set designer and my other best friend is a stylist - so it has a lot of other girl's influences. Different girls, different shapes, different ages - everybody has a bit of an opinion. They say "I wish you'd do that dress, but a bit longer for me". It has a lot of input and covers a lot of bases. Anyone can wear it.
EL. Who would you most like to see wearing Emma Cook?EC. It's nice to see anybody wearing it. I’ve never seen anybody wearing it and thought "Oh my God!" If you see somebody on the bus wearing it, it's always quite exciting.
EL. I've read that your muse is a fictional character named Suzie - can you tell me a bit more about her?EC. She was never really a muse to be honest. The 1st season that we ever did, we called the show "Lazy Susan" and it kind of went from there really. Every season, whatever the collection happened to be about, we described it with a name. There was a sixties punk collection named "Suzie-Styrene"; once we did a regal medieval collection and named it "Suzie the 4th". It was a way of summing up what that season was about.
EL. Which one of your collections is your favourite?EC. The one that you are working on right now is always your favourite, otherwise you could never carry on. By the time it arrives and you can wear it, you're 3 seasons down the line. I've already finished Winter Pre 2012, so that's my favourite at the moment.
EL. Have you got any advice for budding fashion designers?EC. Do a lot of work experience!
EL. Finally, can you please sum up Emma Cook in 3 words?EC. I can't! It's easy to wear but always has a sense of humour. The dresses make you look good but there's always something about them, you can't find anywhere else.