Alberta Ferretti and Max Mara are two of fashion houses David Longshaw, the talented London Designer and Illustrator, has worked for. With an approach to design that is truly his own not to mention being the creative mind behind Vogue Italia’s comic strip characters Francesca & Arthur, David is taking on every facet of fashion one idea at a time. David’s designs expand from one of a kind dresses, scarves, bags and jewellery with his pieces being sold internationally from Hong Kong to Britain. DIFORM had the lucky chance to find out how David Longshaw works his magic in this exclusive interview;
Favourite runway shows this Spring Summer 2015?
DAVID: Every season I always enjoy seeing what Givenchy, Prada, Miu Miu and Raf Simmons at Dior have created.
DAVID: I have always loved illustrating and designing for as long as I can remember. I studied fashion design womenswear at St Martins (BA Hons) then at the RCA (MA). Whilst at the RCA I started to illustrate for magazines (some of the visiting lecturers were journalists who asked me to create pieces for their publications) I carried on illustrating for different magazines whilst I was designing in Italy (I used to design for Alberta Ferretti and Max Mara).
Tell us about your comic strips for Vogue It. How did that come about?
DAVID: ‘Vogue It’ had featured my garments and interviewed me before. Usually during Paris Fashion Week I get to show some of the editors of vogue Italia my collection at the show room. They had seen a little series I did for vogue.co.uk and the interviews etc we had done and we thought it would be fun to do something together. I hadn’t done a comic strip before so we decide that it would be fun to create one and create some new characters for it (Francesca & Arthur)
DAVID: Maude (fictional fabric mouse fashion editor at large for numerous publications and Editor-in-Chief of MAUDEZINE) she’s what might happen if the late Isabella Blow, got together with Daphne Guinness, Alan Bennett, Katie Grand, Anna Wintour, Paula Rego, Tilda Swinton , Dame Maggie Smith, the cast of last of the summer wine and the league of gentlemen and produced a fabric child.
What do you love most about designing?
What’s the story behind your Spring Summer 2015 collection?
DAVID: “It was a peculiar looking thing that’s for sure; I mean who dresses a squirrel in a gingham dress.” Meet Eleanor, my latest creations. “I’d wanted that squirrel for so long that when my grandfather finally ‘gave it’ to me I couldn’t really remember why I had lusted after it in the first place. All I could remember is that from the very first time I saw that strange squirrel. I wanted it to be mine and was prepared to do anything to get it”.
This season for the first time I launched a book during fashion week (at the ME hotel, Sept 15th and available on amazon) – ‘Eleanor and the Squirrel, a fashionable children’s tale for grown-ups’ (My 3rd book –the first two were released earlier this year – ‘Mildred, a fashionable children’s tale for grown-ups’ and ‘Maude a fashionable children’s tale for grown-ups’).
The book and its illustrations inform every aspect of my Spring/Summer15 collection, from the prints, to the silhouettes, to the fabrication. It is made up of printed silks, cotton ginghams, and drill, with accents of silver pleating. I’ve also personally hand drawn on a selection of Limited edition garments this season.
How do you create your designs?
DAVID: Each season I create a story/animation that inspires everything from the silhouette, to the colour of the collection, to the prints and mood of the collection. I then experiment with cut, drape and toiles.
When do you start designing your next collection?
DAVID: Already- I’m constantly designing and thinking of the next collection, often a few collections at a time as I usually have lots of project on so it’s good to already have ideas going that I can develop.
DAVID: I’ve been given all sorts of good advice, but I think the best is to listen to others, take on board their ideas and thoughts about your label/business but ultimately believe in your own vision and be prepared to ultimately ignore everyone and go your own way. Fashion is an industry based on opinions and change, so what’s right now won’t necessarily be correct in the future and what works for one label won’t necessarily work for another. You have to believe in your own vision.
Edit By Florence Bailey