A childhood spent exploring the world infused a global outlook and awareness of societal undertones in new menswear designer Elizabeth Romich’s conceptually focussed work. Her latest collection, ‘The Uncertainty Paradox’, is evocative with its bold colours and oversized silhouettes which allude to the protectionism required in the current ominous world. As a recent graduate from Birmingham City University, Elizabeth has transformed a childhood of drawing into a dream career of designing. We catch up with Elizabeth to hear more about her collection and plans for the future.
The Fashion Conversation: Your collection ‘The Uncertainty Paradox’ is daring and expressive. Can you please tell us more about the inspiration behind your collection and your design process?
Elizabeth Romich: I was inspired by The Uncertainty Paradox theory. I explored the reoccurring ‘old-fashioned’ views of extreme Russia and the uprising of fascist Britain to understand the cause behind current civic frustrations and the effect of these views on groups of people. The theory suggests that views of society regress back to old fashioned and prior values and beliefs due to people feeling threatened by ‘aliens’. My collection aims to convey these feelings. When designing, I start with concepts and work my way through research images, pulling silhouettes and colour palettes together along the way. After research, I move onto experimenting with fabrics, shapes and techniques. For ‘The Uncertainty Paradox’, I experimented with painted textiles and panelling of different fabrics.
TFC: How would you describe your design aesthetic? What influences your style – in your work and how you dress?
ER: My work is very conceptual so my garments turn out to be quite abstract pieces. I am drawn to oversized and linear silhouettes. I particularly like Thom Browne with his exaggerated silhouettes. As a menswear designer I’ve embraced a more androgynous style of clothing, wearing a lot of my dad’s recycled shirts which reflects the way I design with silhouettes and layering.
TFC: You’ve interned for Kit Neale in London and Li & Fung in New York which must have been incredible learning experiences. What sort of work did you do and what was your favourite moment?
ER: I did a lot of production, designing and researching which was great. My favourite moment was the New York internship as a whole, purely because to get the chance at my age to live and work in New York is something not many people get. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
TFC: What are your plans for the future?
ER: I’d like to focus on gaining additional experience and knowledge through working so I can build on everything I have learnt, while designing for myself on the side. One day, I’d love to have my own menswear brand, that would be the ultimate dream.