Nottingham is a hub of creativity, and the latest talent to come out of the city is womenswear designer Laura Dickinson. Laura has recently graduated from De Montfort University and is carving a niche for creating feminine clothes with a difference. Her latest collection shown at Graduate Fashion Week in London revolves around tulle, liquid latex and ropes. It’s a strong, modern collection which oozes femininity without being cutesy.
We catch up with Laura to hear more about her incredible collection, passion for music and plans for the future just before she celebrates her 21st.
The Fashion Conversation: Your graduate collection is fantastic! What were you inspired by? Can you please tell us a bit more about your design process and how you create your womenswear?
Laura Dickinson: My collection was originally inspired by a song called Saturn by the band Sleeping At Last. The collection was about creating strong pieces that captured the indie music scene juxtaposed with classic 1950’s ballgowns. I brought the idea of rope and knotting into the collection to quite literally tie the two ideas together so it wasn’t a mish-mash. The point of the collection was to think about what if these two eras co-existed. I start designing with a strong base of research including photos, films and music so I have a mood and direction to go with. I am a very hands on designer so once I have my research I like to work on the stand then move to illustration to push my designs. I then finalise details through toiling and pattern cutting.
TFC: What is one thing people who know you would be surprised to learn about you?
LD: I think people who know me through fashion can be surprised that I’m also really passionate about music. For me a lot of my inspiration for fashion design comes from music. I sing and play the piano, and when I am working on collections I am always listening to music or singing 95% of the time. The other 5% of the time, I’m looking up my next gig, which probably means I’m not doing as much work as I should be! I have two favourite bands, NEEDTOBREATHE and Linkin Park.
TFC: What influences your style – in your work and dress? Who is your favourite designer at the moment and why?
LD: I am influenced a lot by music and subcultures in my design work and personal style. I am most interested in indie subculture which can be hard to find as it’s almost been masked over by the whole “hipster” movement and pushed towards mainstream culture. True indie subculture is actually influenced by underground music and culture from the 70’s and 80’s. In terms of influential designers, I have always liked Maison Margiela for their creative pattern cutting and strong personality, you always know Margiela from a mile off.
TFC: You’ve done a few internships during your time at De Montfort University, what are some of your favourite moments?
LD: One of my most memorable and valuable internships was working at Kindred Spirits Bridal Originals with Jema Hewitt. I learned so much about construction, creating silhouettes and generally challenging what a fabric could and couldn’t do. Working for such a creative company focusing on bespoke pieces was a huge inspiration and I think you can still see the incredible mark that the internship made on my current collection.
TFC: What are you goals for the future? What are some of your upcoming projects?
LD: My plan is to work in fashion design and eventually launch my own brand. At the moment I I’m keeping an eye out for exciting opportunities and creating custom pieces in my home studio.