I recently worked with knitwear designer Alice Palmer on her show for Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s Ones to Watch. I just loved all her work. She’s just one of those girls you meet and you feel like you’ve known her your whole life.
Did your mother or grandmother knit?
AP- Both my Grandmothers were fashion designers, but I didn’t really know that until I started college! One had her own label and the other worked as a Womenswear Designer for a fashion house in Dublin.
My mother taught me to knit when I was six.
Did you always want to be a fashion designer?
AP- For as long as I can remember I was always interested in fashion and started to modify my clothes from a very young age. I thought about other occupations such as being an architect, but as soon as I knitted a dress from just a ball of wool, I knew knitting was my calling in life!
Could you talk us through your fashion CV?
AP- I have previously sold designs to Donna Karen, Etro and Louis Vuitton, and worked freelance for Diane Von Furstenberg.
In the past year I have been working on my own label and launched my first collection, Spring Summer 2009, at NY Profile during New York Fashion Week, where I picked up the ‘Best Womenswear Designer’ award. I also took my collection to Tokyo, where I had a fashion show and exhibition. Just recently I had my debut show at London Fashion Week, showing my A/W 09 collection at Vauxhall Fashion Scout.
What inspired your A/W 09 collection?
AP- My trip to Tokyo last November – I was amazed by the bold architecture and the contrast of delicate patterns, often found on the facades. My aim was to create a collection which was both modern and bold, yet sophisticated.
How long did it take you to make it?
AP- Three weeks! I didn’t have long to make it after moving house and studio, but fortunately, as soon as I started designing, it evolved quite quickly. My studio is really cold in the Winter, so knitting fast can warm you up!
I loved the hats for your show. Did you originally start in accessories?
AP- I designed accessories mainly before delving into knitwear and had a stand at Portobello Market, while I did my Masters at the Royal College of Art. I love the way accessories can totally change the look of an outfit.
You recently did a group show at Vauxhall Fashion Scout – how was that for you?
AP- It was such an amazing experience – it was my first ever fashion show at London Fashion Week and it was a pleasure to do a group show with other emerging designers. Vauxhall Fashion Scout exceeded my expectations and I am really happy with all the great feedback I have had from my show.
Will you be showing next season?
What are your plans?
AP- At the moment I am organising delivery of my diffusion line for ASOS.com, which will be online very soon, and planning a trip to Paris for the end of the week. More than anything I am looking forward to designing my next collection!
Photography: Christopher Dadey