An interview with Emma Bell

This season I was quite busy styling shows and although I didn’t have the chance to see lots of shows, which I love doing, I was lucky enough to see Emma Bell‘s show. It opened with a violinist playing ‘How much is that doggy in the window‘ and performance artist Scottie wearing heels and a dog suit! The audience was enthusiastic and you just felt like something special was going to happen. I interviewed Emma Bell a few days after hr show:

Where did you go to school?
EB – I studied my degree in fashion design at the University of Wesminster and graduated in 2006

Were you always interested in fashion?
EB – Yes! From a really early age! I found a diary from 1993 recently in which I declared “I really love art lessons, that is why I want to be a fashion designer when I grow up!” I was also dabbling with the sewing machine and attempting to customise and make my own clothes so it was all a natural progression!

What inspired your AW 09 collection?
EB – I recently took a trip to Asia in which I totally immersed myself into learning all about local craft techniques including embroidery and batik so I translated this into my latest collection in the form of batik inspired block printing. I also looked at the romantic tragedy in Tennyson poetry as well as working my personal ethics on animal cruelty into the collection in the form of hand painted dogs on the fabrics and dog structures as accessories. I was also influenced by the utilitarian value of Communist clothing in China as many people opt to buy ex-military garments as they are economically viable and durable. I looked into quilting and it’s history and as a result worked freehand woollen embroidery and blanket stitching into the collection.

Do you have a dog?
EB – No, but I have a cat called Tango! He is ginger!
How did your collaboration with Irregular Choice™ come about?
Some of my work was used in styling their lookbook and it kind of all rolled from there! I was a huge follower of their shoes for so many years so it was great when I was taken on board and given the opportunity to design a sub-label called “Emma Bell for Irregular Choice” for two seasons. It was a womenswear line which also branched out into bags and I was also given the opportunity to dabble into footwear design which was great!
I love working on collaborations as it’s a great challenge to work alongside another brand’s design aesthetic!

Why do you think the Emma Bell label has created a cult following?
EB – I think there is definitely a demand for fashion that deviates away from trends and I think that the colour, sparkle and extravaganza of it all appeals to people. I love to inject an element of humour into my work and I think this is what people like about my label. I like to think that there is something in it for everyone whether someone be looking to rock an all out look or for someone who is just looking for that one tiny bit of colour or statement piece!

Who’s the most famous person who’s worn Emma Bell? Name drop please!
EB – Ooh well I like to think there are a few lurking out there as my clothing is available worldwide so who knows, maybe Dolly Parton or Pat Butcher has a piece of Emma Bell hiding in their wardrobe?!?!
Of the ones I can mention, my clothing has been seen on Samanda of Big Brother stardom, Jodie Harsh, Ebony Bones and comedian Josie Long on Channel 4 Skins!

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