Interview with fashion designer Maria Rehmali
When Dublin based fashion designer Maria Rehmali got in touch with us during London Fashion Week introducing her AW 12/13 collection, we jumped at the chance to get to know her a little bit more.
We wanted to know the ins and outs of what makes this designer tick, having had the perfect opportunity to spend time with Maria, see what inspires her and read about her views on future trends for 2013.
Please tell us a bit more about yourself?
I am British-born fashion designer living in Dublin, I showcased for the second time at London Fashion Week back in February. My educational background is in Finance, this was something I fell into, not knowing that I would be showcasing my first collection two years after my degree! This is how I got the name of “brainchild” in fashion.
Creativity has always been my strong point throughout my life, a way for me to escape the busy normal routine of every day. The fast, culture, unique world of fashion is another world that one can understand once captured.
What piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to start a career in fashion?
High Fashion is a very tough market to break, as there are new creative designers emerging on the scene every Fashion Week from all over the globe. You need to be true to yourself, have patience and believe in your creativity to succeed.
Where do you get your design inspiration?
My influences come from my inspiration in everyday situations. Travelling across the globe has a great input in my designs. Different cultures and ways of life give me a great comfort in how my designs should balance through the different and variety of women across the world. From colours to fabrics, global climate has a great impact on how a woman feels, and she should feel confident every time she leaves and enters a room. Looking at current established designers and reading on history of fashions also helps me to learn and push myself to create further iconic garments.
What are the perks of being a designer?
I love to design and dress my audience. Acknowledgement of your creativity, having the media and public knowing your brand and knowing your signature are very rewarding!
What trends do you foresee for 2013?
There are five top trends in 2013: 20s’ flapper; Garden Party; Tropical Paradise; Festival Glam and Sports luxe.
How did your journey as a designer begin?
From a very young age I was always known for my statement pieces, whether they were a bag, jewellery or shoes – I was always complemented on my unique style. Through this, I decided to take a step into the fashion industry to see if this was the right place for me. The fashion industry is a completely different world, a world with diversity, culture and individualism. This is where I wanted to be. As a stylist in my early days (whilst at university studying for a BA hons in Accounting), my clients often told me to design, as I knew the way craftsmanship was done in most garments.
Showcasing was a distant memory, as I had no connection with anyone in High Fashion. During a conversation with a friend, I learnt she had gone into fashion journalism and was working with LGN Events, a company that showcases and promotes emerging designers for LFW. I had asked: “Wouldn’t this be great if I had got a chance to showcase?” A week later I had a phone call to say that they would love me to showcase an AW11/12 collection. I was over the moon and got cracking on my first collection. This was the beginning of the Rehmali brand.
If you could swap clothes with any celebrity who would it be and why?
Every celebrity has their own unique way of presenting themselves on how they feel comfortable. Olivia Palermo has a fantastic eye for fashion, mixing up high street and high end, especially in this economic climate. Many fashion lovers can take note too, as can I. From vintage to current, her wardrobe never seems to fail on any occasion, she is always looking fresh and on trend.
What’s the item every woman should have in her closet?
A blazer jacket is a must statement piece in every wardrobe that no woman should be without! Blazer jackets come in all shapes, sizes, colours and prints, they add that touch of glamour to any outfit at any time of the day! The Rehmali brand has a strong influence in the collection of blazer jackets, each season.
What would you consider the biggest fashion faux pas?
Not being true to yourself: the best relationship you can have is with yourself, being honest and realistic as a designer is an achievement and not doing this, is a failure. You must love creating and craftsmanship to feel satisfied with the outcome of your garments.
The fashion industry is notoriously tough, what is the best advice you’ve ever had?
Never give up, if you have the opportunity to showcase always take it!
Photos: Courtesy of Maria Rehmali