Interview with luxurious womenswear designer Alexander Van Baalen
Alexander Van Baalen, a London-based fashion designer, has been creating his luxurious garments since launching his own label in 2010. His majestic women’s collection creates flattering and unique pieces through floral print, sequins and buttons. The beauty of his label is that each garment comes in black, taking the infamous little black dress to a contemporary yet classic level. The Upcoming spoke to Alexander about his aims and inspirations as a designer.
How did designing come into your life? Was it something you have always wanted to do?
Yes! From the age of 13 I always used to doodle in my school-books with little drawings of women in fancy clothes. When Princess Diana came onto the scene I used to draw clothes that I thought she would look good in.
When you’re designing clothes do you imagine who is going to be wearing them?
It’s like a movie playing in my head, with music and people. But the most highlighted part is what the women are wearing, that’s what I sketch on paper.
What are your sources of inspiration?
I’m inspired by everything around me. I can be at a gallery and see a painting that inspires me, or a movie, a piece of music or even a conversation I might have with friends. I’ve always been inspired by history and the golden age of Hollywood too.
What is your aim as a designer? What are you trying to portray?
My motto has always been to make women beautiful. For me it’s about helping each woman to feel comfortable, radiate positivity and look beautiful in whatever I design for her.
What is your favourite item from your current collection?
They are like all my children, so it’s really hard to pick one piece out above the others.
How would you describe your overall style?
Classic, elegant and sophisticated, but with a twist.
How do you want a person to feel whilst wearing one of your designs?
Have you noticed any changes in your style over time?
Yes, most definitely. Like all designers I think my designs change constantly, mature even. The essence/signature always remains the same but it’s constantly evolving.
How long does it take you to create your ideas and complete a collection?
Well from the first sketches, which there are always hundreds – which then need to be whittled down, to choosing fabrics and prints – to first sampling, fittings and then final approved samples ready for viewing, takes about 5-6 months!
And finally, do you have any particular quotes or sayings that really define who you are and what you do?
Not really, for me it’s just about staying true to who I am and what feels creatively right for me.
It’s fair to say that Alexander’s pieces portray beauty and femininity at its best. By staying true to his signature style and taking care and pride in each piece, his work has stayed current and fresh.
The vibrancy of his pieces reflects back to his inspiration from everything around him, reflecting the life he sees and the life he leads. This shows his ability to evolve to the ever-changing world around him and of course the even quicker world of fashion. His positivity towards making a woman feel comfortable yet look elegant is definitely something to be admired. You can look at some of these glamorous designs by clicking here.
Photos: Courtesy of Alexander Van Baalen