This weeks Feature Friday is all about Lucy Victoria Downes an up and coming Textiles Designer and recent graduate of Bournemouth University.
As a young designer its pretty encouraging seeing people you know and whose work you admire doing well and when got an email from Whos NEXT with the finalists names and profiles I was excited to see Lucy’s name. It’s great getting an email and upon reading it finding out someone you know is doing well in their chose craft!
Lucy Victoria Downes was a recent winner of The Who’s next Pret a Porter x Arts Thread competition which meant she among 10 other graduates got to showcase their collections at Whos Next in Paris.
I actually asked Lucy for advice years ago when she was in her first year and she was super helpful and encouraging I also loved seeing sneak peeks of her collection on Facebook as she was working on it. I know alot of design students and prospective design students read my blog so I asked Lucy some key questions that I felt would be informative and she gracious supplied some images from her most recent collection.
How would you describe your brand?
I guess you could say my brand is very eccentric, I like to use bold colours and very busy prints which give my work a real individual feel. I like to think my style of working is quirky, keeping it very urban and keeping street style as a strong influence to what I do.
What made you choose print?
Don’t get me wrong, I love and appreciate simple and beautiful clothing, but there is nothing more exciting than having a collection of garments that are covered in colourful and unique print. I find that print has such a huge impact on what the garment then becomes, and as I often work with feminine colour pallets I use the silhouette of the garment to do the talking! There is something so satisfying about drawing all day for weeks, and then looking at how far your designs have come! (It’s a proud moment).
How did you feel about being one of the winners of the
Future Of Fashion Young Designers Graduate Competition?
It was the weirdest feeling in the world when I found out, I couldn’t believe that coming straight out of university I had the opportunity to go to Paris with my collection. When entering the competition I honestly didn’t expect to be chosen, especially when I heard who the judges were! I’ve always wanted my own brand so it was perfect timing for me! It definitely gave me a big confidence boost!
How was WHOSNEXT?
Who’s Next was such an incredible experience. I didn’t really know what to expect, as this was the first trade show I’ve been to. It was great to get some contacts and feedback from people all over the world! I think one of my highlights of Who’s Next was getting my collection photographed with a French model called Thomas Lagreve, he was incredible! Meeting the other 9 winners from the competition was amazing, after seeing everybody’s work online it was great to see everybody’s collections. We all had an amazing time!
Favourite techniques and fabrics?
Digital printing is my main focus, however during my final year of my degree at uni I become really interested in working back into my prints using flock and reflective materials. I really enjoy using both digital and screen print to compliment each other. I am a sportswear queen, I absolutely love any sporty fabric I can get my hands on! However my current collection was very different, I was using a lot of wool, which has become one of my favourite fabrics to work with!
And advice for current Fashion Design Students? Anything in particular or Menswear Students?
Don’t settle for what you know, push and push yourself to be as innovative as you can, it pays off! I think it’s very important to take on board what others say, but always keep your own style and listen to what you think is right because you no your work more than anyone!
Whats next for you?
Arts thread has given me an amazing platform to start my own brand, which has really pushed me more than ever to make it happen! I want to continue designing but also revisit some of my previous projects to make a sportswear collection, which will hopefully be very sellable to a young, urban crowd. It would be great to work alongside a fashion designer so I can get more of an understanding of other ways in which I can apply my print to fashion to make a fuller collection.
What helps you work?
As lame as it sounds, my friends and family. I’ve always had so much support from everyone and it pushes me to work harder! Being at uni was the easiest time for me, working in a studio of 30 creative students is the best environment to work in. It becomes quite hard to be inspired when you’re in your own space with nobody (other than your parents) to talk to; I definitely need my own studio!!
And lastly who are your favourite designers?
Everybody who knows me are probably sick to death of hearing me talking about Agi & Sam, I absolutely love their prints, they’re awesome, and their collaboration with Topman was unreal! I love anybody who is different and clever with print, especially Shaun Samson, his work is so fresh!
To find out more about Textile BA Honours Graduate Lucy Victoria Downes on her website http://lucydownes.com/
Happy Friday Loves!