With a swoon-enducing funky couture vibe and a prestigious Fashion Fringe award under his belt, we were surprised that we hadn’t heard more about UK based designer Gavin Douglas on this side of the pond. So, Clutch set out to learn more about the design phenom whose recent collections are currently fueling our fashion obsession.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself and how you started designing. When did you know that you wanted to be a designer?
I have always had a major interest in art and design. I excelled at school in my chosen design subjects, Art and also Design Technology. I went on to do a BTEC National Diploma in Design at Sutton Coldfield College in Birmingham which is where I first started fashion designing. I then went onto Northampton University.
Q: You won the prestigious Fashion Fringe award in 2006. How do you feel this has impacted you personally and/or professionally?
Fashion Fringe has given me a great platform for my career and the start up help initially needed to help me to begin to develop my design label.
Q: What other experiences/defining moments have had the most impact on you as a designer?
I’ve had the experience of fantastic opportunities over the last 18 months. I’ve worked alongside Elie Saab in his Lebanon couture atelier. I’ve met Anna Wintour, Andre Leon Talley, John Galliano amongst other huge fashion figures. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Kelly Rowland and more recently I was introduced to the Prime Minister Gordon Brown as one of the 50 most influential Black role models in the UK.
Q: What kind of style are you gravitating towards now? What’s inspiring you at the moment?
I’m currently being inspired by culture.
Q: What message or aesthetic do you usually try to convey through your work? Do you have a signature style?
I like to combine different types of fabrics into my collections. I like to use textiles not always used in garments of today, such as salmon skins and perch skins.
Q: What kind of woman do you imagine wearing your designs?
The woman wearing Gavin Douglas is eclectic, unique and not scared to try something that’s different. She doesn’t tend to follow trends and is a confident dresser.
Q: Who are your personal fashion icons or style heroes?
Q: What are a few of your favorite things to do when you’re not busy working?
I like traveling, watching films, and chillin’ with friends
Q: What do you love/hate most about the fashion industry? I love the freedom of creativity and hate the lack of time to do it in!
Q: What do you find the most challenging about your line of work? What makes it all worth it?
You have to be skilled in a large variety of areas not just design. Seeing women wearing my garments and enjoying them makes it all worth it.
Q: Any advice for aspiring designers?
It takes a lot of drive, passion and hard work to succeed in this industry.
Q: Fast forward five years, where do you see yourself?
Continuing in the growth of my label.
Q: Where can our readers get their hands on a Gavin Douglas original ?Harrods and Yoox.com
*Charles Frederick Worth is a designer who dominated Parisian fashion in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Worth’s designs are notable for his use of lavish fabrics and trimmings, his incorporation of elements of historic dress, and his attention to fit.