ZEITGEIST PREVIEW: Louise O'Mahony

Louise O'Mahony is back again for Brighton Fashion Week 2014, but this time brings her collection to Zeitgeist. Named Folklorico, the designs feature cultures and beliefs from around the world, represented through the visual power of patterns and colours and shaped through the designers trademark female silhouettes. Giulia Carri speaks to the Brighton-based designer ahead of Friday's Zeitgeist catwalk show.

 

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This is your third time at Brighton Fashion Week. Tell us what we should expect from this collection - what is it inspired by and what kind of woman is it for?

This collection is going to be very different to what was exhibited in previous shows, the garments are more accessible and wearable than my earlier designs. However they are still aimed at those who like to be different and stand out from the crowd.

I like to pick a theme for my collections, one subject that I research and allow myself to be inspired by. Last year it was stellar explosions, this year it is European, Mexican and Asian Folklore. I have been taking inspiration from the traditional costumes of these indigenous groups and collating a colour pallet that captures the essence of all three but also references the colours for A/W 15/16.

I like to celebrate the female figure, the 1950s is an era that does this perfectly and one that inspires my shapes a lot. This collection will hint at retro style, but the cuts and shapes are much more modern. There will be lots of Lycra and body con garments in busy patterns.

 

Tell us a little bit about colours and materials from this collection.

I will be using a range of different materials throughout the collection, including some that I have sourced on my travels around Asia, when I visited some of these hill tribes. A mix of appliquéd and hand embroidered fabrics that work next to some modern prints I have selected.I have also designed my own printed Lycra which will be used on some of the garments.

Pom poms and tassels will feature heavily across the collection too, and the colours will be bold and clashing.

 

Louse O'Mahony and Oh My Honey are your brainchild labels. How do they coexist and communicate in your creative work?

They were initially started as the same brand, but after a couple of years I realised I was working on two different projects that were aiming at two very different audiences, so I decided to separate and brand them as individual labels.

Oh My Honey is a 1950s inspired fashion label that sells internationally to rockabilly chicks, swing dancing ladies, retro brides and women who just love the flattering cut of the 50s. It is now in it's fifth year and keeps going from strength to strength.

Louise O'Mahony is the label I will be exhibiting at BFW, and is a great creative outlet for me. I launch one collection a year which consists of 8-10 pieces, where I have the freedom to design and make garments that reflect my chosen theme, and I don't have to be restricted by making things that I think will 'sell' so I give myself complete creative freedom. I look forward to making this collection ever year.

 

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You are based in Brighton. Why did you choose this city and how it is involved in your creative process?

Several years ago I was travelling I met so many people from Brighton that only had great things to say about the city, especially for the fashion and music scenes, it sounded like the perfect place for creative people to nurture their talents and a city that encouraged people to be different.

 

What's next after Brighton Fashion Week?

I will be shooting the lookbook, which I am really looking forward to, and contacting potential stockists for the new collection. In the new year I hope to do a photoshoot with some of the collection in Mexico too.

 

See Louise O'Mahony show at the Zeitgeist Emerging Talent Catwalk Show. Tickets available here, see the rest of the schedule here.

 

Giulia Carri

Brighton Fashion Week blogger

 

Images: Malcolm Tam at flickr.com

Brighton Fashion Week Head Photographer