"When We come together nothing can stop us,
nothing can fucking stop us."
SO HERES A SIMPLE ONE, WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION?
It's always people, mostly everyday people, I am constantly looking
for the person that's pulling a look. The people that inspire me most are the
people that are on Instagram with like 2000 followers or maybe 500 followers,
I seek that level of coolness, because they are doing it for themselves, not the audience.
Night life, That's why socialising is massively important to me, like going to clubs all of that.
SEEING THE PEOPLE, SEEING THE FACES SEEING THE LOOKS.
When I started going to clubs more, I became more inspired. I was in my late 20s when I started clubbing, I did a stint of clubbing when I was younger but I had no confidence. I was always too afraid. Clubbing opened up a whole new world of inspiration for me.
WHAT'S YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS? SPECIFICALLY WHEN YOU'RE DESIGNING FOR A CLIENT, OR JUST A NEW COLLECTION? WHAT'S THE PROCESS OF THAT?
My creative process has to change because my client and their needs change every day. But much like any creative person if I have a two week deadline, I won't start the garment until the last minute. Then I panic and create my best work. I never really have to design collections, That's why it's so lucky I'm a costume designer that specialises in custom pieces.
Don't ask me to make five of those (laughs) do you know what I mean?
ONE OFF GARMENTS ONLY.
Because I'm Dyslexic, I have to figure out the way to do it.
I WAS GOING TO ASK IN OUR EARLIER CONVERSATION PRIOR TO
THIS DO YOU HAVE ADHD OR DYSLEXIA?
IF YOU HAVE EITHER YOU TEND TO PROCESS INFORMATION DIFFERENTLY AS WELL AS PUZZLE SOLVING. YOU PUT THINGS TOGETHER IN SUCH A UNIQUE WAY BECAUSE OF THE WAY YOUR BRAIN WORKS, YOU SUBCONSCIOUSLY DO THINGS IN A UNIQUE WAY. BUT IT HAS THE SAME OUTCOME AS IF YOU DID IT IN A TRADITIONAL SENSE.
Dyslexia is my bitch.
Because if you think about it when you're dyslexic, you can do everything that everybody else can do. I've learned as a dyslexic, its about formulas , if we just put this here and move that there, we can actually go straight to here and get it done quicker. So that's why working on deadlines is really good for me in terms of my dyslexia.
The trained eye will go down a more technical path. my dyslexia says,
fuck all that put it through the sewing machine and get it done.
DO YOU HAVE ANY MUSES FOR YOUR WORK?
PEOPLE THAT YOU DESIGN GARMENTS IN YOUR MIND FOR?
Yeah, I have a few people. Tayce is a massive muse to me. I remember first seeing Her. Bit of a sour one because she actually walked into a club and they were friends with my ex and I was like. There's my fucking ex, but who is this person? I remember, Tayce walked by me and I was like, Oh no, I have to know this person. And naturally we connected because above anything, I'm a massive believer of magnetism. It's hindsight. I see it happen. I wake up the next morning to emails I've imagined the night before.
Joss Jaycoff has always been an inspiration to me.
You've personally been an inspiration to me. Do you remember Joss that used to go Dollar Baby?
Joss is one of my favourite people in the world.
THEY MOVED AWAY FROM LONDON AND WENT TO BARCELONA I THINK.
Yeah they’re back in Barcelona doing amazing things for the Non-Binary Community.
Really amazing things, Joss is a super passionate person and a very passionate person
about appearance and having met Joss another person like you,
I was blown away by the beauty.
Who else? I can't leave anyone out with this… Santi Storm, Johanna Londinium & Dani St. James but they're the people that I say to you are real people. They're the people that I now see in my daily life. But when me and Santi come together, it's magic. It really is.
Rita (Ora) is a massive, massive muse to me. And she was one of the first big clients I had. My life has been defined by 4 amazing women Rihanna, Beyonce, Rita Ora, Kate Moss, those women taught me the biggest lessons I've ever learned in the industry.
My biggest Muse and I say this with a smile on my face is my ex-girlfriend, we were together for eight years, we ran a business together my first company was called Die For Love and her name was Laura. So Die for Love (referring to tattoo). was for me and her.
She was my first muse.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE COSTUME DESIGN AS A CAREER?
I felt that I never had the education to do fashion. I hated school. It was the worst
time of my life. Even getting it out now is still a struggle to say those words.
I started sewing around 18, I picked up a sewing machine, It wasn't a conscious decision I was like, Oh, hey, here's a sewing machine. My niece needs a costume. Let's see what we can do.
Then the decision came to move to London. I had already done fashion at some level but I never felt good enough.
I never felt my work was good enough.
I had no education and had a problem with authority figures. I'm very much like who you are to tell me that I can't do it this way.
"Who are you to tell me that I cannot give you the exact same garment and just do it my way? costume was because it allowed me to be more expressive. "
NO LIMITATIONS ON CREATIVITY.
And what I love about costume is you're not striving to create the perfect garment.
That's not what the costume was about for me personally.
It's an illusion. It's a trick of the eye. I don't seek perfection.
Plus we do a lot of crystal work so trusting your eye is what's most important.
it's a lot of crystals, 27,000 crystals on one catsuit.
I'VE TRIED IT MYSELF, I GOT MYSELF A GUN, GOT SOME SWAROVSKI'S AT HOME AND EVEN DOING A PAIR OF HIGH HEELS. ITS A LABOUR OF LOVE.
It is, Ultimately I chose to do costumes because it has more freedom.
It took the intimidation away from me.
And I didn't have to go out and pretend to like
people that I didn't want to pretend to like.
I love fashion. But I don't love “FASHUN".
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT BEING A DESIGNER.
Ummmm what do I love?... I don't think anyone's ever asked me this question .
It’s really good, don’t think I’ve ever been asked that question. What I love about being a designer. Oh fuck, I love that you asked me this, because I have to think about it…
I love the transformation or when someone puts something on, and you can see the
change in their eyes and they turn and then they look at me and go oh! ,
looking in the mirror and seeing that change.
I don't dress you. I'm dressing the person inside of you.
That’s who i am seeking.
BRINGING THE INSIDE OUT.
As Momma Ru says “its all is drag, everything you put on is drag”
Beyoncé goes on stage as Sasha Fierce.
WE ALL HAVE AN ALTER EGO.
I'm the designer that dresses your alter ego.
If that's who you want to bring out, I'm the person you come to.
As a designer, the thing that excites me the most is zipping up the back of a
garment and looking at the client in the mirror and watching a new person come out.
That's the thing.
WHAT WOULD YOU DEFINE AS THE NECESSARY SKILLS FOR
BECOMING A SUCCESSFUL DESIGNER?
Okay? the necessary skills for being a successful designer.
In my opinion You need to not give a fuck about what anybody else thinks
in terms of your goals and what you want to achieve its your path.
You must have intent, the final goal does not have to be fully visualised, but if you lead with positive intention you will achieve more.
KNOW YOUR WORTH.
I devalued myself for a very long time and it did me no favours.
Never walk into a room or situation or an interview with your head down.
ALWAYS ask the client how they feel.
HOW DO YOU STAY UPDATED WITH TRENDS IN FASHION?
DO YOU EVEN FOLLOW TRENDS?
I wouldn't say that I don't follow trends ,
but I think the word trend gets a hard time because no one wants to follow the trend, but let's be honest,
Everyone will gravitate towards something.
I would follow trends my myself
but not my company,
PERSONAL NOT BUSINESS.
Personally I'm massively into sports wear.
BANG! if you strip back the crystals is a sportswear label. we specialise in performance pieces, everything needs to be movable and flexible.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR BRAND'S SIGNATURE STYLE?
So my brand's signature style isn't defined by me,
it's defined by the people who choose to wear it.
We're a costume company, our style is determined
by what that person wants to wear.
IT'S THE PEOPLE'S BRAND NOT JUST YOUR'S.
It’s the people's brand yes.
This is the thing I took myself, out of BANG, I didn't want to be the face of my company.
I wanted to know that what I did was good. That I had a brand that could stand on its own feet,
that can serve itself and people who love it. Not me.
I don't care if you don't love me, I care if you love the product.
BANG has a life of its own now, I said to my team the other day it's weird turning on TV and theres BANG on Drag Race, in music videos, I'm walking down the street, I see BANG in advertising campaigns on bus stops and I'm like FUCK is this real?...
I love that my customers own and shape what my brand looks like
because that is who your brand should be defined by your customer.
Not by me.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE.
Style is very personal to me because I dress for me it's my mood, and what I wear effectives my mood and my day, but without getting too deep,
trackies, sneakers, white socks and alllllll the white socks you can throw at me.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE STRESS.
I smoke weed, I think more people should.
My job it's stressful. really stressful,
FAST PACED, LOTS OF WORK, MOVING DEADLINES AND IMPATIENT CLIENTS.
When you're working with the biggest celebrities in the world the level of answerability you have is huge.
You're working on one garment and there could be 25 people in one email having a conversation about that one garment.
I need to have answers constantly and spend my days making sure all our deadlines are running on time.
HOW HAS YOUR BUSINESS BEEN AFFECTED DURING THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC?
Okay, well, let's be honest. Like everyone I thought I was fucked. We had 35 looks booked in, 2 tours, a collection for another company, the first collection that I was ever about to do.
Some amazing opportunities in the pipeline and it all disappeared.
It just completely fucking disappeared.
So what I did was I got myself into the studio.
I kind of went a little bit crazy in terms that I wanted
to use the time to go into my mind a little bit more and
see what was going on with me.
My life for the last for the last four years has been, the deadline,
the career, the crystals, the colours, the stylist, the artist.
So I used the time to check in with me.
IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST OR MOST RESOUNDING MOMENT OF A COLLABORATIVE JOB YOU'VE DONE WITH BANG?
While I have to admit The Spice Girls changed everything,
but for me personally it was the reunion of The PussyCat Dolls.
It was BANG 's first time being booked solo to dress the whole stage.
I was given full creative control of the design and styling process for
Dolls and 20 backing dancers.
I have never been more scared in my life, but when I look back at I am so proud of myself and most importantly my team. What we had to do to make that deadline
happen was nothing short of a miracle.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS?
ohhhh hopefully on a beach in L.A. somewhere hahaha, I love L.A. I really feel like it's the Cali life for Me.
But I'm not done in London for a while. I've been here 13 years
but I really feel like it's the only beginning for me and BANG.