Friday, 8 January 2010

Chatting with ... Polly Wilkinson

We hit off the Herd chit-chat with Polly Wilkinson. Polly is one quarter of fashion design quartet Draw in Light. A Brighton University graduate with big ambition, Polly talks to us about what inspires her and where she's heading. Polly's work is on sale at the Herd in Brixton shop and you're likely to catch her working most days at the studio.

Polly has worked for Dublin based Designer John Rocha as well as London vintage archive studio Eyefix International. She’s worked as a stylist on music videos, has traveled to small villages in India and stayed with gypsies, makes an annual pilgrimage to Sonar festival in Barcelona and believes in the ceremony of tea, with cake, every day. Much of her inspiration is based on lifestyle, culture and the traditions that come along with being British.

Tell me a bit about your background – what journey led you to what you are doing now?

I graduated from the University of Brighton in 2008, showcasing my solo collection at graduate fashion week. From then onwards received orders from the collection through BENGT Fashion Online Boutique. I’ve been designing ever since; collaborating with life long friend and fashion inspiration Harriet Barford. In December 2009 we formed Draw in Light, a creative collective made up of me and Harriet (fashion print designers) Graphic Artist - Aimee Marshal and Web/Product Manager - Kate Bronte-Stewart.

How would you describe your work?

Whimsical print/pattern based design. Drawing inspiration from every country, culture and lifestyle, past and present high-end fashion, urban trends and musical movements.

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

I wake up take a deep breath, make myself a good breakfast and look forward to the day ahead. Designing in our Brixton studio, Herd. This could be toiling a t-shirt, gathering research to design prints or prepping screens and getting my hands dirty.

Tell me about one of your favorite pieces and why?

At present my favorite design piece is a bright red romper suit with bat wings, it’s amazing to dance in and the print is focused on the royal family at a ceremony at Westminster Cathedral.

Tea or coffee while you work?

Tea, I am English after all …

Music or silence while you work?

At present I’ve been listening to Disco! In fact I’m listening to it now.

Where do you find creative inspiration – nature, travel, books, the web etc?

I’m a sensory person; I’m inspired mainly by people, places, funny things that happen to me day to day. I’m always looking at the irony in life and the humor of it all.

Which other creative people do you admire?

Photographer - Tim Walker, Film Maker/Artist - Sam Taylor Wood, Designer/Illustrator - Julie Verhoeven, Set Designer - Tony Hornecker. The designers at Miu Mui I find particularly inspiring presently. So many more! Including a lot of up and coming friends, Sculptor - Robert Storey, Illustrator- Jessica May Underwood, Stylist - Florence Raymond.

What are you looking forward to?

Tomorrow … the future. I’m in a permanent state of excitement. Designing my next collection with Harriet. We’re calling it - Swinging from the Chandeliers!

What/where was the last great meal you ate?

Breakfast… duck eggs on rye bread.

What was the last great thing you purchased?

A quilted leather bomber jacket, diamante encrusted leggings and my i-Phone.

Which galleries / shops / markets would you recommend in London to see the work of local artists?

Herd (where I am work and sell my designs) 67-68 Brixton Village Market, 127 Brick Lane (a great boutique for big and small designers), Wolf & Badger & Salon Gallery (they are always promoting the work of current emerging local artists). Dover Street Market is always an inspiring destination especially when showcasing home grown talent.

Where would we find you on a typical Saturday morning?

In the Herd studio at Brixton Village Market or running my vintage stall at the Truman Brewery!

Where would we find you on a typical Sunday afternoon?

At the Lux in Spitalfields eating a late breakfast of eggs benedict.

London’s best kept secret?

The John Soane Museum.

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