Young British designer Nicholas Rogers, freshly graduated from the London College of Fashion, mixes daring with DIY. Both romantic and raw, Nicholas’ graduate collection is sexy, contemporary, and saleable.
When did you know that this was what you wanted to do with your life? How did you get started?
I don’t know exactly when this was but for as long as I can remember I have wanted to be something creative. My mum used to work long days, so on the weekend we would get up early and start to just make, we made everything from toys to jewelry to clothes. She was more into cutting and sticking things together, so eventually my grandma stepped in with a sewing machine when I was around 5 years old.
What effect (if any) do you think your childhood has had on the creativity you display as an adult? What are your earliest memories involving fashion?
I think my whole aspiration as a designer has come from the freedom to make things at home. At around 8 I wasn’t able to fully construct things to my liking, so I would almost demand my grandma help me in sewing, making bizarre things like a dark red velvet dress for a Christmas concert. Coming up with crazy outfits just so I had something different compared to my friends. And now… I make what I like, I make what I would wear. I guess it’s quite self indulgent.
What inspires you?
Many areas of research influence me at different times, but the key to being inspired to continue every day is watching people around me who have worked and devoted their lives to becoming great at something. They could be doing anything but as long as they are successful and they impress themselves by the work they do, that’s the reason to be inspired to continue.
What is your design process?
Lately I’ve enjoyed working with a muse, that individual who sparks an interest with their life or their occupation. From there I research more broadly around the subject. Research for me is great because I like reading and knowing more things about culture, tradition, art, film. I then drape on the stand, constructing a garment not by pattern cutting, but physically using the fabric and hand tacking the pieces together, you really get an idea of volume and shape that way.
Do you design with a specific client in mind? If so, who is that person?
For this body of work I really thought about myself as a client, something I would wear and enjoy, mainly because this is the final collection for university and I wanted to impress myself. I’ve made a lot of things that ‘adhere to the research’ but in this context I wanted to sell myself, to appeal to a younger creative and produce a collection which I felt would sell.
Is there a piece or a collection you are most proud of?
I’d say in this collection it would be the two wire knitted sweatshirts, I was gifted a knitting machine for Christmas and stupidly decided that I was going to knit in wire, not wool like any normal human. It was beyond frustrating but I really like them, I think they can be experimented with a lot further than just this project.
Have commercialism and/or the media had any impact on your work? Is this good or bad?
I think some of my work is very current, it’s very sellable and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Every designer has pathways to express and explore their design ambitions and I feel like I did that, but you also have to appeal to people if you want to start a business. You can be the most creative person, but if there’s not a want for something, you’re going nowhere.
Who/what is something or someone fabulous that you think is underrated or overlooked?
Do you have any words of wisdom for someone starting out in your field?
Be prepared to loathe the process but to love the outcome.
Amy Wright using MAC Cosmetics