Vita Gottlieb funded her homonym womenswear label in 2011 and she was a finalist at the London Fashion Fringe in 2012. Behind Vita’s creations there are not only hints from different cultures, they also tell a story and create an atmosphere. The designer mixes patterns and fabrics to create clothes that humor the woman’s body and are both fashionable and comfortable.
Your works do not look European, there are details that hint to other cultures. Where do you get them from?
VG: I’m always curious and find travel and different cultures extremely inspiring. I think the quality of light, colour, people and the natural world all hold my gaze and are fed into the collections.
VG: I was more inspired by Paul Poiret, and by a party he held in Paris in the early 20th century where guests were asked to dress in Persian dress and dance in the moonlight in the garden. So it was more about me looking to places like Syria, Turkey and the old notion of “orientalism” in Western culture.
What’s the concept behind autumn/winter 13/14? VG: I was looking at a film in my head, an imagined exchange between the two French symbolist poets Rimbaud and Verlaine, and walking at night in strange cities you don’t know. I always have a mood in mind, a kind of imaginary world, more than anything concrete in terms of theme.
How do you keep the balance between fashionable and comfortable? VG: I like to use tactile fabrics with soft inside linings, hidden panels and make sure the proto is fitted properly and toiles made in the right fabrics too. It makes a huge difference to the fit and hang and therefore comfort.
How do you imagine the woman wearing your clothes? VG: She has an inner strength and is interested in travel and culture as well as fashion.
Where do you see your label in five years? VG: I’d like to develop a diffusion label for a wider customer base, continue streamlining the mainline and the aesthetic, and one day branch into travel clothing and lingerie. I see it developing slowly and surely, and picking up stockists season by season.
Is there any designer you would like to collaborate with? VG: I love what Georgia Hardinge does, she uses print and pleating in a really strong way. Also Fyodor Golan, and Rupert Sanderson for shoes. I’m interested in the relationship between structure and flow, and think all these designers achieve that dynamic really effectively.
Do you have any particular fashion vice? VG: I can’t afford to buy clothes right now as everything goes back into the business, but if I could, it would be soft leather jackets, and summer dresses, I like to dream. And Havaianas!
What’s the highlight of your career so far? VG: Being a Finalist in Fashion Fringe, by far. But also confirming my first order, that was exciting and made it all real. It’s such a lot of hard work, so anything positive that propels the label forward is very exciting.
— Author: Monica Guerrasio
For further information about Vita Gottlieb click here.