We recently spoke to London based womenswear and textiles designer, Sophie Cull Candy. We discovered Sophie when we stumbled across her gorgeous website and became obsessed with her simply shaped designs with carefully considered colour. After graduating in fashion textiles from LCF, Sophie took it upon herself to create a new path for her clothing; slow fashion. She aspires to create pieces that people cherish, and has been featured in Hunger Magazine, Supplement and Re-Edition. Here's what the lovely lady has to say!
Slow paced fashion is something that is important to you, how did you achieve and nurture this at LCF where it is so fast paced?
It was difficult, but because I did textiles it allowed me a longer amount of time to develop and experiment with my fabrics. They do push the more commercial side of things but I’ve always valued quality over quantity and they never made me compromise.
And how was LCF in general?
When I was there I specialized in knitwear so I had access to some really great facilities – they have an excellent knit workshop with really knowledgeable tutors and technicians. It was also interesting to see what everyone else was doing, since everyone there studies fashion in some capacity, but I have to say what I missed about my time at CSM was the fact you were mixed in with people from lots of different art courses so you could learn more from others in fields you didn’t know about.
Define what fashion to you..
To me fashion is an immersive experience – it should be fun, different and make you feel like the best version of yourself!
What's your design process?
It differs from collection to collection, but I usually start with a colour or an idea for a textile. I also design a lot by asking myself would I wear it – I love feeling glam but in a way that’s still laid back and wearable.
How do you select the materials you're going to use?
Again it revolves around the colour and how the textiles all sit together – and if I’m making any of my own textiles I have to see how the colours, weight and textile surfaces all sit together.
How do you balance creativity with commerce?
I do this by just putting a few pieces from each collection into production. I also don’t like taking things down just because they’re ‘not in season’ any more – if people like things and they still want them seasons are irrelevant. I don’t make things to a season so they can be made redundant in 6 months, I only give things seasons so they can be categorised and collected.
Would you ever go into menswear too?
Definitely, I’m really interested in menswear - but I think this is a way off in the future.
What do you think of Eco-fashion?
I’m very pro eco-fashion – but its made very difficult in the industry, its not as easy to access or know what is fully eco or not. If there was enough appealing information about it and it because more widespread it would be more accessible and easier to work towards.
We love how much pride you take in your clothing being crafted in Britain. Do you think buyers are sensitive to this?
I hope so! It raises the price tag of pieces but for good reason, and I think people understand this and want to buy into quality and supporting smaller designers.
What inspired/influenced you to start designing?
I’ve always drawn a lot growing up and really enjoy painting and sculpture – so for me it was a very natural transition into textiles and fashion.
Do you have a specific research process when starting a new collection?
I like get into the mindset of each theme – I surround myself with imagery and read a lot about a whatever it is inspiring me, I also go to anything I can related to it so I can experience the feeling I want the collection to give.
Where would love to be fast forward 5 years?
I would love to be doing regular presentations at fashion week and work with stockists, because at the moment I sell completely online but it would be great to see pieces hanging in a shop!
What is your favourite city?
London! But New York comes in a close second.
Where's your favourite place to eat in LDN?
Cilicia in Muswell Hill, I’m addicted to it they’re lamb is so good, but I also live on sushi so places like Akari in Angel, when I used to live there, was my go to.
Name some of your favourite places in the world...
Magnolia bakery in New York! But non food related places – I love the V&A, Charleston House and shopping in Liberty (which also has a great café..)
What's your favourite thing about humanity?
Although at the moment it seems like we’re all going a bit downhill – I’d say my favorite thing is that as children we all start totally uninhibited and caring about each other without being jaded, I just wish a few more of us would carry this on into adulthood!
If you could live in a different fashion movement what would you choose and why/?
Either the 18th century or the 70's
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Try everything, experiment and ask lots of questions.
Are you working on any future projects that we should look out for? When's your new collection out?
Yes, at the moment I’m working on SS17 which I’m doing in collaboration with my friend Alice Hartley – who’s a fantastic artist – this will be out in September! And I already have some really fun plans for AW17 in the works, which involves mega amounts of cross stitch, but I don’t want to say too much just yet!
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