Friday, 17 June 2011

Malam to return to London Fashion Week.

We caught up up with Emmanuelle, the creative force behind french fashion label MALAM to find out more about her, her label and what to expect for the S/S 2012 collection.

How did you come up with the name of your label? 
I wanted to find a short name which was easy to remember, and did not mean anything specific in French, so I just mixed up letters of my name, and voilà!

How does it feel to be returning to London Fashion Week?
I am really excited to showcase the collection again. It was a great experience last year, and I find it very interesting to concentrate on making many new designs in a row – since it is totally not the way I work all year long. Plus I love London, so I'm really happy to come back :)

Has the label changed since you last showcased in London?
The label itself has not changed, I still work the same way, and with the same vision. Although it's still growing : since the last show, I gained a lot of new customers, and have seen more interest from boutiques as well, in France and abroad.

What is the most challenging thing about being a fashion designer?
I guess in my position, the most challenging thing is to be able to manage everything, from creating to selling, in the short span of time of each day! Every day is a new challenge:) More generally, it is also the ability to renew oneself, while remaining true to one's own style and vision.

What is the most difficult thing about designing one of kind pieces?
I love making one of a kind pieces, because I get to use so many different materials, and I make what I want to make, when I want to make it. I like this so much more than working during a whole season with such and such fabrics, and then change the next season, and so on... I love having just one line, forget about a design, and remake it again a few months later looking totally different because I followed another inspiration, used other material, colours, findings... What really is the most difficult is the choice of the size I'll make the piece in. I basically have to guess the size of the person who will see it, like it and wish to buy it :) Of course, I also do a lot of custom work and creating a piece for someone is very interesting, because I have to interpret the customer's wishes & requirements with my own vision.

How has living in France influenced your fashion label?
France is great for finding vintage and old materials, there are so many opportunities to buy new treasures... And this is the base of my work. Apart from that, being in France sure helps me export my pieces abroad, it must be the « French appeal » :)

You spent some of your holidays at your great grandmother’s castle. Would you say this instigated your love for historical clothing and fairytales?
I spent nearly all my holidays there for the first 16 years of my life, with my (many) cousins... So yes, being surrounded by elegant old portraits, antique furniture, the musty smell of cupboards and old books, looking forever for secret hidden rooms we never found, dressing up with fancy frocks from the old trunk, getting a bit scared in narrow and dark corridors, at the end of which was the most beautiful old pink bedroom with the four-poster canopy bed and so many antique little things on the shelves... That's probably where it came from!

You mentioned that you are inspired by children stories. What is your fondest memory from your childhood?
I can definitely say I had a happy childhood – there are too many great memories to put just one forward:) But it's true that when you're little, your imagination has no boundaries, and you can find magic in anything, this is what I like to keep doing !

The last time you showcased in London, you had music made especially for the Show by the band Underemployment. Should we expect the same this year?What can we expect from the new collection?
Yes, I am really happy this gives me the opportunity to work with independent musicians. The music of last year's show was exactly what I had wanted, this was just amazing work, and done so quickly as well! By the way, The Underemployed ( ) have an EP coming out very soon which I'm eager to listen to :) This year, it will be quite a different style, the music for the show will be created by Niflheim Seele ( ). I can't wait …
Also, the models will be once again wearing gorgeous shoes from Portuguese designer brand EJECT ( ) , I find they just fit perfectly with Malam's aesthetics, and am really thankful for this partnership.
As to what will be showcased.. let me just say it will be an extension of the permanent collection, featuring more of the same aesthetics, with different designs, different fabrics... lacy, feminine, both structured and flowy.... And I am just so impatient to publish the new designs, it's so difficult to keep them to myself
Malam will be showcasing the latest collection at the 'A La Mode' London Fashion Week on the  16th of September 2011.

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