After winning the George Catwalk to Store Award at Graduate Fashion Week last June, for her enviably marketable collection, Laura Capello has begun a career in pattern cutting, her Linkedin profile boasting positions at both Karen Millen and Ralph and Russo.
We caught up with the award winning emerging designer, to find out why she believes that peer reviews in a competitive industry will always be valuable, learn the process of looking to the past and the future for aesthetic inspiration and why fashion has the ability to access everyone, irrelevant of political preference or social standing.
Congratulations on winning the George Catwalk to Store Award at GFW17! How was the GFW experience for you?
It was very exciting to see all the hard work of so many students walking down the catwalk, seeing that anything is possible with passion and hard work.
How did studying at Bath Spa University prepare you for working within the fashion industry?
Our tutors have always mad clear, that the competition is huge once we will actually be applying for jobs and they are absolutely right. It is important to be aware of what others are doing and keep comparing our own work.
Your collection was voted one of the best from GFW17, what inspired the successful collection?
It was a mixture of 1870 Victorian garments, futuristic uniforms and space suits. Very different types of clothing, yet both highly inspiring and detailed.
Since graduating from Bath Spa University, you have been working for Ralph & Russo as an Assistant Pattern Cutter! How have you found this experience so far?
I interned at Karen Millen for three months before joining Ralph & Russo, which was a great experience. There I had learned a lot about the cycle which a garment goes through before it ends in a store.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I want to skill myself more in pattern cutting and design so I can start my own label in a few years time.
After winning the George Catwalk to Store Award, have you maintained a relationship with the retailer? Do you have any plans to work with them in the future?
The Brand George is too commercial for what I am aiming for at the moment but I am still very thankful for them having spotted my talent at GFW.
The fashion industry is forever growing, and always trying to keep up with and inspire political, social and environmental change. How important do you think it is to keep up with these evolutions, and which of these concepts do you consider when you design your collections?
People can avoid reading or watching the news but fashion is everywhere and reaches everyone. The visualizing of problems is sometimes easier to understand and to express. Uniforms are something that fascinate me a lot. They are always relevant and they are incredibly diverse but always make a strong statement.
What designer or brand do you look up to, and if you were to collaborate with one, who would it be and why?
There are few which I find incredibly inspiring. For one, Haider Ackermann; The way he works with drape and material is simple and minimalist. I also love his version of a woman and the soft masculinity in it. The other one is Delpozo; perfect combinations of color and very aesthetic and architectural silhouettes. I would love a collaboration with Delpozo as he has a lovely feminine style where I would bring some darkness into.
If you could give some advice to our graduates showcasing this year what would you say?
Make the most of those few days and try to get your name out there. It is hard to be remembered between all those graduates so make sure your portfolio is gripping. I should have tried to make more contact with people from the industry, which can be key for a job search. Other than that - Enjoy the moment!
Words by Annabel Waterhouse-Biggins