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Interview with Bianca Elgar

Home > Designer Interviews > Bianca Elgar

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Bianca Elgar (BE) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Bianca Elgar by clicking here.

Interview with Bianca Elgar at Sunday 23rd of April 2017
Bianca Elgar
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
BE: I have a lifelong passion for art and textiles, as well as elegant versatile well-made clothes and accessories described in two words “Wearable Art”. Art is a form of self-expression, fashion and textile design are a type of art that’s every bit as important as good architecture, but clothing and accessories are more closely associated with our everyday lives. Beautiful and unique things have always inspired me, applying this to "luxury versatile fashion" has been the driving force to becoming a designer.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
BE: Founded in 2015, I work from my studio and office in Oxford GB, where I design fashion, jewellery, fashion accessories and prints.

FS: What is "design" for you?
BE: Applying art to items we can wear and use every day.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
BE: Heirlooms of the future.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
BE: I designed a neckline loop system for dresses and tops, to be able to transform and personalise the look of an outfit with silk accessories.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
BE: I used to design fabric prints for interiors.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
BE: My favourite fabrics are Silk and Modal. I don't draw, I start the design process with cutting shapes out of paper.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
BE: This may sound strange but I wake up in the middle of the night and have "Lightbulb" moments.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
BE: Beauty, Integrity and Versatility.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
BE: Inspired excitement.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
BE: Joy and Excitement.

FS: What makes a design successful?
BE: When the design is beautiful, unique, useful and versatile, getting those elements together in a final product, is unequivocally outstanding.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
BE: Is it beautiful, is it useful?

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
BE: From my point of view it is the designers' responsibility to think about the ecological and ethical impact of the design.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
BE: I think the design field is evolving more towards high quality, ecological and ethical designs. Design with integrity will be something people will buy into more and more, it'll be something that they'll use to express themselves.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
BE: The "Out of Africa" collection was exhibited at PURE London in February 2017. My next exhibition of the artwork behind the "The Language of Flowers" will be at shown during Oxford Art Week in May 2017, part of the fashion collection will be launched at "Meet the Manufacturer" in London in May 2017, the whole collection will be shown at PURE London in July and Premiere Classe Paris Autumn 2017.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
BE: Life, Travel and Home. My first fashion collection was bold and colourful, inspired by the kimonos in The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford as beautiful on the inside as on the outside. Silk is such a beautiful an amazingly strong fabric. The kimonos are still in perfect condition and yet they are many many years old, they were my initial inspiration, although I added a twist of modern art to make them colourful and fun. The “Out of Africa Collection” draws inspiration from my trip to Marrakesh, I also love all the African artefacts in the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, the masks, shields, the beads and jewellery that are really important to African traditions, reminiscent of my time in Africa in my early twenties. When I went on a trip to Marrakesh all my earlier memories were triggered vividly. I came back with the idea for a series of scarves, which I called ‘Out of Africa’. Some of these, the ‘Beads’ collection, pays tribute to African jewellery and shields whilst the ‘Men’ designs draws inspiration from African masks and yet they’re modern with a fun twist. My next collection “The Language of Flowers”, is inspired by a short break in Abu Dhabi and many visits to Oxford’s Botanical Gardens and the flowers there. Even the simplest flower can have such amazing colours, and many have a meaning culturally whether they represent love, passion or life.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
BE: My style is understated elegance, with a bold and colourful twist. I like the expression; "More than meets the eye", I am drawn to something that is beautiful, unusual and innovative.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
BE: I live in Oxford, England. Yes, I do feel that the British cultural heritage inspires me to produce quality design, although I do believe that it is important to travel to keep my eyes open.

FS: How do you work with companies?
BE: Closely, I manufacture my products in GB as I believe in strong working relationships.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
BE: Good communication is king, for both the designer and the manufacturer.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
BE: I get my inspiration for a fashion collection from the world around me, I also look at fashion and colour forecasts. I design my prints with the help of a graphic designer and the garments with the help of a pattern cutter.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
BE: Candles and lighting Flowers Quilts Pottery Baskets

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
BE: A jog along the Thames in Oxford with music on my Ipod. Work at either my office desk or in my studio during the day. Cook and have dinner with my son in the evening, then I sometimes go back to my office or studio to finish things off. I read or listen to music before bedtime, I rarely watch television.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
BE: Of course use your passion, but above all else have a mission and a purpose. Create, be yourself and don't copy.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
BE: Positive; Nothing is more fulfilling than knowing that your designs sell. The joy of creating something amazing. Negative; You get copied. You need more than creativity, you'll need good communication, business and office skills. It can take a long time, many mistakes and a lot of money to reach your goal.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
BE: Simple with surprise twist.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
BE: Personality, creativity, perseverance.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
BE: Paper, scissors, ink, glue, silkscreen, squeegee. The Adobe suite on my computer, my art books, my sewing machine, museums, the world around me, life.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
BE: Yes, it is hard and time consuming but I live in a beautiful place and I just need to step outside to enjoy a change of scene, I live in a beautiful and inspiring part of the world.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
BE: About a year.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
BE: Did you design it all yourself?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
BE: Mistakes

FS: Who are some of your clients?
BE: Men and women of all ages, shapes and sizes.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
BE: Print design, as they can be turned into wearable pieces of art.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
BE: To sell the current collection and work on the next collection.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
BE: I create the designs myself, but develop the designs with a team of free-lance help.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
BE: I am still in the middle of "The Language of Flowers" collection, there'll be new "versatile" scarf shapes and I am working on a jewellery collection.

FS: How can people contact you?
BE: By email bianca.elgar@biancaelgar.com

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
BE: How did the brand come to be? I went to live abroad for 6 months and had to travel light, keeping clothes to a minimum due to limited space. I decided on my favourite black basics, and a variety of bright scarves to dress them up with. I was inspired by this opportunity of creating a variety of looks with just a few items, as well as showing off scarf prints in a new way. It was really this experience that made me realise how versatile and beautiful these silk accessories are. I went on to create dresses and tops that would go with these silk statement pieces. With the use of neckline loops it is possible to pick through pieces of silk wearable art, making styling options (almost) limitless. The Ava tunic dress has just won bronze 'A' Design award, and we won silver for our three-sided skinnies. Wearing beautifully made items of clothing, in a variety of ways, inspired me to think outside the "dress up" box.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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