Friday, 1 February 2013

Girl Crush: Interview with Cecilia Mary Robson

Recently, I received the opportunity to gain work experience with fashion designer Cecilia Mary Robson in the Hertford fashion studio above a highly beautiful vintage shop called Dog and Whistle. If you don't know Cecilia from her sculptured and artful graduate collection featuring rounded silhouettes and cone d├ęcor  then you must definitely know her for her beautifully geometric and vintage styled SS/11 collection.
Over the time I spend working for Cecilia, I will be gaining knowledge, techniques and experience that can only be gathered from an up-to date, inspirational and in some ways rather homely fashion studio. And I don't just mean the pattern cutting techniques; I mean the whole vibe as well.

How long have you wanted to be a fashion designer for?
I was about 17 when I realised I should be a designer. Ever since a young age I've been into art, which was helped by my father (Hugh Robson) being an artist; and I would really enjoy making things that could be used!

What attracted you to opening the Hertford Fashion studio?
Because it's so unusual and unique for a quiet town like Hertford. Hertford has good London connections- but it's not as busy and the people here really appreciate both my work and what the fashion studio brings to the area. It also allows me to have fashion on my terms- family life and work go really well together here.

While you were working for Giles Deacon, you produced a beautiful piece called Crystal Beth, what was that like?
Demanding, but really good fun. I had a team of 10 working for me on the piece, everyone was really supportive and so overall it was a beautiful experience. It took around 3 months to make- from the design process to manufacture, and we hand stuck a quarter of a million swarovski onto the dress. Jessica Stam wore the piece in show; both her and the dress looked beautiful.

What are the best and worst things about being a designer?
The best thing has to be realising a dream, and the passionate journey of bringing it to life. The worst thing has to be that your work is a reflection of your personality, which exposes you and leaves you open to judgement.

What inspires you?
It could be anything from film, music or just being around people. But when your inspired there'll be almost an energy or spirit that brings you to it. The feeling is limitless.

What is your favourite item of clothing?
My Loake Chelsea boots which are a toffee brown leather; or my Aunt Flora's dressing gown which is a beautifully embroidered 1930's crepe gown.

How do you find the work life balance?
It's good, and that's because it's on my terms. With me, family will always come first and because of this I've made my work life so flexible. In fashion, there's a lot of pressure to produce collections, and there's lots of cliche's and rules that many live by. But designers are leaders, and you can have it any way you want it. Acceptance and realising that there are no rules, will make you happier.

Where would you lie to be in 10 years time?
Contented. Design is a reflection of my mood and what will be, will be.

Do you have any advice for aspiring fashion designers?
Listen to your gut, work hard, focus on your goals and recognise that everybody's human.

(From Cecilia's graduate collection)

(^SS/11 collection)

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