Basing her eye-popping and intricate designs on vintage sportswear and Nordic/Fair Isle knitwear, Laura Williams is the Westminster-trained fluorescent flavoured womenswear designer.
Fuelled by an endless supply of Kleenex man-size tissues which she uses to dry her eyes after a rough day, Laura is a delicate flower with sterling ambition. Challenging herself technically, creatively and emotionally everyday, this 23-year-old Harrow hailing lady creates clothes for babes who like to steal their boyf’s comfy casuals.
Intensively researching and studying images which document various famous arctic treks and dissecting the details, the graduate collection Laura showed earlier this year was incredibly thought out and highly original. Four years in production, each look was created using locally sourced fabrics which were then digitally produced and treated. Inspired by Winona Ryder’s style in the 80s, iconic chick flick Heathers, Marc Jacobs’ slick womenswear designs and Guy Bourdin’s photography, Laura’s outlook is eclectic and her diligence well-recognised. i-D online tracked down the chunky jumper-maker to find something cosy to snuggle up next to her in.
You recently showed your graduate collection, how does it feel to have it all over with? It feels ridiculously amazing… like I have my life back!
How do you describe your aesthetic? I really enjoy experimenting with the proportions of garments. For me it’s always about playing with a selected mix of textiles and working out the portion it is seen in. Most of my designs are inspired by vintage sportswear and outerwear. I love all of the detail that goes into most menswear garments, which I’d like to translate more into womenswear… weather it is the oddness of a button, a hidden pocket or a fluorescent orange topstitch.
Do you remember your first ‘fashion’ moment? I think my first fashion moment was sitting next to Marc Jacobs eating my lunch… I suddenly lost my appetite.
What is the staple item in your wardrobe? Wooden Wedges! They are always fun for epic floor falls!
What other emerging young designers do you cite as the talent of the next generation? I’ve been looking at Hannah Ellis’s graduate menswear collection from last year, she showcased some great mixes of textiles and some really lovely cut outerwear in her collection.
How have you developed your signature style since you first began studying fashion? I’ve always enjoyed working with print, I think it was just finding something that I loved so much and really putting that down in my own words and also something I could stomach for at least 6 months!
How do you describe your personal sense of dress? I love pieces with graphic prints and mixing them with simple block layers, I think I’d be completely lost if you said I could only wear one item of clothing per day.
What are your top 5 fashion hot spots?
1. Dover St Market, London
2. Beyond the valley, London
3. Buffalo Exchange, New York
4. What goes around comes around, New York
5. The Lanes, Brighton
Text: Milly McMahon