An interview with print designer Alice

designandcolour@gmail.com

designandcolour@gmail.com

Alice

Alice, print designer at Miroglio Textile

How did your interest in fashion start? Where did you go to college?

I have liked to draw since I was a child; my mum despaired because I used to draw on every wall of my house! So, I decided to follow this interest and I started to study graphics in high school. I studied Graphic and Virtual design at the Politecnico Institute in Turin.

Politecnico Institute in Turin

Politecnico Institute in Turin

Honestly, I had never thought about working in fashion, but after my degree I wanted to go on and study for a Masters and Miroglio were offering a 6 month course. I learned a little bit of everything: how to analyse a garment, to design it, to make it while I also studied accessories and prints. Due to my graphic studies, the company offered me an internship in the Miroglio textile style office for another 6 months, after which they offered me a position in the style office of Sublitex.

I had never really thought about working in fashion but it was a beautiful discovery and I immediately fell in love with it. I’ve worked for Sublitex now for five and a half years.

What are your main inspirations for fashion – people, places, buildings etc.?

What I really like are markets: I love to see all the stalls with so many different things! I like vintage markets and go often to the ‘Gran Balon’ in Turin, which is a very big and famous market.

market1

market2

Turin’s Gran Balon Market (Photos: italianways.com)

However my favourite city for inspiration is, without a doubt, London: you can find everything and also the markets are great. It is great for new ideas with lots of different young designers. The shops are interesting because you can see the big high street brands such as River Island, Topshop, and more, but it’s also possible to find smaller shops and boutiques with fabulous clothing and lots of new ideas. Every day I have a look at websites for inspiration such as Pinterest, Pattern Curator, WGSN and Stylesight.

Pattern Curator is 'an insightful forecast of mood boards and color stories' (patterncurator.org)

Pattern Curator is ‘an insightful forecast of mood boards and color stories’ (patterncurator.org)

Since I started this adventure I began to look at everyone in the streets: I’m very curious and like to see what people wear and how they combine different prints in one outfit. I also like to go to ‘unconventional’ places such as tattoo conventions for example. It is great to see how people show their personality through their tattoos. Last but not least, I read lots of magazines; Marie Claire, Vogue, Elle, and Grazia are a few of my favourites.

Alice at The Textile Fair, London this year, with a close up of one of her tattoos.

Alice at The London Textiles Fair this year, with a close up of one of her tattoos.

What are your favourite English shops – designer and high street – and why?

My favorite brands are River Island to see the trends, Religion and All Saints because of the style: rock and a bit dark. The Ragged Priest for their interesting and colourful pieces and Illustrated People for their crazy prints! I love Urban Outfitters for quirky objects and books. However if I want to buy something for every day, my choice is Primark, as I like to buy a lot of clothes, so the prices appeal to me!

Illustrated People SS15 (Photo: Illustrated People)

Illustrated People SS15 (Photo: Illustrated People)

#IP Era SS15 Lookbook:

lookbook-17     lookbook-22 ip15

And your favourite Italian shops?

This question is much more difficult as in reality we don’t have a large choice of brands as in other countries. In Italy we have lots of very famous luxury brands such as Valentino, Armani and Gucci, as well as a few lesser known but still high end brands such as Pinko and Liu Jo. As these designer shops are quite expensive, I usually only go there for a dress for special occasions.

pinko

How do you find European markets differ? Is the UK very different to the rest of the world?

I think the UK is very different from Italy or Spain or France. My impression in Italy is that we are a very classically stylish country, and we are much more simple and traditionally dressed than the UK. We are almost scared to play with colours and prints, which is why I feel free in London. People are more used to seeing different kinds of outfits. The first thing that you notice in the English market is that there are lots of prints and lots of colours, and I noticed the same on my visit to LA. Read Alice’s LA story here.

IMG_5431

Do you have any tips for people wanting to get into the industry?

I think I’ve been very lucky to find this job, but what I would like to suggest is to work hard and stay hungry, just as Steve Jobbs said. It is very important to try to learn as much as possible everywhere: beginning at school and through a company, always try to participate, ask lots of questions because it’s the only way to really learn something. Even if what you’re doing at the moment is not your ‘dream job’, don’t give up!

Absorb everything you learn, it will help you in the future. It gets harder every day to find someone with experience and who understands how to work in this environment, so try to get the best from every experience because every time is a chance to improve your knowledge and be better for the next job.

And, of course, a little bit of luck isn’t bad! I played volleyball for 11 years when I was younger and I had a fab teacher who told me: “In life there is a 3 ‘C’ rule: cuore (heart), coraggio (brave) e culo (bottom/that in Italy means ‘lucky’)”, and this is so true!

aliceworking

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