Back To Bohemia

28 September 2012


'I'm a girl from a good family who was very well brought up. One day I turned my back on it all and became a bohemian'
Brigitte Bardot


Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing one of London's hottest up and coming designers. Her beautifully Bohemian designs have clothed the well known backs of Sienna Miller, Liberty Ross and now the Style StreetStalker!!!! I met up with Alix of Bohemia at her studio for a natter over a couple of glasses of her (of the moment) favourite vino!



Alix, what's your fashion background?
It starts in the genes. My father is from seven generations of an Italian textile and clothing manufacturing company. My mother is from a massive family of French artists. I grew up in New York, in my mother's studio, amongst my 3 siblings, in my parents respective closets: inspired by my mother with her sublime vintage archive and my father's impeccable ability to mix patterns really captivated me- both of them have this dreamy 70's aesthetic. I went on to study History of Art at St Andrews, but have sewn clothes all my life. People started noticing and asking me to make them this and that. I have worked in every area of the business: as an assistant designer, as a stylist, as an editorial and photographic assistant, in merchandising and on the retail floor. Beautiful clothing, like beautiful art, has always been my language, and for some reason my hands have always known what to do, though I have no formal training.
Genes are weird.
 



What inspired you to start Alix of Bohemia?

I didn't set out to start a brand. The I grew up wearing clothes my mother made for me, or vintage clothes from France, and my mother always went out of her way to have us dressed differently. I don't think I owed a pair of jeans until I went away to boarding school! As a teenager I was wearing lots of wacky things: old tie dye, jumpsuits, my fathers braces fastened into my linen trousers and long skirts I found in antique stores or in my mother's closet. I just wasn't convinced by the clothes I was seeing on my peers and I hated looking like everything else. I also found it super discouraging how badly clothing was being made.
So I spent a lot of time customising, sewing pieces, drawing on things. The cutting of my clothes used to drive my mother crazy. I was making clothes for myself and my friends all through Uni, and I was also super inspired by all the artists I was studying....Basquiat, Giacometti, Picasso....all of their muses....they were just so cool, 'Those Bohemians'.
So when I quit my job in New York as an assistant designer one year out of Uni, I put together a collection and hosted a trunk show in my flat. I remembered a painting in Scotland "Anne of Bohemia" and just knew that was me. So Alix of Bohemia was born.

 



This is one Alix's latest dresses and unseen by most, I was lucky enough to be able to cover this first!



I loove the way you name each design, may I ask why?

When I am crafting a garment, I usually have a muse in my head. Or I make up a story as I sew up the old girl. Ill have a pretty good idea about where this garment is going, what she likes to read, where she hangs out, what kind of shoes she will wear. I always name her at the end: sometimes its after a friend, sometimes it references something specific. For Example, my classic white blouse is called the "Camelia". Camellia's were Coco Chanel's favourite flower- I wanted to reference the timelessness of her brand and pay homage to refined simplicity.
There's always a story, behind every seam, and every name


What's your ethos?

My ethos? To make exquisitely crafted, timeless clothes that make the wearer feel the best version of herself: free spirited and confident, Lady or Louche.
I don't believe in making masses. I make limited runs, all hand finished (no one does that anymore, super old school style coming through there), with Love in London. Your clothes, like you, should have a soul.




Where do you see Alix of Bohemia in 10 years time?!

I hope in 10 years I will have created a beautiful haven where the Bohemian tribe can congregate. A great big space combining an atelier with a living/workspace/commune for fellow creative creatures and collaborations. There will be painted murals on the wall and hydrangeas and peonies everywhere.  I'll be able to sell my clothes alongside my favourite things from my travels, and I plan to cook massive dinner parties in the space. Imagine a Royal Tenenbaums Townhouse overrun with Bohemians and beautiful clothes! Its always been a balance of rustic and refined. I hope in 10 years people will realise the high st and fast fashion are fleeting. Its not about a million items in your wardrobe (all badly made in the 3rd world) its about your favourite pieces that you wear forever and then hand down to your daughter.

Its like food you know? Ethical, sustainable, local....and totally divine




Last question .. I promise ! - What would you say was your favourite item in wardrobe?

Favourite items in the wardrobe, its tough! I cannot survive without my Alexander Wang Chelsea boots. They make me feel like one of the Rolling Stones. Also I collect striped Breton Tee's- if you buy the Men's Xlarge from St James you can wear it as a dress like Edie Sedgewick, which I have been doing since boarding school, much to my mother's dismay.

Admittedly before I met Alix, this bohemian style I would never have thought I would have fallen in love with, but sure enough I have! It's hard to get totally enchanted by everything from the exquisite materials she uses, such as vintage Missoni and Liberty, to beautiful linens and silks from India and Italy. Everything is hand made by Alix which is all too obvious, as the fit is unbelievably amazing!

Not only does she make the most divine clothing but she also has the beautiful blog, find her here.

Find her stunning collections here at Alix of Bohemia




4 comments

  1. Really cool post, her clothing is so simple and looks comfy to wear - i will have to check her out.
    E

    ReplyDelete
  2. love this post and also your blog! It's so nice!!! I follow you!
    Pass to my blog and if it likes you follow me too, I will be so glad :D
    kisses
    http://francescagiusti.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love that burgundy dress, where does she stock?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know it's gorge isn't it! She stocks online only (so very exclusive!) http://www.alixofbohemia.com/

      Delete

I adore all your comments!

Massive Style Stalker Love

SSSx

Copyright © Stories
Design by Fearne