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Photography by Neil Francis Dawson. Styling by Nel
Photography by Neil Francis Dawson. Styling by Nelma Kalonji. Hair Claire Baker @ D and V Managment using Bumble and Bumble. Make up Celine Bopp@D and V Management using Illamasque. Model Suki@IMG.

Simone Shailes for Topshop

The knitwear designer who graduated from Central Saint Martins MA this year has reproduced her graduate collection for Topshop.

Simone Shailes has got a host of accolades under her belt; a distinction in MA knitwear at Central Saint Martins, Chloé Scholarship and more recently the L'Oreal Professionnel Fashion Design award. Now she can add a Topshop collaboration to that list as she has reproduced her graduate collection for the high street store. It represents something of a high street first to reproduce a fresh graduate's collection for the buying public and could well pave the way for future designer x high street collaborations. The collection features the distinctive chunky loopy knitted dresses and capes as well as the wide metal plate belts to contrast with the soft textures.

Dazed Digital: How did the collaboration between you and Topshop come about?
Simone Shailes: I met with them after applying for Topshop New Generation Sponsorship at which point they proposed the collaboration, which I was delighted about!

DD: What gave you orTopshop the idea to reproduce your graduate collection rather than designing a whole new collection for them?
SS: Topshop suggested the idea. They knew I hadn't sold the collection and there was limited time so it seemed like the perfect proposition. Having spent a long time developing and making the MA collection it was really rewarding to have the chance to develop it into a range to be sold on the high street.

DD: How did you develop your aesthetic for your graduate collection - the distinctive looped knits, the play on textures with the metal beltS and velvet trousers?
SS: I wanted the knitwear to have the look and feel of fur coats, funny hairdos further inspired the voluminous looped and twisted details. To contrast the luxurious knits I teamed them with velour and denim separates and brash brass accessories.

DD: Are you happy with the results?  Do you think more graduates could work with Topshop in this way, reproducing their collection which would otherwise be unavailable to the public?
SS: I'm more than happy with the results, I think the pieces work really well.
It would be a great idea for Topshop to work with more graduates in this way. It was an amazing opportunity to be given at a stage when finances and experience with production were limited.

DD: Your graduate collection has become really recognisable and standout out of the batch of 2008 fashion grads. How have you reacted to that?
SS: It has been a little overwhelming! It's fantastic that the collection received such a positive response.

DD: What are your plans for the future?
SS: I have recently joined the team at Celine, (under the new creative direction of Phoebe Philo) which I'm really excited about.

Simone Shailes for Topshop collection goes on sale on Thursday 20th November in Topshop Oxford Circus, Westfield, London, Selfridges, Manchester Arndale and Topshop.com.