Japanese flower arranging and vintage sportswear inspire the NEWGEN designer – see the lookbook here
For someone who got kicked out of her studio with two weeks notice, Sadie Williams’ AW15 collection doesn’t show a hint of stress. Featuring huge silver flares, velvet parka coats and sheer mesh dresses decorated with metallic panels, the Ikebana inspired garments are craft-heavy, unique take on space-age sportswear. Since graduating from her Central Saint Martins MA course in 2013, the lurex-loving designer has been picked to join the group of innovators supported by NEWGEN and created her own capsule collection for & Other Stories, inspired by the Elvis-obsessed Zurich biker gangs of the 60s and 70s. To mark the lookbook’s launch, Williams talks inspiration, working with art director and designer Jamie Reid and the importance of building emotional connections with what you wear.
What were your main reference points this season?
Sadie Williams: I bought these ‘Best Of Ikebana’ books from the early 60s on Japanese flower arranging because I really loved everything about them. I’ve tried to translate the playful spirit of these quietly vibrant images, especially the way odd textures sit against each other. My moodboards had tons of my textile sample swatches, from playing around with various combinations of colours and fabrications – I wanted to create a kind of modern ‘luxe-craft’. So I had amazing folky images of special embroidered and quilted textiles in silvery leathers, silks and velvets. I collected imagery of shapes I wanted to work with, like classic hooded duffel coats and dramatic wide leg trousers. To counter-act the dramatic elements I looked to simpler shapes too, and vintage sportswear.
What were you trying to get across with the lookbook and the still life imagery?
Sadie Williams: I wanted to playfully sum-up some kind of cool, folksy, shimmering sophistication through pairing Donnika in my clothes against the Ikebana inspired metallic flowers, that my friend Georgina Norris crafted for me. Working with Jamie has been wicked – he really liked the Ikebana references and totally understood how to convey this for me, right down to the smallest details. Eddie Wray took the photos and was brilliant too! It was a really exciting to see all the elements come together and Donnika having fun and looking so great in the clothes.
What do you like about Donnika?
Sadie Williams: I like everything about Donnika! She’s ace, she’s the couson of one of my best mates, Bwalya Newton. I’ve been out dancing with her and I love that she’s so easy going and sweet. I also like that she has a tomboyish side to her too, like how she rocked up to the shoot in her trackies. You can tell that she really enjoys her clothes, and is quite bold, care-free, youthful. I think this spirit is representative of what I always try to do.
Who do you design for?
Sadie Williams: Someone who wants to invest in something special, crafted, modern and beautiful. Many of my pieces are statement pieces for someone with an artistic bent who is playful with their fashion choices. Sometimes people refer to them as special objects, so in this sense they are suited to editorials and performance too.
All clothes by Sadie Williams AW15; photography Eddie Wrey; art direction Jamie Reid; model Donnika Anderson; flower concept Sadie Williams; flower creation Georgina Norris