For a relatively new name to the fashion scene, Irish designer Danielle Romeril (danielleromeril.com) succeeded in creating a luxury womenswear label that redefines the concept of modern elegance through an edgy, unconventional and otherworldly vision. Founding her namesake fashion brand upon quality, integrity and an outstanding level of creativity, Danielle is a master in building bridges between the raw and the unexpected.
A trip to Paris and a sudden encounter with a group of skateboarders just outside the Palais de Tokyo inspired the designer to create her fall / winter 2013 collection, a celebration of Danielle’s very own vision of a girl skate gang. A laced leather deck fringing fantasy meets an unusual string of silhouettes in the line-up that promises to give you a taste of the unpredictable for fall 2013.
We had the pleasure to interview Danielle Romeril to talk more about her beautiful collection, about details that instantly catch her eyes, about fashion and wardrobe staples.
Read the full interview after the break.
The Danielle Romeril fall 2013 collection redefines the concept of modern elegance. What inspired you to create such unique pieces?
It’s my vision for a girl skate gang! I was standing outside the Palais de Tokyo in Paris when a gang of boys aged between 12 and 23 flew past me and their skateboards, they descended the steps in front of me and in the courtyard of the Palais practiced their skills and tricks for about 40 minutes, working in almost complete silence, then they just skated off. They didn’t say a word! It was mesmerising! My boyfriend turned to me and asked ‘Where are the girl skate gangs?’ That’s how I got the idea for this collection. It’s relaxed, a bit sporty but luxe too. The silhouettes evolved from oversized t-shirts and baggy skate pants but translated into luxury womenswear. The leather fringing you can see on the pieces are pieces of leather cut into the shape of skateboard decks and laced together using a samurai armour technique that allows solid pieces to bend and flex with the body. It’s pretty cool.
Do you have a specific research process that you favor when you start working a new collection?
Not as such, I believe research is really important and numerous trips to the library are usually involved but to help me define the mood and vision I want to create I find being out in the real world really helpful, going to gigs and music festivals, going to exhibitions, just soaking in the world and opening your eyes to what you find really exciting, what gives you a buzz about being alive. The nitty gritty research is done in the studio, it’s the hours and hours and weeks of development work we put into our prints and surface details, that’s what makes what we do so unique, that’s what the high street can’t imitate.
Giving that you have such an eye for unusual silhouettes and unexpected details, how do you manage to balance creativity with retailing?
I guess this is a challenge for most designers, well certainly young designers who are carving out a viewpoint for their brand. In my case the pieces that sell the most are the pieces I add last to the collection. They are the distilled simpler versions of the more worked show pieces, and they usually evolve when I ask myself, ‘how would I want to wear this collection if I was going to hang out with my mates’. Then I just run through the collection and ask myself, does will this sit on a rail in an understandable way for a customer? Is there a jacket that will work with this dress, is there pants that will work with this top? I’m still learning and what buyers select teaches you a lot.
What would one special thing about a design be to immediately catch your attention?
If you look at fashion a lot, like any designer does, what catches your attention is the new or the slightly odd, something that makes you think. I want to look at a piece and wonder for a minute if I think it’s amazing or disgusting! I am always fascinated by craft elements, hand worked pieces that look really modern and that I can’t figure out how they created.
How would you describe your design aesthetic? Who’s the woman wearing Danielle Romeril?
My aesthetic shifts and changes like the wind, I guess that’s what I love about the fashion system, that one season it can be dark, gungey voodoo and the next season it can be a sort of sci-fi oriental vision and the season after it can be super relaxed, super-luxe skaters.
My customer, she dresses to show off her thoughts not her assets, she’s cool, she wears her clothes they don’t wear her, she’s not out to impress; she doesn’t have to, when she walks into a room people ‘get it’.
What’s currently shaping the mood board in your studio?
Lots of painterly splodges in kind of odd colours adorn the wall on my studio at the moment, mixed in with zig-zag shapes and images of Kurt Schwitters collage work and there’s a early Raf Simmons menswear reference there too.
What would you say is the staple piece that all women should have in their wardrobe?
A really amazing jacket, but you need a whole load of them! A leather one, a bomber, a parka, a tailored one, a crazy coloured rain jacket, I guess when you grow up in Ireland where it rains a lot, leaving the house without a jacket is a bit like leaving the house without knickers on! You just don’t do it.