We caught up with the brilliant Roberta Einer soon after London Fashion Week to uncover more about her traditional couture techniques, signature maximalist style and a love of all that sparkles…
What’s a typical day like at your studio? Are you surrounded by sketchbooks, mood boards and sequins?
We start at 10 am with a small meeting to plan our tasks and goals for the day. I like everyone to work in pairs as it divides responsibility between the team and we can learn from one another. We do lots of beading, sampling and pattern cutting in house and source production from outside, so the studio is a really calm and creative space.
We’d love to hear a little about the inspiration behind your autumn/winter 2017 collection?
For AW17 I looked to Lisbon, Portugal and imagined what a winter holiday in the 1940s might have been like! There are lots of references to the city’s beautiful Art Deco architecture and Fado. For colour references, I was really inspired by Josef Albers’ colour theories and the muted, pastel shades of Lisbon’s shadowy streets.
I wanted my show to have the same nostalgic and romantic feel that I saw when I visited Lisbon. The city has such a rich and beautiful colour card itself. The blues are dusty and the pinks have faded slightly in the sun. The colours we used from Farrow & Ball translate this perfectly.
We noticed you were born in Tallinn, Estonia. Does the rich Slavic past influence your work and do look to other cultures for design ideas?
It’s almost like a Slavic background attracts you to everything glittery and sparkly! Or at least I like to blame my maximalist ways to that. I’m really interested in Soviet society and its obsession over American culture, because this was something that was still very current when I was growing up.
We’re big fans of your maximalist style, but what about your interiors. Does a love of vibrant colours and textures continue into your home?
To be honest, my home is very different to my work. After spending my childhood in a house, small London apartments can become quite depressing. Lots of natural light and high ceilings are vital in an apartment! I like to keep it quite simple – whites, black and nude shades, but with lots of quirky touches like a pink silk elephant and cactuses with glittery pots painted by my interns.
Now that London Fashion Week has passed, what other events and exhibitions do you have scribbled in your diary?
After LFW, I will be heading out to Paris Fashion Week. I’m really looking forward to that because I can finally take it easier and enjoy the events and shows a little more.
When you’re not stitching velvet or embroidering beads, what will we find you doing?
I love cooking and food almost as much as I love fashion. I’ve always joked that if this doesn’t work out then I’ll try opening a restaurant, coffee or food truck.
And finally, what’s the first vintage piece you ever bought?
It must have been one of the dresses I bought when taking part in my school’s fashion show. The whole collection was pretty much reconstructed vintage pieces with embroidery on top of it. I was 12 then, so I hadn’t learnt how to sew properly yet.
Images kindly provided by Roberta Einer.